Thursday, June 24, 2010

Small, 'adorable' municipal governments abound in St. Louis

By Sterling Levy
St. Louis Globe Democrat

That St. Louis County has so many municipalities is about as well-known as the "high school" question, and perhaps these phenomena have similar origins.

Yet, how many know that our county has the second highest number of municipalities -- cities, towns and villages -- in the NATION, with 91 of them, second in number only to Cook County, Illinois, which has 110 and parts of 26 others, surrounds Chicago and is the second most populous county in the nation. We have more than the 88 in L.A. County, which IS the most populous county in the nation, and in the 1970s, when Carson began talking about it, we had as many as 97 munies while L.A. had as few as 79.

But, much more significant is the relative sizes of the local burgs. In Cook County, excluding any consideration of Chicago, the average municipality is about 6.3 square miles and had, at the most recent available count, almost 18,000 residents. In Los Angeles County, again while excluding the City of Los Angeles (which is almost as large as St. Louis County itself), the average city is 10.7 square miles and has 60,700 residents. None, incidentally, has "Hollywood" in its name.

Here, though, our 91 munies (St. Louis City isn't even in the county, of course) average less than four square miles and average fewer than 7,700 residents.

(There's a lot more to this story so click here to read the rest:


  1. Anonymous7:03 PM

    This patchwork of small munies withing St. Louis County goes well beyound that. When you through in the additional taxing districts, such as fire districts, lighting districts, road districts, shcool districts, library districts, sewer districts, and on and on, we have stacked tax over tax and layers of beuracracy.

    It is time to consolidate and eleminate much of this duplication.

    Indianapolis, is a fine example of how we can improve with consolidation.

  2. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Consolidation helps us all.