Call the Tune: Aldermen in Sunset Hills oppose potential merger


We believe the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen made the right call in adopting a resolution opposing any efforts to unite St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis.
The Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen “will continue to work towards the betterment of the region, but oppose the unification of St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis and the elimination of local government, which would result in the reduction of services provided to Sunset Hills residents,” according to the resolution, which was adopted Sept. 12.
Municipalities incorporate to provide superior services to their citizens — and that’s exactly what Sunset Hills does. As the resolution notes, the city provides its 8,497 residents with a high level of service including:
• Seven city parks accounting for over 200 acres, an indoor recreational facility and outdoor family aquatic center.
• A highly regarded Police Department that keeps its citizens safe, as the city is regularly listed among the safest in Missouri.
• A Public Works Department responsible for maintaining 48 miles of public roadway, and providing snow removal, code enforcement, engineering and planning services.
In addition, the city is professionally managed, financially stable and able to perform capital improvement projects when necessary while maintaining an excellent bond rating, according to the resolution.
The measure opposing a potential city-county merger was drafted at the urging of Ward 1 Alderman Dee Baebler. At an August work session, she said, “I haven’t heard one resident in favor of this.”
We’d be hard-pressed to recall any resident coming out in support of such a merger because, quite frankly, a reunification would provide little to no benefit for county residents and could jeopardize the superior quality of life they currently enjoy. We also believe that a merger would have the potential to increase the tax burden on county residents.
In adopting the resolution opposing any city-county merger, Sunset Hills elected officials join the Green Park Board of Aldermen, which voted in 2014 to adopt a resolution opposing “any plan for reunification of the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County.”
Residents in Sunset Hills and Green Park, through their elected representatives, currently can determine their destinies through local control.
Who in their right mind would want to change that?