South county once more gets the shaft

By MIKE ANTHONY

It seems that hardly a week goes by without south county residents getting the shaft from St. Louis County.

As we wrote Nov. 1, not only is County Executive Charlie Dooley proposing a half-cent, sales-tax increase — not a quarter-cent hike — he would like to see MetroLink expanded to west county or north county — not south county. Given the fact that south county taxpayers already don’t receive much of a return on the tax dollars they send each year to Clayton, they have little incentive to vote for a tax-rate increase that would provide them no tangible benefit whatsoever except for another chance to subsidize public transportation for the rest of St. Louis County.

The County Council was set to consider final approval Tuesday night — after the Call went to press — of an ordinance placing the half-cent sales-tax hike on the February ballot.

As the Call’s Burke Wasson noted in this space last week, Mr. Dooley also has proposed recovering two cents per $100 of assessed valuation rolled back in 2005 — right after property owners received greatly increased tax bills as a result of reassessment.

That’s on top of the county’s immensely unpopular — particularly in south county — plan to establish trash districts and eliminate residents’ ability to select their own hauler.

But now comes the capper — County Counselor Pat Redington recently agreed to a settlement paving the way for the construction of a trash-transfer station in Oakville. The county will not appeal a recent ruling by Circuit Court Judge Barbara Ann Crancer ordering St. Louis County and its Department of Health to “expeditiously issue” a license to Fred Weber Inc. to construct and operate the transfer station at 5219 Baumgartner Road.

Until the county’s latest fiasco with the trash districts, never had an issue galvanized south county residents as much as their opposition to Weber’s transfer station. We don’t blame County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county. We believe Mr. Campisi has been outspoken in his opposition to the transfer station and supportive of the hundreds of residents who worked vigorously to oppose it. But others in Clayton — from Mr. Dooley to County Counselor Redington to the Democratic majority of the County Council — certainly have not supported south county residents.

We’ll be curious to see what indignity south county residents will be expected to endure next week from those in Clayton who supposedly are representing them and their best interests.