St. Louis City Government

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Structure

The City of St. Louis has a mayor-council type government, with the legislative authority vested in a Board of Aldermen and the mayor having primary executive authority.

Board of Aldermen

Main article: St. Louis Board of Aldermen
The Board of Aldermen is made up of 28 members (one elected from each of the city's wards) plus a board president who is elected city-wide. By custom and tradition the individual aldermen have a great deal of influence over decisions impacting the ward they represent on matters ranging from zoning changes, to street resurfacing.

Mayor

Main article: Mayor of St. Louis
Unlike many other cities, the mayor shares some executive authority with 9 other independent citywide elected officials, including a treasurer, comptroller, and collector of revenue. These officials have significant influence.

Elections

Municipal elections in St. Louis city are held in odd numbered years, with the primary elections in March and the general election in April. The mayor is elected in odd numbered years following the United States Presidential Election, as are the aldermen representing odd-numbered wards. The President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the aldermen from even-numbered wards are elected in the off-years. The Democratic Party has dominated St. Louis city politics for decades. The city has not had a Republican mayor since the 1940s and the last time a Republican was elected to another city-wide office was in the 1970s. As of 2006, 27 of the city's 28 Aldermen are Democrats.

City-County Cooperation

Although St. Louis City and County separated in 1876, some mechanisms have been put in place for joint funding management and funding of regional assets. The St. Louis Zoo-Museum district collects property taxes from residents of both St. Louis City and County and the funds are used to support cultural instituions including the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Similarly, the Metropolitan Sewer District provides sanitary and storm sewer service to the city and much of St. Louis County. The Bi-State Development Agency (now known as Metro) runs the region's Metrolink light rail system and bus system.

State and Federal Districts

The City of St. Louis is split roughly in half north to south by Missouri's first and third U.S. Congressional districts. Each district also includes a significant portion of St. Louis County. The City of St. Louis includes all of 9 Missouri House of Representatives districts and a portion of two others. Two Missouri State Senate districts are entirely within the city's boundaries and a third district is split between St. Louis City and County.