Recently, the cities of Richmond Heights and Clayton finished the Joint Study Committee Report. This was a two year effort that initiated with the suggestion that the two cities merge. The first recommendation of the Report was that a merger at this time is not in the best interest of either community. However, other Report recommendations included improving communications between the cities by the mayors and city managers meet monthly and the governing boards meeting every six months. Further, both communities should explore collaborating in the service areas of parks and recreation, information technology, and city management. Last, both cities should jointly plan land use of their common border, Clayton Road.
This is democracy at its best. Both city governments assigned outstanding qualified residents to the Joint Study Committee. Lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, banking and finance people, educators and other professionals donated thousands of hours to this project. Their expertise provided the Joint Committee’s work with quality and credibility.
Throughout the process, open meetings were held where constituents were informed of the progress to date and encouraged to support or oppose the proposals. Thus the residents in both cities did and exchanges were often heated. At the end, Joint Study Committee members and many residents of Clayton and Richmond Heights felt a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction, and achievement.
I urge both city governments to implement the Joint Study Committees recommendations.
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Lowe "Sandy" MacLean is vice chancellor emeritus, University of Missouri, St. Louis, and is active in local political and community organizations, including the Grand Order of Pachyderms (GOP), a service organization for the Republican Party.