Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Shallow End of the Pool

There isn’t a public pool in St. Louis City. Let me repeat that: There isn’t a single public body of water, outside of the Mississippi river, where a resident of St. Louis can swim*. Even worse, no resident of St. Louis City can pay to go to any of the public pools in the surrounding counties. Maplewood? Nope. Clayton? God forbid. Jefferson City? To be fair, it’s a bit of a drive.

St. Louis City residents have to pay a 1% earnings tax. You know what that supports? Forest Park. You know who gets to use the Zoo, the Art Museum, the History Museum and a lot of the amenities for free? City residents AND county residents.

You probably think I am about to suggest that the City should start charging County residents a fee. Nonsense.

But I am proposing that the County get over itself; its sewage facilities smell just like the City’s**. And there are too many redundant utilities and commissions and services in this region as it is.

The City and the County both have something to offer each other. It’s time to stop being petty and start getting sweaty … together. Preferably poolside.

*I have seen people splashing around at the City Garden fountains, but that’s not the same thing.
**I assume, having smelled neither.