CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A legislative panel studying a possible merger of St. Louis city and county governments is meeting in Clayton to hear public testimony on the idea.
The Joint Interim Committee on St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area Governance and Taxation has a more straightforward mandate than its wordy name: help Missouri lawmakers determine whether combining the two governments into one makes fiscal and political sense.
The city of St. Louis acts as its own county. Merger proponents say a union could save taxpayers money and reduce government duplication.
Wednesday's hearing at the St. Louis County Council chambers in Clayton was scheduled to last more than five hours and consist entirely of public testimony.
A third person has succumbed to injuries from Tuesday's early morning house fire in Mehlville. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner reports that 11 year old Macy Gapsch died from her injuries Wednesday evening.
Maci’s great-grandmother, 79 year old Georgette Gapsch had died around noon Wednesday. The girl's father, 38-year-old Terry "T.J." Gapsch had died Tuesday morning.
The only survivor, Maci’s 13 year old sister, Mia Gapsch had escaped the burning home and ran to neighbor's house to get help. She's in satisfactory condition.
Investigators say the fire began in the basement of the home. But the exact cause is still under investigation.
The vacancies on the St. Louis County Police Board will remain unfilled for the time being. The County Council Tuesday night postponed confirmation votes for two of County Executive Charlie Dooley's nominees.
The council had called a special meeting to consider the nominees to replace Gregory Sansone and Floyde Warman, but instead introduced legislation requiring police board members to undergo background checks and then adjourned without a confirmation vote.
Dooley had tapped Republican Dave Spence and Democrat Freddy Clark to fill two seats on the five-member board.
Earlier in the day, police board member Ray Wagoner announced that he too is stepping down. Wagoner cited personal and business obligations. The county executive has not yet named a successor for Wagoner.