CREVE COEUR, Mo. (KMOV.com) - Tensions were high Monday night in Creve Coeur when representatives from 'Better Together' answered questions about their controversial plan to merge St. Louis County and City.
It comes as 'Better Together' estimates the plan could save St. Louis as much as $1 billion annually by 2032.
Mayor Barry Glantz invited 'Better Together' to speak and answer questions from Creve Coeur City Council. Roughly two dozen residents attended the meeting. Glantz says he is openly against the plan.
“People don’t want to see good governance, good police departments folded into a large Metro city," said Glantz.
Despite his opposition, Glantz says he wanted to give Creve Coeur voters the opportunity to learn more about the plan and make an informed decision.
“I’ve long supported the idea of merging the county and city but based on what I’ve heard so far, Better Together just does not seem like the best way to bring the city and county together," said Creve Coeur resident Ned Maniscalco.
He and his wife say they like knowing their mayor and police on a more personal basis.
“There’s a coffee with the mayor once a month where everyone can come in and talk and I think you’re going to lose that if this goes through," said Linda Maniscalco.
The council raised concerns about the merger possibly forcing people to move out of St. Louis to find work and it going up for a statewide vote, meaning even if everyone in the county and city voted no, it could still pass.
“I don’t think this is a plan we designed for elected officials. I think this is a plan that’s designed for residents that live here and so I’m excited to have those conversations," said Jack Seigel, community organizer for Better Together.
He says a statewide vote is necessary to make constitutional changes. He also argues this plan will encourage more people to stay in St. Louis and businesses to invest.
“We all agree that St Louis needs to change and I’m excited to spend the next few months talking about how we have a real and actionable plan to get to that change and I don’t think anyone else has a plan for that," said Seigel.
'Better Together' representatives say they hope to visit as many cities as possible to discuss the plan and answer questions. Creve Coeur is one of the first cities in St. Louis County to hold such a meeting.