CANCELLED. Absentee Voting Underway For April Sewer District Rate Hike Election



St. Louis County and St. Louis City voters will go to the polls April 7th to vote on a Rate Hike proposed by Metropolitan Sewer District to fund a $500 Million Bond Issue. In St. Louis City, this is a Special Election, no other ballot issues or candidates are on the ballot. In St. Louis County, this is a Municipal General Election.

Absentee Voting for this election began March 11, 2020.

You may vote Absentee by Mail. Downloadable Absentee Ballot Application here. Last Day To Request Absentee Ballot By Mail is March 25, 2020.

You may Vote Absentee In Person 8 am to 5 pm Weekdays at Board of Election, 300 N Tucker.

Additional Absentee Voting Information at St. Louis City Board of Election.

The April 7th ballot issue does not directly say a rate hike is involved. You have to know that “To comply with federal and state clean water requirements, shall The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) issue its sewer revenue bonds… to be payable solely from the revenues derived by MSD from the operation of its wastewater sewer system” means Rate Hike. Previous Rate Hikes also did not say Rate Hike.

Sample Ballot

MSD’s ballot issue campaigns are run by Stenger-saga and St. Louis City and County Prop P (sales tax hike for police) consultant The Kelley Group. The new ballot issue campaign committee is named “Campaign for Clean Water STL.” The first major donor to this MSD campaign was $35,000 from SAK, a pipeline contractor in O’Fallon, Missouri. You might remember SAK from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s “After controversial MSD vote, winners donated more than $150,000 to Stenger campaign” story.

Previous Metropolitan Sewer District ballot issues:

April 2, 2019: City and County voters rejected an impervious surface charge proposal by MSD

April 5, 2016: City and County voters approve rate hike proposal by MSD to fund $900 Million Bond Issue

April 5, 2016: City and County voters approve $0.10 property tax hike proposal by MSD

June 5, 2012: City and County voters approve rate hike proposal by MSD to fund $945 Million Bond Issue

August 5, 2008: City and County voters approve rate hike proposal by MSD to fund $275 Million Bond Issue

Also See…

1/31/2019: Info on MSD Consent Decree @ Missouri Coalition for the Environment

4/30/2012 St. Louis Public RadioFederal judge approves MSD consent decree

12/12/2003 St. Louis Post-DispatchMSD must find new way to raise money after Missouri Supreme Court ruling

Tonight: Sewer District Rate Hike Vote Meeting @ O’Fallon Rec Center

6 pm Monday, March 18th
YMCA O’Fallon Park & Rec Center

4343 West Florissant


Public Transit: #18 Taylor, #74 Florissant
MSD is allowed under law to propose the ballot issue, without going to St. Louis County Council or St. Louis City Board of Aldermen, and then “educate” the public on it. As long as they tell voters why it is needed, or what horrible things will happen if it fails, without saying vote for it, it’s legal for them to hold these meetings.
I’m not arguing for or against the proposal. Per emails and texts, some people are confused about where this ballot issue comes from and why a public agency can campaign for a ballot issue (which, technically, they are not). And the MSD social media notices do not say Rate Increase or Ballot Issue in subject lines, so this is the sort of ballot issue that results in people wanting to know why their rate/tax went up after the fact. This post is an attempt to make this ballot issue a bit more transparent.
–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman