Monday, July 23News That Matters

Citizens lead the charge to unincorporate Hanley Hills

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Some of the citizens in a north St. Louis County village are leading a charge to unincorporate their municipality and return under the auspices of the county government.

The residents are trying to collect enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for voters to decide. One of the things citizens in Hanley Hills don’t like is all the money being spent to pay trustees.

There are nine trustees in Hanley Hills, a village of about 2,000 people. They each make $400 a month.

But trustees like Thomas Rusan said the village has about $1.5 million in street repairs that are needed, but the village doesn’t have the funds to make the repairs.

The village has declined dramatically over the years. It’s gone from a town where most residents were homeowners, to one where half the houses are rental properties. Nearly a third of the citizens live below the poverty line.

The head of the board of trustees admitted the village doesn’t have the fund to make the needed improvements in the village. But she’s in favor of keeping the village intact.

Petitioners need to gather about 400 signatures to get the measure on the ballot and make a run at kicking the trustees out of a job and unifying with the county.