When I first read that Brentwood had lowered its emergency dispatching bid for Rock Hill by $100,000, I thought this might be an excellent and all-too rare example of municipal cooperation. Its a good thing that Brentwood contracts out its services to a neighboring muni to avoid duplication, right? Well, yes, of course it is. But if you read the entire article you realize that a better option is staring right at both Brentwood and Rock Hill. Both cities could join the East Central Dispatch system that began in 2004 as a far-sighted consolidation of services by Clayton, Richmond Heights, Maplewood, Webster Groves and Shrewsbury. Brentwood's bid may have been $15,000 lower to Rock Hill than EC Dispatch's, but if both cities joined that latter bid would likely be even lower. That does not even get into the savings Brentwood might see by eliminating its dispatching service and contracting with EC Dispatch.
In order to keep Rock Hill as part of their own dispatching service, Brentwood raised taxes by $56,000 to cover the cost of the lower bid! Mayor Kelly (Brentwood) is one of the best mayors in St. Louis County, but he needs to ditch the dispatch and both Brentwood and Rock Hill should join East Central Dispatch faster than an ambulance can make it from St. Mary's to South Webster. Although with the coming I-64/40 work, maybe they should do it faster than that.