Municipal Contracting Is What Missouri Needs More Of
Greendale, Missouri (population: small) is a St. Louis suburb. Like many cities within St. Louis County, it is very small. It is a nice little place nestled in between cemeteries, parks, a golf course, and a university. Did I mention it has a small population?
The key to successfully operating a small city, town, or village (Greendale is a village) is to not try to do everything yourself. Small towns need to contract out, share services, or privatize as many services as they can. These are valuable strategies for all cities, but they are vital for microcities such as Greendale, Champ, Lichtenstein, or Sealand.
Greendale is reopening its police contract for a nearby department to bid on providing police and court services for the village’s people. I understand those services are currently being provided by Normandy, but best practices are to rebid contracts like this at regular intervals. The most important thing is that Greendale is not attempting to provide its own police services. Whether a neighboring city such as Normandy, the St. Louis County police department, or the new North County police cooperative win the bid is not the point. The point is that Greendale deserves credit for this municipal policing strategy. There are plenty of other towns in Missouri that bid out services, but even more should.
Many people in Warson Woods went nuts when the city proposed merging police services with neighboring Glendale, even though the two towns had shared fire services for decades. That very modest proposal to share services failed. Hopefully, the Greendale plan is the future for St. Louis County instead of the Warson Woods reaction.