The 24th ward Democrat Committee hosted a candidate debate at Carpenter branch library on January 24th, 2013. The 3 mayoral candidates that spoke were Paster Jimmie Matthews, President of the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed and Incumbent Francis Slay.
Matthews was the 1st mayoral candidate that spoke. He argued that he can't be brought because he's not taking big money. He expressed confidence of his victory.
Reed spoke of improving the economy as mayor. He argued that the car brake in are the result of the poor economic situation of the city. At the end of his opening, he emphasized education as the one goal that he want the audience to remember him by. During Q & A, Reed was asked about Veolia Water contract with the city. According to the Riverfront Times, Veolia was hired as a consultant to the city to look into what can St. Louis do to reduce the cost of providing water while keeping the quality. Both Reed and Slay pointed out that St. Louis is rated as the best tasting water, something important to the audience. Reed argued that Slay is looking to privatize the water system. Reed claimed that he turned Veolia down because he feared Veolia will increased that rates.
Slay said he's not attempting to privatize the water but Veolia is to privatize the water. In his opening he pointed to his success, a reduction in crime, achieving local control and support charter school while improving the public schools.
Candidates for the 15th wards also spoke. Incumbent Jennifer Florida argued that she had a lot of success during her term, but her opponent Lisa Miller argued not so. Miller that the 15th ward has not improved and it's time for a change. The use of TIFs, (Tax Increment Financing) was one area where both disagreed. Miller argued that TIFs cost the community more then their worth. Florida argued that TIFs improve the economy. The Show-Me Institute view TIFs as waste of tax payers money.