Three mayoral candidates debated at St. Louis Public Library at between 7pm on January 29th 2013: Francis Slay, Lewis Reed and Jimmie Matthews. Reed argued that he can do a better job then Slay as Mayor. Slay promoted his record to argue that he's doing a great job as mayor and he's seeking reelection to continue to do a great job.
Matthews oppose the Paul McKee Development project. Both Slay and Reed support the project. The project has been a controversial issue for years and Mckee have been fighting a legal battle to save his project.
Reed continue to accuse Slay of attempting to privatize the water system. Slay referred to the charter. The water department is fund under section 11 and reads:
There shall be a water division in this department and the head thereof shall be known as the water commissioner. It shall have under its special charge the operation and maintenance of the waterworks and of all facilities for the acquisition and distribution of water. It shall assess water rates as may be provided by ordinance and make out the bills therefor and deliver same to the comptroller, who shall deliver them to the collector, take his receipt therefor, and charge them therewith on the comptroller's books.
As long as any of the "St. Louis Water Bonds" or renewals thereof or bonds issued on the special credit of the waterworks or facilities remain unpaid the water rates shall be fixed at prices that win produce revenue sufficient at least to pay the running expenses of the water division and the interest on all such bonds and renewals.
During the debate, Reed said Slay was trying to use Veolia to privatize the water system and he turned Veolia down after hearing the company will be looking to raise rates. Veolia has been accused human rights abuse and environmental destruction.