The St. Louis County Council defeated several bills sponsored by one of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s harshest critics -- highlighting the ongoing friction between Stenger and Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City.
Typically, the council approves most of the bills that come before it. Any disagreements are usually worked out before meetings – and it’s fairly rare for the council to reject bills outright.
But on Tuesday, the council killed several of Erby’s bills. They included:
Gary Bess isn’t the type of person destined to be sequestered in a corner office.
Bess spent nearly four decades in the St. Louis parks department – including 18 years as director. He developed a reputation as a personable manager who worked hand-in-hand with employees. (He’s also renowned within local politics for his colorful sport coats.)
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 1, 2015. Stenger is coming into office with an ambitious agenda to change St. Louis County government -- and the legislative alliances to help him out.
St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger came to prominence by being a critic.
From his perch as a county councilman, Stenger aimed unrelenting salvos at then-St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. That served as the backbone of a campaign that ultimately ousted Dooley in a Democratic primary — and narrowly outflanked state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, in the general election.
Steve Stenger holds his baby girl Madeline Jane as wife Allison looks on while taking the oath as the new St. Louis County Executive in Clayton, Missouri. Federal Judge Ronnie White administered the oath to Stenger.
With his county still coming to grips with the tumultuous aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, Steve Stenger was officially sworn in Thursday as St. Louis County executive.
Flanked by his wife Allison and holding his daughter Madeline, the Affton Democrat became the eighth county executive in St. Louis County’s history. He said during his two-page inaugural address that business as usual in the county was over.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley speaks to reporters after Tuesday's St. Louis County Council meeting. The departing county executive contends that efforts to paint him as "corrupt" had racial overtones.
When St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s political adversaries used a subcontract for the county’s police lab as campaign fodder, the Democratic official saw it as more than just a run-of-the-mill attack.
Dooley said the attacks were part of a racially motivated effort to make him look corrupt – a tactic he said is an effective way to discredit black politicians. He went so far as to call county prosecutor Bob McCulloch a “liar” who played the “race card” and county executive-elect Steve Stenger as a dutiful patsy that perpetuated an untruth.
Within minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury did not recommend that Darren Wilson face indictment for the shooting death of Michael Brown, reactions from area politicians came quickly.
Before and after the grand jury’s decision was made public, area officials made clear Monday night that they understood the stakes.
For some in both camps, the decision of a group of African-American Democratic officials to endorse Republican Rick Stream for county executive boils down to one word:
Berkeley Mayor Ted Hoskins said as much when he explained at Wednesday’s news conference — which featured about two dozen north St. Louis County officials — that Stream’s conservative views and legislative votes aren’t the issue.
In a warning to area Democratic leaders, a number of north St. Louis County mayors and other African-American elected officials announced Wednesday that they’ve formed a political coalition aimed at increasing the clout of minority voters.
“Recent events have shown that our voice has diminished,” said St. Louis County Council chair Hazel Erby, D-University City, who served as spokeswoman. “That ends today.”
Erby said the coalition is “serving notice that we are not going to support candidates just because they have an insignia of a donkey behind their name.”