Hazel Erby | St. Louis Public Radio

Hazel Erby

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

The few long-time regulars at  St. Louis County Council meetings may be longing for the legislative body's customary 10-minute meetings after the past few weeks.

That’s because in recent weeks, the meetings have turned into lengthy – and often bitterly hostile – clashes between St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and most of the council. But it's more than just legislative melodrama; a coalition of five council members (out of seven) have managed to block quite a bit of Dooley’s agenda.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley signed an executive order on Wednesday establishing minority participation goals for county contracts. His move comes a day after the St. Louis County Council rejected bills on the issue. 

The situation showcases the escalating hostility between Dooley and a county council increasingly aligned with Councilman Steve Stenger, the Affton Democrat who is challenging the incumbent this August.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio (file photo)

St. Louis County Council members shelved bills aimed at broadening minority and female participation in county contracts. 

At issue were bills sponsored by Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City. Among other things, the bills would would set up hiring guidelines for minority and female workers on construction projects of $1 million or more. It also would have set up similar workforce goals for county procurement contracts.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council melted down on Tuesday during consideration of minority participation legislation. 

It was the latest sign of boiling election year tensions between St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and members of the council aligned with Councilman Steve Stenger, a fellow Democrat vying for county executive.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council is considering a series of bills aimed at giving minorities and women more opportunities to work on county projects. 

Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, introduced several bills on Tuesday aimed at increasing minority participation on certain projects. The bills have the support of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch may need to make a little room on his wall. 

That’s because Fitch has received two resolutions from the St. Louis County Council celebrating his service – under very different circumstances. The one he received Tuesday commemorates his retirement, which takes effect Friday. (Fitch is starting a consulting company to advise law enforcement groups and companies.)

St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, wants to raise the county's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The St. Louis County Council gave initial approval to an ordinance setting up a foreclosure mediation process, an issue that drew passionate testimony from advocates of distressed homeowners and criticism from those who question the proposal's legality.

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