For all intents and purposes, Tuesday’s St. Louis County Council meeting was uneventful. There were no major bills considered. And the face-to-face meeting between former Democratic county executive rivals didn’t happen.
But this meeting was first time the council met since a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown. And the 18-year-old’s death loomed large over the proceedings.
“This issue will be a test for all of us,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. “The world is watching and we need to get it right the first time.”
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.