Pat Dolan | St. Louis Public Radio

Pat Dolan

St. Louis County Council members meet on Oct. 2, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County may no longer require contractors bidding for work to have apprenticeship programs — a longstanding priority for labor unions.

The County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night for Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger’s legislation that makes a host of changes to the county’s procurement regulations. One of the big changes is that it no longer would require bidders for certain contracts to either participate or maintain apprenticeship programs.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger confers with Councilman Pat Dolan at a Dec. 19, 2017, meeting of the St. Louis County Council.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking takes a look at three competitive elections in St. Louis County. It comes as relations between St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and the St. Louis County Council have deteriorated.

Stenger is facing an expensive bid for re-election against businessman Mark Mantovani. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is engaged in an increasingly high-profile race against Ferguson City Councilman Wesley Bell. And two Democrats are challenging Councilman Pat Dolan’s bid for re-election.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is going into the 2018 election cycle with few strong allies on the county council.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

The race to represent the 5th District on the St. Louis County Council comes amid a backdrop of extreme discord between Council members and the county executive.

County Executive Steve Stenger came into office in January 2015, with most of the Council on his side. As time went on, six out of the seven members -- many of them fellow Democrats -- ended up against him. The upshot is that Councilman Pat Dolan has become Stenger’s lone ally.

Dolan, D-Richmond Heights, is hoping to retain that designation after the Aug. 7 primary election. He’s facing a strong challenge from Lisa Clancy, a Maplewood Democrat who wants to supply a “fresh voice” on the Council.

Mackenzie village board members, including Pat Arrendell and Dorothy Berry, sat up front for a community meeting on March 21 about what would happen if their village disincorporates.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Mackenzie Village’s voters go to the polls Tuesday, the fate of their south county community will hang in the balance.

They will decide whether to dissolve the 72-year-old village — made up of 134 residents, 68 homes, one park and three streets.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger confers with Councilman Pat Dolan at a Dec. 19, 2017, meeting of the St. Louis County Council.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council’s decision to draw up and approve its own budget ends a longstanding practice of allowing the county executive’s administration to craft a spending blueprint.

The big question now is what will happen next.

St. Louis County Councilman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights, July 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis County Councilman Pat Dolan to the program for the first time.

Bob McCulloch is sworn in for another term as St. Louis County Prosecutor in 2015.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The St. Louis County Council gave Prosecutor Bob McCulloch — with unanimous consent — a retirement-pension boost last year. That same council might take it away.

The council will begin hearings Tuesday on a bill to do just that, with several council members contending that County Executive Steve Stenger mislead them last year. He denied that charge and said his adversaries on the council knew exactly what they voted on, deepening the rift that’s been exposed in recent months.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger said his transition into his new office is going much more smoothly than last week.
File photo | Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis last week started the process to raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, some policymakers and activists hoped the move would spur St. Louis County to follow suit.

“It would be great if the county came along with us,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. “I think that is one of the major issues with the bill. We need to have this on a much broader spectrum than just the city.”

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

The St. Louis County Council has sided with County Executive Steve Stenger by firmly killing off a proposal to increase the county’s minimum wage to $15 within five years.

The bill’s sponsor, Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, failed to get a “second’’ from any of her four colleagues when she attempted to bring up the measure for discussion.  As a result, the bill died.

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.
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

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.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

For the most part, the St. Louis County executive’s contest between Democrat Steve Stenger and Republican Rick Stream is sucking up most of the electoral oxygen on the county’s political scene. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s the only contest with  significant consequences. Incumbent Councilman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights, is seeking re-election against Republican committeewoman Jennifer Bird, the only county council race in a competitive district.

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

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.

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

The "Complete Streets" legislation under consideration on the St. Louis County Council still faces plenty of roadblocks to final passage. One of the sponsors, Councilman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights, held up the bill again last week, which he’s done since late November, and announced he wants to rewrite parts of it.

Dolan also said that he’s going to meet with groups affected by the bill and come back to the matter early next year.