St. Louis County Council

Daniel Gallagher holds up a sign outside of the St. Louis County Administrative Building in Clayton. Gallagher says he opposes a bill raising the age to purchasing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:50 a.m., Sept. 7 with council approval - The minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping equipment in St. Louis County is about to change. The county council has voted in favor of an ordinance increasing the age from 18 to 21.

St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners Democratic Director Eric Fey presents before a committee of the whole meeting of the County Council on how April 5's ballot shortages happened.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Aug. 11 with judge's ruling – Berkeley residents will not have a do-over election for mayor.

The St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners asked a judge in May to order a new election in the north St. Louis County city. It was one of many county municipalities that experienced ballot shortages during elections earlier this year

U.S. Lacy Clay raises the arm of Kim Gardner in victory at the Exodus Gallery after the primary election. Gardner made history as the first African-American to hold the office of circuit attorney. Behind her is Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, and to the right is s
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

For the first time, an African-American will be the top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis. And in St. Louis County, County Executive Steve Stenger has lost a well-known ally on the County Council, after a big upset in the District 4 Democratic primary.

St. Louis County Board of Elections director Eric Fey was suspended without pay on Tuesday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners suspended its top official, a move that comes after dozens of polling places ran out of ballots during this month’s municipal elections.

After the four-person election board went into closed session on Tuesday, it voted to suspend Democratic director Eric Fey for two weeks without pay. Commissioners also suspended elections coordinator Laura Goebel without pay for one week. The board did not exert any punishment against Republican director Gary Fuhr.

300 pixel elderly health care
National Institutes for Health

The St. Louis County Council is the first of area political entities to consider a new tax that would support programs that help older residents.

Councilman Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, introduced a bill that would raise property taxes by 5 cents for every $100 of assessed property. If the council passes Page's bill, the measure will go to the voters. And if county voters approve the measure in November, the proceeds from the tax increase will go into a fund that could be used for senior service programs.

State Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, D-Black Jack, filed to run for the St. Louis County Council. She could pose a stiff challenge to incumbent Councilman Mike O'Mara.
Tim Bommel I House Communications | File photo

If St. Louis County Councilman Mike O’Mara wants to return to the council for another four years, he’ll have to ward off a potentially serious challenge from a fellow Democrat.

Both O’Mara, D-Florissant, and state Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray recently filed to run for the 4th District Council seat. That north St. Louis County-based district takes in portions of Florissant, Black Jack, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Riverview and unincorporated St. Louis County.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger signed the prescription drug monitoring bill into law on Wednesday.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Don’t look now, but St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and company may be trailblazers – at least when it comes to setting up a prescription drug monitoring program.

With the Missouri General Assembly unlikely to approve a statewide drug tracking program, Stenger and the St. Louis County Council gave their blessing to a county database last week. It’s aimed at stopping someone from getting certain controlled substances at multiple pharmacies, which database supporters say is a big precursor to heroin abuse.

Amid no controversy or debate, the St. Louis County Council has unanimously approved a budget of almost $680 million for the fiscal year that begins January 1.

The seven-person council swiftly acted Tuesday night to grant final approval to a series of budget measures dealing with various county departments and programs. There was no discussion.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's proposal would impliment minimum standards for police departments to follow. If they don't meet those benchmarks, Stenger's office could effectively disband departments.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

After St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger proposed imposing certain standards on municipal police department, the leaders of the county’s towns and cities loudly threatened to go to court.

Three cities made good on that warning on Thursday.

Vinita Park Mayor James McGhee stands with a slew of municipal officials after the passage of a police standards bill. County cities have threatened a lawsuit over the measure.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council passed by a 4-2 margin legislation setting up operational, hiring and training standards for municipal police departments. The county executive’s office could effectively dissolve departments that don’t meet the benchmarks and force them to contract with another law enforcement agency. (Both the county executive’s office and county council would also have the right to review policing contracting arrangements between cities.)

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar joined Stenger on Wednesday in announcing the minimum standards proposal.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council took a big step toward prompting municipal police departments to adhere to certain standards, a proposal that’s bringing about warnings of litigation from the county’s cities and towns.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's proposal would impliment minimum standards for police departments to follow. If they don't meet those benchmarks, Stenger's office could effectively disband departments.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s now up to the St. Louis County Council to decide whether to approve or reject County Executive Steve Stenger’s plan to set minimum standards for the county’s 57 local police departments.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, county Municipal League Executive Director Pat Kelly sought to soften the initial criticisms that some of his organization’s members have leveled since Stenger rolled out his proposal last week. Their concerns center on fears that some local police departments may have to disband.

A row of small flats in Glasgow Village, an unincorporated community in north St. Louis County.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County will have to register with the county — and potentially face closer governmental scrutiny.

But critics say they’re planning to go to court over legislation that they contend is overly burdensome against poor and minority tenants.

The St. Louis County Council approved a new version of legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council revived stalled legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.

Yet even though the legislation went through more alterations, the bill’s critics contended they didn’t get enough time to review the changes before they were adopted.

The St. Louis County Council rejected legislation aimed at regulating rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council delivered a major blow to a bid to tighten regulations over rental properties in unincorporated St. Louis County.

The St. Louis County Council spent nearly an hour hearing criticism about legislation requiring a license for rental property.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with comments from County Executive Steve Stenger - The St. Louis County Council held off on voting on legislation that requires owners of certain rental property to obtain licenses.

But even without a vote, the bill was the subject of immense criticism from a coalition of people who feel the bill is too broad and could have unintended consequences that would adversely affect victims of domestic violence.

As of right now, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger effectively has a five-person coalition on the St. Louis County Council — including its two Republican members.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council could hold a final vote tomorrow on legislation requiring landlords of rental properties in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses. The stated intent is to ensure proper maintenance of the buildings.

But the bill is receiving pushback from landlords and some housing advocates who contend the measure is too burdensome -- and could produce unintended consequences, including potential for discrimination.

St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge Doug Beech, far left, and Bill Wallace watch a press conference celebrating the approval of a resolution support county veterans courts.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:15 p.m., Sept. 7, with passage of money for the court - Military veterans who are charged with non-violent crimes will soon have a new court to help them in St. Louis County.

The County Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend $60,000 this year on a veterans treatment court. Councilman Mark Harder, a Ballwin Republican who sponsored the bill, said he hopes that next year, the council will vote to spend another $150,000 for a full year of operation.

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

Weeks after St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger appeared to shut the door on a minimum wage increase, his chief rival on the county council is angling to bring the issue back into the forefront.

Councilwoman Hazel Erby said in a press release on Monday that she has requested legislation increasing the minimum wage in St. Louis County. The University City Democrat said that she wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.

Colleen Wasinger
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger to the show.

The Huntleigh Republican has represented the council’s 3rd District since 2007. The area includes such municipalities as Kirkwood, Manchester, Fenton, Sunset Hills, Frontenac and Valley Park.

A voter enters Our Lady of Guadalupe School on election day in Ferguson.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

Democrat Kevin O’Leary has won his campaign for the 6th District seat on the St. Louis County Council, replacing now-County Executive Steve Stenger and retaining their party's 5-2 seat edge.

The contest, like so many others around the region, appeared to hinge on organization to counter a low turnout. With most of the county's votes counted, pre-election estimates appeared correct: Only 16 percent of the county's voters showed up at the polls.

Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa hasn't been successful in last two races for county offices. But the GOP nominee for the 6th District county council seat may be a better position, thanks to the unpredictable dynamics of a special election.
Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

By now, Tony Pousosa may be considered a grizzled veteran on the St. Louis County political scene.   

The Green Park alderman, a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for both the St. Louis County Council and St. Louis County executive. He was the underdog in both contests because his opponents had a lot more money and organizational clout.

Three of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's appointees were approved by the St. Louis County Council. But Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, questioned his pick for parks director.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

During his first St. Louis County Council meeting as chief executive, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger saw three picks for top positions within his administration approved without difficulty. 

But at least one council member raised concerns about Stenger’s pick for the county’s parks director.

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.

officials at a sept. 17 news conference
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

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.”

Protests and chants came into the St. Louis County Council chambers Tuesday night.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been well over a month since a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown. And for the most part, the St. Louis County Council was shielded from the unbridled anger over the 18-year-old’s death.

That reprieve ended on Tuesday.

The council’s chambers were packed with supporters of Brown and his family, with the vast majority of the crowd giving the county’s top executive and legislative officeholders a blazing array of criticism.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council authorized up to $1 million to be spent to help Ferguson residents pay for expenses incurred during nearly two weeks of unrest.  

Without opposition, the council authorized the county to spend up to $1 million to help Ferguson residents who felt the impact of riots and looting. For more than two weeks, the city was under almost constant turmoil after Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown earlier this month.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A top aide to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley unleashed scathing criticism Tuesday at his boss’ Democratic rival for county executive. 

It was part of yet another highly charged county council meeting filled with arguments, insults, recriminations and heated confrontations.

Before he was a St. Louis County councilman, before he was an attorney and a certified public accountant, Steve Stenger was the lead singer in a rock and roll band that toured the area in the 1980s.

Now Stenger is traveling around St. Louis County again as a Democratic candidate for county executive in the Aug. 5 primary. And he believes that many county residents will sing along to his latest political tune:  “It’s time for a change.”

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