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St. Louis County Council

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 | 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

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.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger, a Republican from Town and Country
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.”

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.

File photo

St. Louis County’s Democratic and Republican central committees have chosen their nominees for the Aug. 5 special election to fill the vacant seat on the County Council created by the death of Kathleen Burkett. 

The Democratic nominee for the 2nd District post is a familiar one:  Dr. Sam Page of Creve Coeur, a physician and former state representative who was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2008.  He lost to incumbent Republican Peter Kinder.

File photo Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Voters will go to the polls in August to fill a vacant seat on the St. Louis County Council. 

The county council gave final approval Tuesday night to setting an Aug. 5 election date to fill the 2nd District seat. That slot on the seven-person council became  vacant after the death of Councilwoman Kathleen Kelly Burkett.

“That’s 150,000 people without representation,” said St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. “And that needs to be addressed.”

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Councilwoman Kathleen Kelly Burkett has died at the age of 68. 

Burkett, D-Overland, was diagnosed with cancer last year while serving as chairwoman of the St. Louis County Council. She continued to serve as a councilwoman while undergoing chemotherapy, but she had been absent from meetings the past few weeks.

In a statement Sunday, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley praised Burkett as someone who “took care of her constituents like they were her own family.”

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes now.

We know you can’t get enough of Politically Speaking, which is why we have two episodes this week. The Politically Speaking crew's latest interview features St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, a Democrat who has held the powerful local office since late 2003.

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