Steve Stenger | St. Louis Public Radio

Steve Stenger

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger plans to renew his push to allow unincorporated St. Louis County residents to vote on a sales tax increase for the St. Louis County Police Department. State legislation is needed to authorize such an election for the department that patrols unincorporated parts of St. Louis County, including large portions of the northern and southern parts of the county. 

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.

Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger speaks with a member of the St. Louis County Police Department on Tuesday. The council approved transferring money from the county emergency fund to pay for police overtime accrued during the Ferguson unrest.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is strongly backing a state legislative effort that could result in more money for the St. Louis County Police Department.

But the legislation has become intertwined with a push to change the county sales tax pool — a system that evokes immense division among St. Louis County’s 90 municipalities.

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

During his first 100 days in office, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger  has attracted more attention for what he won’t do.

  • He won’t advocate for some sort of reunification of the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County.
  • The county won’t help bankroll some of the costs of a proposed new stadium.

State Sen. Ryan Silvey shows off his panaromic picture of Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Silvey is part of a growing chorus of policymakers that want some sort of vote on extending bonds for a new stadium.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

It would be fair to classify Paul Meinhold as a long-suffering St. Louis Rams fan.

The St. Charles native purchased personal seat licenses for the team when players like Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk and Az-Zahir Hakim constituted the Greatest Show on Turf. But Meinhold bailed out on his season tickets once the team descended into mediocrity.

Bill Greenblatt I UPI

With St. Louis County no longer involved in funding a new football stadium in St. Louis, there’s some uncertainty about the public financing of the project. But during a stop in Earth City on Wednesday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon expressed confidence that the money will be there to build the facility.

A rendering of the St. Louis riverfront stadium.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger says county taxpayers will no longer be asked to foot some of the bill for a new football stadium.

It’s a potentially complicating factor in conjuring up public financing to build the open-air facility on St. Louis' riverfront.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A new report finds that St. Louis County Police Department officials were rebuffed when they asked to station National Guard troops in Ferguson after a grand jury decided Darren Wilson’s fate. 

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 won’t have a direct role in picking the replacement for St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Denny Coleman. 

But with an eye toward a more aggressive economic development strategy, Stenger says he wants Coleman’s successor to be assertive in seeking out new opportunities.

The rubble of a burned down business on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

The St. Louis Port Authority has designated $500,000 to help clean up portions of Ferguson and Dellwood. 

After a grand jury decided not to indict former Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson, portions of the two cities were looted and burned. Several months later, some of the burned-out structures still remain in ruins in Ferguson and Dellwood.

State Rep. Courtney Curtis, left, and St. Louis County Councilwoman Hazel Erby speak a news conference last year. Curtis is sponsoring "right to work" legislation aimed at construction unions, which he contends haven't done enough to bring minori
File photo by Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to having a “big tent” for its members, Missouri Democrats have talked the talk – and walked the walk. 

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership CEO Denny Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The head of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership will step down from his post in August.   

Denny Coleman was the first chief executive officer of the partnership, which is the merged economic development agency for St. Louis and St. Louis County. In a press release posted on the agency’s website, Coleman said he is planning to retire from his post on Aug. 1.

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.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcomed St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page to Politically Speaking. 

Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, saw several of her bills go down in defeat on Tuesday. The council typically approves most of its bills without stiff opposition.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council defeated several bills sponsored by one of St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s harshest critics -- highlighting the ongoing friction between Stenger and Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City.

Typically, the council approves most of the bills that come before it. Any disagreements are usually worked out before meetings – and it’s fairly rare for the council to reject bills outright.

But on Tuesday, the council killed several of Erby’s bills. They included:

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

(Updated 9:08 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20)

Rita Days, St. Louis County’s Democratic director of elections, says she’s been removed from office at the behest of new County Executive Steve Stenger.

The county’s Board of Election Commissioners voted Tuesday to remove Days as of Friday. She says she is to be replaced by Eric Fey, now the executive assistant to County Councilman Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights.

Although she remains on the payroll a few more days, Days says her computer access already has been cut off.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

Since St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced a deal to build a stadium in Inglewood, California, the future of football in the Gateway City has been murky at best. 

Dave Peacock and Bob Blitz show off a drawing of a proposed stadium on St. Louis' riverfront.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

When Dave Peacock stepped before a crush of reporters at Union Station last week, his main purpose was to showcase the potential of a new football stadium on St Louis’ riverfront. 

Part of his pitch was economic, which is a typical tactic to gather support for expensive sports facilities. After all, a new stadium could lead to thousands of construction jobs and continued business for surrounding bars and restaurants.

But for Peacock, there were more intangible reasons for the city to pursue the project — something beyond just dollars and cents.

Save Our Sons, Urban League, Mike McMillan
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis has launched a job training and placement program in north St. Louis County called Save Our Sons. The effort is getting serious corporate support — and a dash of Hollywood.

At a news conference Tuesday, Urban League CEO Michael McMillan announced $1.25 million in corporate donations toward the project:

Greendale Mayor Monica Huddleston, center, and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy, right, converse during last Tuesday's St. Louis County Council meeting. Murphy and Huddleston have pushed back against the movement to disincorporate St. Louis County towns --
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Minutes before he took the oath of office, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger waded into the thorny thicket that is municipal consolidation. 

St. Louis County parks department director Gary Bess dealt with an embezzlement scandal during his tenure as St. Louis parks director.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gary Bess isn’t the type of person destined to be sequestered in a corner office. 

Bess spent nearly four decades in the St. Louis parks department – including 18 years as director. He developed a reputation as a personable manager who worked hand-in-hand with employees. (He’s also renowned within local politics for his colorful sport coats.)

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.

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.

This week, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies use the  Politically Speaking podcast have decided to look into their crystal balls to discuss what’s ahead for Missouri politics in 2015.  

It’s a time of transition for both the Missouri General Assembly and St. Louis County government. The legislature comes back into session on Wednesday with some new members, and an even stronger Republican majority, while a new county executive has taken over in the state’s largest county.

On the show, we talked about:

St. Louis County's sales tax distribution system has long been a source of contention. And a Webster University professor says the only way to resolve differences is to come to a compromise among municipalities.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim Brasfield has taken on what may be a thankless task -- examining St. Louis County's famously complicated sales tax distribution system. 

Brasfield is a professor at Webster University and previously served as the mayor of Crestwood. He recently finished a study in late December of the distribution system for the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Steve Stenger holds his baby girl Madeline Jane as wife Allison looks on while taking the oath as the new St. Louis County Executive in Clayton, Missouri. Federal Judge Ronnie White administered the oath to Stenger.
Bill Greenblatt, UPI

With his county still coming to grips with the tumultuous aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, Steve Stenger was officially sworn in Thursday as St. Louis County executive.

Flanked by his wife Allison and holding his daughter Madeline, the Affton Democrat became the eighth county executive in St. Louis County’s history. He said during his two-page inaugural address that business as usual in the county was over.

Breaking new ground is one of the trademarks of the Politically Speaking podcast, and this year was no exception. 

After three years of podcasts, Politically Speaking changed its format and put the spotlight on guests. In all, 48 episodes featured federal, state and local officials from across Missouri and Illinois – as well as a few folks who aren’t in office.

Steve Stenger, left, and Rick Stream
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

(Updated 10 p.m. Tues., Dec. 30)

The St. Louis County Election Board assigned 50 employees this week to conduct a court-ordered recount of the votes cast Nov. 4 in the tight battle for county executive. The election was narrowly won by Democrat Steve Stenger, who defeated Republican Rick Stream.

And when the recount was complete, Stenger still won.

The board fulfilled the aim of the candidates and the court to have the recount completed, and the results public, before Stenger is sworn in at noon Thursday,  New Year’s Day, as county executive.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh and St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies on Dec. 18, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

Aside from the color of his skin, a longtime aide portrays soon-to-depart St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley as a man who fit the traditional mold of the job that he held for over a decade.

“Fundamentally, his legacy is that he was a solid, fundamentally status-quo executive, much in the tradition of his predecessors,’’ said senior advisor Mike Jones, who served for most of Dooley’s 11-year tenure in the county’s top governmental job.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley speaks to reporters after Tuesday's St. Louis County Council meeting. The departing county executive contends that efforts to paint him as "corrupt" had racial overtones.
Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s political adversaries used a subcontract for the county’s police lab as campaign fodder, the Democratic official saw it as more than just a run-of-the-mill attack. 

Dooley said the attacks were part of a racially motivated effort to make him look corrupt – a tactic he said is an effective way to discredit black politicians. He went so far as to call county prosecutor Bob McCulloch a “liar” who played the “race card” and county executive-elect Steve Stenger as a dutiful patsy that perpetuated an untruth.

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