Politically Speaking: On Freeholder Struggles, Bell’s Budget And Missouri’s Medical Marijuana
On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll review some of the week’s biggest stories in state and local politics.
One of the big topics on the show is the first meeting of the Board of Freeholders, which can propose consolidating services in St. Louis and St. Louis County — or even combining city and county governments.
While the St. Louis County and gubernatorial members expressed optimism about the work ahead, the board is still incomplete because of a standoff between St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and the Board of Aldermen. Krewson’s nine nominees are stuck in committee, primarily because some black aldermen want more members to be from north St. Louis.
The city has missed a deadline laid out in the Missouri Constitution to approve members for the board. Municipal League of Metro St. Louis Executive Director Pat Kelly said on Thursday that he sent a letter to the board about hiring legal counsel “to determine how they could move forward without the city participation.”
If the board takes up Kelly’s advice, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that its attorney could sue the city and force a vote on freeholder nominees. And according to the constitution, the city and county would have to foot the bill for the legal representation.
Other topics discussed on the show:
- St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s request for a funding boost
- Driscoll’s comparison of Illinois and Missouri’s medical marijuana programs
- The controversy over an editorial in Northwestern University’s student newspaper — and how the Ferguson protests showcased tensions between activist groups and the media.
The podcast is sponsored by the St. Louis-based law firm of Capes Sokol.
Follow Julie O’Donoghue on Twitter: @jsodonoghue
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Follow Jaclyn Driscoll on Twitter: @DriscollNPR
Music: “You’re a Wolf” by Sea Wolf