Board President Lewis Reed | St. Louis Public Radio

Board President Lewis Reed

President of the Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed and current members of the Board of Freeholders listen as former Alderman Terry Kennedy welcomes the group.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After the Board of Freeholders formed in September 2019, some supporters of the process were bullish that the 19-member panel could recommend significant changes to city and county government.

There’s just one big problem: The board hasn’t been able to do anything, thanks to a prolonged deadlock to approve the St. Louis appointees. It’s an outcome that’s left city policymakers frustrated — and vulnerable to costly consequences. 

(Oct. 01, 2019) St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed joined Tuesday's talk show to share his thoughts on airport privatization.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Among the local politicians with huge sway over the potential privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport is St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. He’s one of three members on the city’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which signs off on all city contracts. He also holds one of four votes on the St. Louis Airport Advisory Working Group.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske sat down with Reed, who could ultimately prove the swing vote that determines whether an airport lease is approved, to get his thoughts on the city’s exploration of a controversial experiment in privatization.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Estimate and Apportionment quickly passed a measure to refinance bonds for the city’s airport on Tuesday.

The 15-minute meeting stood in stark contrast to a long, heated meeting two weeks ago.

At that meeting Mayor Lyda Krewson and Lewis Reed, the president of the Board of Aldermen, grilled Comptroller Darlene Green about a bill aimed to refinance $93 million in bonds for St. Louis Lambert International Airport at a lower interest rate from when they were first issued in 2009.