Kelli Dunaway | St. Louis Public Radio

Kelli Dunaway

Picture of Dorsett Road sign. June 12, 2020. 06/12/20
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated June 17 with new statement from St. Louis County

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said Tuesday night that he wants to rename county streets and attractions that contradict the county's values. He also asked county officials research statues on county property. 

Earlier on Tuesday, a crew removed a statue of Christopher Columbus from Tower Grove Park in St. Louis.

Original story from June 14:

Northwest St. Louis County residents are petitioning officials to rename a Maryland Heights thoroughfare named after a 19th-century slave trader and anti-abolitionist.

The petition to change the name of Dorsett Road, which spans nearly four miles through the St. Louis County suburb, is among calls nationwide to remove historical artifacts honoring prominent slave holders and colonialists.

Col. Mary Barton, pictured May 1, 2020.
File photo I David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:45 p.m. June 11 with additional statement from Barton

St. Louis County Police Chief Mary Barton is further clarifying remarks she made about racism in the police department.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway
David Kovaluk I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about how the county is spending federal coronavirus money.

She also addressed how county police should respond to protests over George Floyd’s death.

Dunaway is a Chesterfield Democrat who represents the council’s 2nd District. That takes in cities like Creve Coeur, St. Ann, Maryland Heights and Chesterfield. She was elected to her post in 2019, filling out the rest of Sam Page’s term on the council after he became county executive.

Medical workers collect a sample from a patient at Mercy Health's drive-through novel coronavirus test collection site in Chesterfield on Monday afternoon, March 16, 2020.
File photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

After weeks of often acrimonious debate, the St. Louis County Council voted along party lines Tuesday to give St. Louis County Executive Sam Page power over directing nearly $175 million worth of federal coronavirus funds.

It’s a move Democratic members of the council said they feel is necessary to act quickly to combat the deadly virus. But the council’s three Republicans, and some of Page’s opponents in the Democratic county executive primary, believe it creates an imbalance of power.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page speaks with reporters on Feb. 11, 2020, about a settlement for Lt. Keith Wildhaber.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council will consider a bonding plan to pay, at least temporarily, for a discrimination settlement with a St. Louis County police officer.

It’s a move that’s likely to pass, even as St. Louis County Executive Sam Page’s administration will seek to recoup the funds from insurance plans.

St. Louis County Police Department Chief John Belmar gives update on case involving to shot police officers
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and several county council members want an immediate change in police administration following a nearly $20 million verdict against the county in a discrimination lawsuit by a gay officer.

And one council member called on Police Chief Jon Belmar to resign.

Page released a statement Sunday that called for the appointment of new members to the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners. The commission is a civilian oversight board that reviews police department policies and appoints the St. Louis County police chief.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page's nominees to the Board of Freeholders await a committee hearing on Oct. 15, 2019, in Clayton.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council on Tuesday grilled most of County Executive Sam Page’s nominees to the Board of Freeholders, a 19-person body that could rearrange the governance of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

One particular point of contention was that only one of Page’s selections lives in unincorporated St. Louis County. Other council members wanted to know the potential board members’ views on whether St. Louis should become a municipality within St. Louis County.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway
JULIA O'DONOGHUE | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Councilwoman Kelli Dunaway is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Chesterfield Democrat talked to St. Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue about her childhood in rural Illinois and her first month in office. 

Members of the St. Louis County Council meet on Sept. 3, 2019.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council wants a 1,000-foot buffer zone in unincorporated areas between medical marijuana facilities and schools, houses of worship and day cares.

It’s a move that split the county council on Tuesday, with some members saying the buffer zone made sense — and others contending it’s too onerous.

Democrats Rita Heard Days (left) and Kelli Dunaway won seats on the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday. They will represent the 1st and 2nd Districts, respectively. Aug. 6, 2019
Ryan Delaney, Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 10:50 p.m., Aug. 6 with comment from Rita Days and Kelli Dunaway —
Two Democrats captured vacant St. Louis County Council seats Tuesday, giving their party control of the governing body that was shaken up by Steve Stenger’s resignation as county executive.

Former state Sen. Rita Heard Days easily won the race in the heavily Democratic 1st District, which takes in parts of central and northern St. Louis County — including Ferguson and University City. Days beat Republican Sarah Davoli with 84% of the vote. 

In the 2nd District, which includes municipalities like Maryland Heights, Hazelwood, St. Ann, Chesterfield and Creve Coeur, Democrat Kelli Dunaway bested Republican Amy Poelker with nearly 60% of the vote.

Democrat Kelli Dunaway and Republican Amy Poelker are squaring off in next Tuesday's election for the 2nd County Council District.
Provided photos

Special elections Tuesday in two St. Louis County Council districts will be critical in steering key legislative priorities through the 2020 election cycle.

While former state Sen. Rita Days is widely expected to capture the 1st District seat, neither party is taking any chances in the race for the 2nd District. Democrat Kelli Dunaway and Republican Amy Poelker are making a hard push for the north St. Louis County district that will determine which party controls the council. Republicans now hold a 3-2 advantage.

Members of the St. Louis County Democratic Central Committee met on June 8, 2019, in Bridgeton to choose the party's 2nd District nominee.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

There typically aren’t many high-profile or high-stakes elections for St. Louis County government in odd-number years.

But with two resignations for the St. Louis County Council, 2019 is proving to be an exception.

Voters will have a chance on Aug. 6 to shape the legislative body that’s proven vital for a county executive’s success. It will also be an opportunity for Democrats to retake control of the council in a county that’s become less favorable to Republican candidates in recent years.