Sharon Tyus | St. Louis Public Radio

Sharon Tyus

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. 

St. Louis City Hall
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 31 with adoption by the full Board of Aldermen

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has taken a stand against state action to change the city’s residency requirement for police officers.

“This is not a resolution concerning whether you are for or against the residency of the police,” said Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, D-1st Ward, the resolution’s lead sponsor. “This is a resolution opposing the state making that decision.”

Former Alderman Antonio French converses with Board of Aldermen Clerk Terry Kennedy on Nov. 21, 2019.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 1:45 p.m. Friday with additional delay

The city of St. Louis still does not have members of the Board of Freeholders.

The Intergovernmental Affairs committee failed again Friday to take any action on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s nominees to the board, which could consider changing governance in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Members of the Board of Freeholders listen to concerns from St. Louis aldermen during the board's first meeting earlier this year.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of a board that could recommend big changes to St. Louis and St. Louis County government met for the first time Tuesday, expressing optimism that they can present a plan that city and county residents will accept.

With city members of the Board of Freeholders still unseated, the board spent most of Tuesday’s meeting getting to know each other — and hearing from members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

The Board of Aldermen chambers on July 7, 2017.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In a change that lawmakers acknowledged was a long time coming, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has voted to ban lobbyists from the floor of the chamber.

The ban was part of the board’s operating rules adopted Friday by a 22-2 vote, with one alderman voting present.

St. Louis Alderman Jack Coatar, D-7th Ward, speaks during debate on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, over legislation to pay for convention center renovations.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5 p.m. Dec. 14 with final passage — The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has authorized borrowing $105 million to upgrade America's Center in downtown.

The result of Friday's vote was not a surprise, as aldermen had given initial approval to the bonds on Dec. 7 by a wide margin. The upgrades, including a larger ballroom and expanded loading dock space, are meant to help the city's convention business rebound.

Developer Paul McKee owns much of the land in this picture, looking north from the intersection of Cass and Jefferson avenues. After nearly 10 years, the city of St. Louis wants to cut ties with McKee and his NorthSide Regeneration initiative.
File Photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

In 2009, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved developer Paul McKee’s $8-billion plan to transform nearly two square miles of north St. Louis. In exchange for $390 million in tax incentives, McKee promised new housing, parks, schools, churches and major employment centers.

Nearly a decade later, with very little work completed, the city tried to cut ties with McKee. But a 2016 agreement, struck with very little public input, could complicate that effort, and has already led to litigation.

St. Louis Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, D-1st Ward, joins a wide-ranging coalition of groups on Oct. 24, 2107 to oppose Proposition P, a half-cent sales tax increase that will primarily fund higher pay for St. Louis police officers.
Chelsea Hoye | St. Louis Public Radio

A wide-ranging coalition is urging St. Louis residents to vote "no" on a proposed half-cent sales tax increase intended primarily for police officer and firefighter salaries.

If the measure passes in November, Proposition P would push the sales tax in some areas of St. Louis to nearly 12 percent. Opponents say it’s not fair to force already-struggling parts of the city to pay for policing that doesn’t benefit them.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards talks to reporters on Friday after being appointed as the city's public safety director.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson selected a nationally-renowned judge to head the city’s public safety agency, which oversees the police and fire departments.

Judge Jimmie Edwards’ appointment drew widespread praise, including from elected officials who have been supportive of the protests over former police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

St. Louis Alderwoman Sharon Tyus answers questions from fellow public safety committee members on Oct. 10, 2017.

A St. Louis Board of Aldermen committee has taken the first step to hear testimony from interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole.

Members of the board’s public safety committee on Tuesday approved a resolution sponsored by Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, D-1st Ward. Tyus wants to question O’Toole about police department practices in response to protesters. The move comes after protests over former St. Louis Police officer Jason Stockley’s acquittal of first-degree murder in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith.

Participants in FIRST Robotics tinker with their machine last week at America's Center. The robotics competition is moving to Detroit next year.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Now that the pomp and circumstance of Inauguration Day is wearing off in St. Louis, elected officials must confront a sizable challenge: upgrading the convention center.


The head of St. Louis’ Convention & Visitors Commission recommends roughly $350 million of upgrades for both the convention center and the dome that housed the St. Louis Rams. Already, conventions aren’t looking at St. Louis as a destination, CVC President Kitty Ratcliffe said, and without renovations, the dome may have to close entirely.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis often uses tax incentives as a means of spurring development. But one alderman wants to change how the tax breaks are given out and assessed.  

Alderman Joe Roddy, D-17th Ward, told members of the Board of Aldermen’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee on Wednesday that he was forming a group to examine how tax increment financing and tax abatement is done in the city of St. Louis.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

St. Louis’ streets director faced a harsh reception from aldermen for how the city responded to a January snowstorm.

During an appearance before the aldermanic  committee,  Streets Director Todd Waelterman faced a torrent of criticism for how the city responded to the January snowstorm.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, April 16, 2013 - After being sworn in for a historic fourth term, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay pledged to pursue his work with “hope – and with a sense of great urgency.”

Both Slay and St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green were sworn in on Tuesday for four-year terms. Slay made history earlier this month when he won the general election to a fourth four-year term. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 7, 2013 - Sharon Tyus didn’t know until Wednesday morning whether she would be going back to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. That’s because Tyus went to sleep before she knew the results in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, which she described as one of her “little quirks” she’s picked up during her political career.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 5, 2013 - When the Board of Aldermen reconvenes later this year, the people who comprise the 28-member body will look awfully familiar.

That’s because St. Louis residents in 13 out of 15 wards voted to give incumbent city lawmakers another four years in office. That outcome wasn’t completely unexpected: Only seven wards had contested Democratic primaries, which in most cases are the decisive electoral contests. While several wards feature Republican or Green Party candidates, winning the Democratic primary in most instances is tantamount to election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 28, 2013 - St. Louis’ battle for mayor isn’t the only key contest on the March 5 Democratic primary ballot. City voters in 14 odd-numbered wards -- and in the 6th Ward -- will also choose their aldermen for the next four years.

Because St. Louis is overwhelmingly Democratic, many of those wards have no candidates from any other party. So the March 5 victors will have a strong edge -- or, in many cases, a lock -- in the April 2 general election.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 21, 2011 - Ten years after the last redistricting battle put St. Louis reluctantly in the national spotlight, this year's redrawing of boundary lines for St. Louis' 28 wards already is known best for what it is not. St. Louis Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed predicted that the full board will first vote on a proposed map on June 30, and he expects little fanfare. An aldermanic panel unanimously approved a proposed map last Friday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 14, 2009 - State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed said today that her surprise withdrawal from last weekend's Democratic state Senate contest reflected her practical knowledge -- "I didn't have the numbers'' -- and her desire to "take the high road."

But Nasheed added that her absence from Saturday's proceedings  also signaled her lingering anger over a selection process that she believed was flawed.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 4, 2009 - The political showdown to select a city Democratic replacement to former state Sen. Jeff Smith is set for 2 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Carpenters Hall on south Hampton.

The action will center on the 36 Democratic committeemen and committeewomen from the 18 city wards who are charged with choosing a 4th District state Senate nominee for the Nov. 3 special election, where voters will pick a successor to Smith, who resigned last week when he pleaded guilty to felony charges.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon Sept. 3, 2009 - The internal Democratic fights are intensifying in the city of St. Louis, where more than half of the party leaders are directly involved in the selection of a nominee to replace former state Sen. Jeff Smith.

St. Louis Alderman Charles Quincy Troupe, D-1st Ward, is questioning the legitimacy of the new 1st Ward committeewoman, former Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, at the moment one of those involved in choosing Smith's successor.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 24, 2009 - Competition is vigorous between some candidates competing in the March 3 primary elections in St. Louis' odd-numbered aldermanic wards. In three races, candidates find themselves responding to allegations of wrongdoing either by opponents or the media.