Aldermen work on approving freeholders as timetable is debated

CITY HALL – Depending on how you read the state Constitution, time may be running out on Mayor Lyda Krewson’s nominees for a board to discuss a possible merger of the city and county.

Aldermen officially received Krewson’s nominees for a Board of Freeholders for St. Louis and St. Louis County at their meeting Friday. Aldermen referred the list of nine St. Louisans to their Intergovernmental Affairs Committee for review and then will bring it back for a vote.

According to one interpretation, Friday’s regular meeting may be too late. According to the state Constitution, the Board of Aldermen must approve the mayor’s nominations within 10 days of the date that petitions for a freeholder’s board are certified. Stephen Conway, chief of staff for Krewson, said a special board meeting might be held.

The Board of Election Commissioners certified the petitions on Sept. 23, meaning the deadline for finishing the work is Thursday, or the day before Friday’s regular Board of Aldermen meeting.

However, Pat Kelly, executive director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, said the state Constitution indicated that the appointments must be completed within 30 days of certification. Kelly backed that interpretation. 

The Municipal League submitted petitions for both the the city and the county on Sept. 23. Kelly said he understood St. Louis County Executive Sam Page would submit his nine names at Tuesday’s County Council meeting. One more person, whom Gov. Mike Parson will nominate, is to come from another of Missouri’s counties. 

The first meeting is to be at 10 a.m. on the second Monday after appointments are finished, Kelly said. That probably would be Nov. 11, Kelly said.

Fourth Ward Alderman Samuel Moore, who chairs the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, said he’d scheduled another meeting for 10 a.m. Oct. 7. But he didn’t know yet about a possible special board meeting, he said. 

At Friday’s Board of Aldermen meeting, aldermen debated whether the matter should go to the Ways and Means Committee led by 10th Ward Alderman Joseph Vollmer or the Engrossment, Rules, Resolutions and Credentials Committee headed by First Ward Alderwoman Sharon Tyus. 

Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed settled it by saying the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, headed by Fourth Ward Alderman Samuel L. Moore, should do it.

Here is information about Krewson’s nominees:

  • Joseph F. Hodes, member, Republican State Committee, Chair, St. Louis City Republican Central Committee, 16th Ward Central Committeeman. He replaces another nominee of Krewson, James Mathis, a lawyer and partner of Husch Blackwell, who stepped aside because of a potential conflict of interest. 
  • Abdul-Kaba Abdullah, Independent, executive director, Park Central Development, 4512 Manchester Ave.
  • Bridgett McDermott Flood, Democrat, executive director, Incarnate Word Foundation.
  • LaShana M. Lewis, Democrat, chief executive officer, L.M. Lewis Consulting.
  • Taunia Allen Manson, 28th Ward Republican Committeewoman, secretary for the St. Louis Republican State Central Committee and Missouri State Committeewoman for Senate District 4, manager of community science media, St. Louis Science Center.
  • Earl E. Nance Jr., Democrat, pastor, Greater Mount Carmel M.B. Church. 
  • Edward M. (Eddie) Roth, Independent, lawyer.
  • Jerry Schlichter, Democrat, lawyer, founding partner, Schlicter, Bogard and Denton.
  • Daniel Zdrodowski, Republican, lawyer, Hais, Hais & Goldberger.
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