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Board of Freeholders holds first meeting,

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson listens as the Board of Freeholders begins its first meeting without any city members inside the aldermanic chambers at St. Louis City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Board members representing St. Louis County and the state of Missouri held off any substantive discussion. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Mayor Lyda Krewson on Friday night announced she would replace four of her nine appointees to the metropolitan Board of Freeholders after she was informed that they wouldn’t be approved by an aldermanic committee.

Krewson, in a tweet, said she was responding to a late-afternoon letter that said the committee “is unable to confirm” the four. The letter was from committee chairman Sam Moore and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.

It was unclear, however, whether the mayor’s pledge to make four new picks will end her monthlong dispute with the committee over the makeup of the city’s delegation to the new regional board.

The board will study potential changes in the governing structure of St. Louis and St. Louis County; it held its first meeting Tuesday with no city participants.

“I’d like to thank these four individuals for selflessly agreeing to serve,” Krewson tweeted. “I am now in the process of identifying four new individuals to nominate, as required by the Missouri Constitution.”

She added that “this regional conversation about our future is too important for the City to continue not being included.”

On the replacement list are all four of the mayor’s African American nominees — the Rev. Earl Nance, a prominent pastor active in various civic causes over the years; LaShana Lewis, a diversity and technology consultant; Taunia Mason, a St. Louis Science Center manager and the wife of Circuit Judge David Mason; and Abdullah Abdul-Kaba, an official with a development firm and a former Berkeley city manager.

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Roth wasn’t on the latest rejection list submitted Friday by Moore and Reed, who has been trying to mediate the dispute.

The committee had voted Oct. 16 to table all of the mayor’s nominees, with Moore and vice-chairman Sharon Tyus complaining that only one of her black appointees — Abdullah — lived north of Delmar Boulevard where most African American city residents reside.

Committee members haven’t said why they wanted Abdullah off the mayor’s list. Moore, Reed and Tyus could not be reached for comment Friday night. Negotiations have been going on in fits and starts for weeks, with Krewson insisting lately that her full slate be voted on by the full Board of Aldermen.

However, on Friday night, she tweeted that she hoped that the committee and the full board “will act swiftly” on her revised list. The committee is scheduled to meet again Tuesday.

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