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Reed raises ‘red flag’ on City Hall deadlock on freeholders

Reed raises ‘red flag’ on City Hall deadlock on freeholders

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Board of Aldermen punt on soccer legislation

Members of the general public watch the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday, April 15, 2019, from the overhead gallery in the City Hall chamber. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Aldermanic President Lewis Reed pledged Friday to do “everything in my power” to try to get city appointees to the regional Board of Freeholders approved by the Board of Aldermen at its next weekly meeting.

“I’m raising the red flag and telling everybody by (next) Friday, this thing absolutely must be done,” Reed told reporters. “It’s way overdue.”

Since Oct. 16, Mayor Lyda Krewson’s appointees to the freeholders panel have been stuck in an aldermanic committee.

The delay has spurred some St. Louis County freeholder appointees to consider seeking legal advice on what should be the path forward. The board, whose creation was triggered by a petition drive, is supposed to consider potential changes in the city and county’s governmental structure.

Reed, who was interviewed after Friday’s aldermanic session, wouldn’t comment on what action he might take if a compromise isn’t reached over the next week.

The mayor already has made four changes in her nine-person slate requested by the committee chairman, Sam Moore. Moore wasn’t at Friday’s aldermanic meeting and could not be reached for comment.

Workhouse, New Life

Also Friday:

• Alderman Dan Guenther, D-9th Ward, and seven co-sponsors introduced a resolution that would urge the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the city’s top fiscal body, to include in the upcoming city budget a plan to close the controversial city workhouse.

• Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward, introduced a resolution that would call on the city administration “to work in good faith” to allow New Life Evangelistic Center downtown to reopen as a daytime homeless shelter. Vaccaro said he decided against filing a bill on the issue because it couldn’t legally force the reopening.

• Reed told reporters that he supported leaving intact the city’s preliminary application to federal authorities to allow the potential privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport even though the city no longer is considering the idea. He said that “would leave the action open for the city in future years” if officials want to reconsider the issue.

• The board gave preliminary approval to a bill barring city agencies from asking job applicants for their salary history and relying on that data to make hiring and pay decisions. The sponsor, Alderman Christine Ingrassia, D-6th Ward, said the measure is aimed at reducing pay inequities for women, especially women of color.

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