You are the owner of this article.
‘Train wreck’: St. Louis aldermen still can’t agree on freeholders

‘Train wreck’: St. Louis aldermen still can’t agree on freeholders

Support local journalism for 99¢
Board of Freeholders holds first meeting,

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, left, sits to the side as the Board of Freeholders begins its first meeting without any residents of the city on the board inside the aldermanic chambers at St. Louis City Hall on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. Photo by David Carson,

Updated at 10 a.m. Friday

ST. LOUIS — An aldermanic committee met again early Friday to consider Mayor Lyda Krewson’s nominees to the Board of Freeholders, but took no action.

Members of the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee appear to remain divided over whether they should continue to push for the further changes. 

Krewson, in response to a request by aldermen, named four replacements on Tuesday; on Thursday, several aldermen pressed for further changes. 

The panel on Friday did interview three of the four new nominees, but took no votes. 

The committee, chaired by Alderman Sam Moore, tabled Krewson’s original nine-member slate on Oct. 16; five committee votes are needed to reverse that vote before changes can be made. 

Krewson’s original slate was opposed by some aldermen because only one of the nine resided in north St. Louis, they said. 

Our earlier story, posted at 6 p.m. Thursday.

ST. LOUIS — Discord on an aldermanic committee is continuing over the city’s delegation to the regional Board of Freeholders despite Mayor Lyda Krewson’s replacement of four of her nine nominees with people sought by committee chairman Sam Moore.

The Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, in a brief meeting on Thursday, voted 3-2, with two members absent, to reject Moore’s motion to reverse its Oct. 16 vote to table Krewson’s original slate. That presumably would have been followed by a vote on the substitute slate.

Earlier Thursday, Moore, the committee chairman, tried unsuccessfully to get Krewson to make two more changes on the mayor’s slate. One would replace former City Hall staffer Eddie Roth with Gilberto Pinela, communications manager for the Cortex tech district.

The committee will meet again Friday morning before the full Board of Aldermen’s weekly meeting.

“I don’t know if this train wreck can be repaired by tomorrow,” Moore said before agreeing to other members’ request for the Friday session.

Krewson’s chief of staff, Steve Conway, said afterward that “the onus is on the aldermen to take action,” especially since the mayor on Tuesday “went a long distance in an effort to compromise” by agreeing to four substitutions requested by Moore and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed. Reed had been trying to broker an agreement between the mayor and the panel.

Conway said the committee should let all nine members of the latest mayoral slate be voted on individually by the full board.

Moore and Reed had told Krewson last week that the committee was unable to approve the four nominees she replaced.

But two committee members at a meeting Tuesday objected to the behind-the-scenes maneuvering. They also were upset that the removal of LaShana Lewis, a technology and diversity consultant on Krewson’s original slate, left no one from the LGBTQ community on the 19-member freeholders board.

On Thursday, Moore sent a letter to the mayor seeking the additional changes, saying he represented the committee. The letter said the committee wanted Pinela, who is gay, on the board to represent LGBTQ residents. “Mr. Pinela is also Hispanic, thus furthering the diversity of the appointees,” Moore said in the letter.

Moore said the panel also wanted Krewson to yank former Alderman Antonio French, who the mayor had just added on Tuesday at Moore and Reed’s request, and substitute Barbara Martin, a retired educator. French and Martin are both African Americans from north St. Louis.

Moore later told reporters he wanted French, the publisher of the NorthSider and SouthSider newspapers, to stay on the slate. But he said some other members regarded putting someone from the news media on the board as a conflict of interest.

Alderman Sharon Tyus, 1st Ward, said she and other members were upset with Moore because at the beginning of the meeting he said he wanted a vote on replacing Roth, but not on replacing French.

The freeholders board, which already has nine appointees of St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and one from Gov. Mike Parson, is to consider changes in the governmental structure of the city and county.

Political Fix e-newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Blues News

Breaking News

Cardinals News

Daily 6

National Breaking News