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Monday, April 29, 2019

Sam Page Is the New St. Louis County Executive, Replacing Steve Stenger

Posted By on Mon, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:03 PM

click to enlarge Sam Page, an anesthesiologist, will apparently give up his practice to serve as county executive. - LEXIE MILLER
  • Sam Page, an anesthesiologist, will apparently give up his practice to serve as county executive.
The St. Louis County Council chose one of its own tonight to replace indicted County Executive Steve Stenger.

In a rapid-fire meeting scheduled just hours after Stenger's indictment for bribery and mail fraud was unveiled, members voted 5-1 to make Council President Sam Page their new leader. Page, who represents an area including Bridgeton, Hazelwood and Creve Coeur, will serve as county executive until an election is held in November 2020 for the final two years on Stenger's term.

And yes, that's the same ballot on which Better Together aims to persuade voters across the state to unify St. Louis city and county into a new "metro city" of 1.3 million. If statewide voters approve Better Together's petition, whoever is elected in St. Louis County would serve as a transition co-mayor along with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson.

Some residents cried foul over the council's swift action. As the RFT reported earlier today, the county codes had outlined a process by which a new county executive would be chosen in event of a vacancy — but the council unceremoniously repealed that verbiage in February. Because the council offered no replacement language, the code was ultimately silent on the replacement process.

With Page at the helm, the council opted for speed — skipping the usual 24-hour meeting notice in favor of getting a new executive chosen. And while Councilwoman Hazel Erby, who herself had hoped to claim the seat, urged delay, the council acted without soliciting any feedback from the public.

Paul Berry III, who ran against Stenger last November, wasn't having it. "See you in court," he yelled as Page was voted in.

The county council will meet again tomorrow, Tuesday. At that meeting, it will take public comment.

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