ST. LOUIS — The Board of Freeholders will hold its first meeting on Nov. 12, even if none of the nine City of St. Louis appointments are in place.
St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed released a statement Thursday announcing the official meeting date. He said he will authorize the city's meeting space to be used for the Freeholders meeting, even though there may be no city representatives on the board by that point.
Earlier in the week, Reed said he believes, with St. Louis County appointing their ninth and final member to the board Tuesday night, along with Governor Parson's appointee, there will be enough to reach a quorum for the meeting to go ahead.
Meanwhile, the city of St. Louis appears to be at an impasse when it comes to appointing their own members to the board.
St. Louis still hasn't taken a full vote on the nine nominees. Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed canceled a special session on the Board of Freeholders nominees last Thursday because it still hasn't passed through the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Members of that committee expressed concerns about the people selected by Mayor Krewson.
A spokesperson for Mayor Krewson told 5 On Your Side last week that she wants the board to approve the ones they like, and they will replace the names that aren't approved.
Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed's spokesperson told us last week that the process cannot move forward until the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee passes the measure, which appears unlikely to happen until the Mayor gives a new list of nominees.
A spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson said 5 On Your Side the Board of Aldermen has had more than 30 days to approve the names she put forward. She encourages the Board of Aldermen to vote on her names as soon as possible. “If it’s going to happen in our house, we want to be at the table,” says the spokesperson.
The meeting will be held at 10 a.m.
What is the Board of Freeholders?
The Board of Freeholders has a stoic sounding name but could end up making major decisions that impact your life.
According to the Missouri Constitution, Freeholders would have the ability to propose plans that cover five different areas. They could suggest:
- Merging St. Louis City and County into one Metro City.
- Putting St. Louis City back into St. Louis County.
- Moving the city limits of St. Louis.
- Combining government services.
- Any other plan related to how the city and county operate.
There have only been two successful meetings of a Board of Freeholders.
The first happened in 1876, and gave us what was called "The Great Divorce" — when the city and county split to begin with.
The second successful meeting was in the 1950s, when they created MSD, a consolidated sewer district.
So who's on the Board of Freeholders?
St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page each get to make nine appointments to the board that are then approved by the Board of Aldermen or St. Louis County Council.
Of those nine, only five can be from the same political party.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson gets one appointment, who must live somewhere in Missouri that isn't the city or county.
Once the board is assembled, they have a year to debate and come up with a plan.
That plan would then be voted on by both city and county voters in a special election.