ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — On his first full day as St. Louis County Executive, Sam Page said he was ready to “get the county back on track”.
He hired three top positions in his administration including the Chief of Staff, Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer.
Several key players in Steve Stenger’s administration resigned Tuesday. 5 On Your Side was there as some employees left the County Government Building with their personal belongings.
“There have been some resignations and there may be more,” Page said.
Page said he will enact policies that would prevent pay-to-play schemes in the future. His administration will also review questionable contracts listed in the indictment.
Page also said one of his priorities is economic development. He said changes are needed within the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, an organization that was also under federal investigation.
“One of my first actions will be to replace the board of the Economic Development Partnership and request they more forward in search of new leadership to rebuild that organization,” Page said. “It is a critical component of job creation in St. Louis County.”
Page also addressed the proposed city-county merger. He said he wanted to meet with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and other regional leaders before taking a stance on the Better Together plan.
“As a general rule, I would not support a process that would make changes to county government that would not be decided exclusively by city and county voters,” Page said.
Page also said he is looking forward to establishing a different relationship with the county council, one where they can work together and not engage in political fighting.
“We are taking a new direction in transparency, accountability and professionalism,” Page said.
There will be a special election to fill Page’s vacancy on the council. The county council must pass an ordinance to set a date for a special election.
Page said he is in the process of taking a leave of absence from his career as an anesthesiologist to focus full-time on his new role.