ST. LOUIS — Declaring victory Tuesday night, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones joined Board of Aldermen President-Elect Megan Green on stage, a show of solidarity that they say could lead to more efficiency in city government.
"We have been in this place where we haven't been able to get things done because they are so adversarial," Green told 5 On Your Side from the front yard of her Tower Grove South home about twelve hours after accepting the new role.
Her first priorities are crime prevention, creating safer streets, and getting that nearly half-billion in federal ARPA money out of the door and spent appropriately.
But detractors could argue this shift ends checks and balances, important with so much money, $498 million, at stake.
"The mayor and I do not agree on everything. We are never going to agree on everything, but we know how to work together in ways that are productive for the rest of the citizens in our city, and I can't wait to get to work with her," Green said.
5 On Your Side Political Analyst Anita Manion said this does create a green light for progressive policies at the city level, though pointing out that Green's opponent Jack Coatar, while more centrist, was also a Democrat.
"Where [former St. Louis Board of Alderman President] Louis Reed often opposed Tishaura Jones, this will give her more of a green light to move forward with her policies, particularly at a time when St. Louis city has a lot of money that they are trying to figure out how to allocate and what their priorities are," Manion said.
Green acknowledged there will be scrutiny over city leadership and finances, especially after a federal corruption case took out her predecessor Reed.
"We have to be doing the work every day to build trust in the board of alderman from residents in the city of St. Louis, and I don't think that's going to happen overnight," Green said. "I think it's gonna happen by putting our words into action."
Green will have to run again in the spring for a full term, an election that will also cut the number of Board wards in half.
Green said the BOA is not set up for that reduction yet, so overseeing the preparation will be one of her biggest tasks and she will work closely with her election opponent Coatar on that.