ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County has a new Interim County Executive, Dr. Sam Page.
The decision was made at an emergency St. Louis County Council meeting Monday night. Page — a Democrat who served as the chairman of the St. Louis County Council since 2017 — will take over for former St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who was indicted for an alleged pay-for-play scheme by a grand jury last week and resigned Monday. He will serve in the position until the 2020 election.
Page’s appointment didn’t come without controversy.
Councilwoman Hazel Erby took issue with the fact the council didn’t allow citizens to speak at the emergency meeting.
“Our county citizens should be able to weigh in on that. I don’t think they should be able to move forward without their input,” Erby said during the meeting.
The votes were nearly unanimous. Everyone except Erby supported Page to serve the rest of Steve Stenger’s term. That didn’t sit well with Erby supporters.
“They won’t even give us the opportunity to speak to them about who’s going to be our county executive,” said Paul Berry.
Erby admitted to 5 On Your Side she wanted to win and become Interim County Executive.
“I did, because my community asked me to step up and I wanted to do that and have the ability to do it. I’ve fought this battle for 15 years now,” says Erby. “But traditionally, it has gone to the senior member of the same party. So why now do we break from tradition? Ask yourself about that.”
She also gave a cryptic warning to reporters that corruption may still be afloat in St. Louis County.
“I just ask you all to stay woke and pay attention. You’ll see,” she said.
Page is a Creve Coeur resident that has been in local government for 20 years.
In 1999, third ward voters in Creve Coeur elected him to the city council. He was releected two years later by a nearly 2-1 margin.
In 2002, he ran as a Democrat for the state representative in Missouri's 82nd district. Voters in that district sent him to Jefferson City, and he defended that state in 2004 and 2006.
In 2008, Page won the Democratic primary for Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor race but lost to Republican Peter Kinder in the general election.
He did not hold an elected position for the next six years.
In 2010, Page lost the Democratic primary for the 24th District State Senate seat.
Four years later, voters elected Page to a county council seat in a special election after the death of longtime Councilman Kathleen Kelly Burkett. He was reelected to the council in 2016.
His seat is up for reelection next November. In the meantime, the seat will be filled by a special election.
Page has a chemistry undergraduate degree and Doctor of Medicine degree from University of Missouri Kansas City and is an attending physician at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, according to his bio on the St. Louis County website.