ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – Republicans competing for the GOP nomination for St. Louis County Executive both make the case that county government needs an over haul. Neither candidate has county-wide campaign experience, but both men have served in elective office and describe themselves as hard workers who want to make a difference.
South County resident Tony Pousosa, the son of a Cuban refugee, brings experience as an alderman in the small town of Green Park and a member of the community’s planning and zoning commission to the race. The 43-year old is a surgical nurse at Barnes Hospital. He’s been running since last fall.
Missouri State Representative Rick Stream is completing his second term in the House of Representatives where he has managed the budget committee. He spent 30 years in budget and project management for the U.S. Department of Defense based in St. Louis. He also served on the Kirkwood School Board for 12 years.
Stream was urged to run by GOP leaders. He says he wants to bring quality people to county government and “restore the pride and professionalism in county leadership.” He says one of his first actions would be to conduct a performance review of every county department. Another priority is to create “a climate where private sector companies want to re-locate to St. Louis “and current firms want to expand their operations. “We know higher taxes and rules and regulations have impeded the growth of business here in this county so we need to address that, reverse that trend,” he said.
Pousosa is calling for the Missouri State Auditor to audit county government. He says advice from the state auditor will help the county. “Moving forward we would be better able to utilize the county auditing office and make it work for taxpayers,” he said.
He also promises to hold town hall meetings to find out what is important to areas of the county. “Let the people be the compass is my campaign slogan and it means let the people provide direction.”
Pousosa criticizes Stream for voting to place Amendment 7 on the ballot. The initiative would raise the Missouri state sales tax by three quarters of a cent to fund ten years worth of transportation projects.
Stream said he voted to place it on the ballot so voters could decide if that was the route they wanted to take to fix the state’s roads and bridges.
Both men oppose St. Louis City reentering the county as a municipality. But Pousosa is making that a major point of his campaign. He says voters he meets are most worried about that and how it would impact their local budgets and their voice in government. He also criticized Stream for receiving a $100,000 campaign contribution from wealthy contributor Rex Sinquefield suggesting Stream will give up his independence because of the sizable contribution.
Stream said he will listen to anyone and won’t give special preference. Stream added, “I have not met Mr. Sinquefield.” “If somebody down the street wants to talk to me about an issue, they can come talk to me.”