ST. LOUIS – A longtime St. Louis alderwoman has not shown up to any of her assigned committee meetings since June, and she refused to discuss it by pushing the microphone away.
Alderwoman Sharon Tyus has missed at least 11 different committee meetings, according to video copies of the meetings posted on the city’s YouTube channel.
Tyus represents the city’s 12th Ward, including Annie Morris, who has lived in the Mark Twain neighborhood since 1968.
“I’ve watched this neighborhood go from beautiful to probably be nothing,” Morris said.
Morris said she’s never met Tyus but believes it’s important for north St. Louis to be represented at City Hall.
“I don’t know her. I know Kingshighway used to be a very beautiful block and all these streets did, too,” Morris said.
According to the city’s website, Tyus is a member of the Health and Human Development Committee but has recently been kicked off the Transportation and Commerce Committee.
Alderman Shane Cohn, who represents Ward 3, is also the Chairman of the Transportation and Commerce Committee.
“Alderwoman Tyus was removed from the committee, so she should not be part of role,” Cohn said during the meeting on Sept. 26.
Board of Aldermen President Megan Green said each alderman has rules that govern the board.
“One of those rules says if you miss more than three meetings unexcused without telling the chair that you’re meeting, you will be removed from that committee,” Green said.
Green said the vast majority of aldermen show up to their meetings.
Committees are a critical part of the city’s government. It’s where ideas are hashed out, bills are discussed and ultimately approved before going to the full Board of Aldermen for a vote.
Green said her office asked each alderman if they had a preference for which committee they wanted to serve on.
“Unfortunately, Alderwoman Tyus never responded to our numerous requests to ask what her committee preferences were, so we put her where we thought she might be interested in serving,” Green said.
Green said constituents elect aldermen to show up and hopes all members of the board show up at all times.
The FOX Files found instances where Tyus’ absence had a ripple effect and even held up bills from being approved or sent to the next legislative process.
On Aug. 17, 2023, there were only two members present for the Health and Human Development Committee.
“We have not established a quorum,” the clerk announced.
Alderwoman Pamela Boyd, who represents Ward 13 and is the Chairwoman of the Health and Human Development Committee, searched for someone to participate so proposed items could be voted on and sent to the full board.
“Can you contact the (aldermanic) president to see if she can get on, so we can get this vote out for this grant?” Boyd asked the clerk.
Ward 7 Alderwoman Alisha Sonnier later joined the meeting to cast the third vote needed to send it out of committee.
Tyus, along with the other aldermen, voted in January to give themselves a big pay bump from $37,400 to $72,000 per year.
The 12th Ward alderwoman was first elected to the Board of Aldermen back in the 90s and has a good track record of attending the full Board of Aldermen meetings, usually held every Friday.
The FOX Files requested an interview with her as she was leaving. She said no, then grabbed the microphone and pushed it away.
Tyus said she was not removed from Transportation and Commerce because she never agreed to being on the committee.
Alderwoman Tyus: “The answer is ‘no’ and I always interview with you guys. So, we can have a good relationship, but that is a made-up issue. Ask him, did I say I was never on there? I never said I was going to be on the committee. I never attended not one thing, so I could not be removed because I was not on it.”
Mitch McCoy: “Ok.”
Alderwoman Tyus: “Do you hear me?”
Mitch McCoy: “So, are you going to be going to the next committee meeting?”
Alderwoman Tyus: “I’m not on it.”
Tyus is still a member of the Health and Human Development Committee, according to the city’s website.
The committee is scheduled to discuss two grants totaling approximately $725,000 on Thursday before going to the full Board of Aldermen for a vote. Tyus said she is not on the committee, so it’s unclear if she will be present.
Tyus has strongly supported north St. Louis over the years and is known for demanding more resources in her ward.
“It’s a great day because I’ve been re-elected so many times, I almost don’t know how many,” Tyus said during April 18’s Board of Aldermen meeting. “My fight has always been about my community. People try to marginalize north St. Louis.”
The 12th Ward Alderwoman may be a no-show at her committee meetings, but when she’s present, she’s certainly present.
“I love a good fight. The more you come after me, the better I get,” Tyus said on April 18.