ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – In his first State of the County Address, St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page touted the county’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, addressed plans for money from the NFL-Rams settlement, and heralded the efforts of government employees.

While COVID-19 is still present in the county, Page expressed confidence the worst of the pandemic has passed. He said saving living was the priority of his administration, and that the county has the highest COVID vaccination rate in the state. Dr. Page said the pandemic disproportionally affected minority communities, so resources were directed there to curb the spread of the virus.

Page saluted county employees for being the backbone of government, as it is their effort that is responsible for day-to-day operation and delivery of services. He highlighted the road crews with the county’s transportation division, which filled 15,000 potholes and laid down 16,000 tons of salt during the winter.

According to the county executive, Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield had its biggest year since 2007. And later this year, St. Louis Airport will offer nonstop flights to Europe for the first time in 20 years.

Page said the goal of his administration is make the county safe and inclusive.

“At our core, we all want to feel safe and part of a community that provides opportunities to succeed, to be heard, and to belong,” he said.

Page claimed the St. Louis County Police Department cleared 96% of homicide cases in 2021. A law enforcement agency’s clearance rate is calculated by dividing the number of cases cleared by the number of homicides in the current year. If homicide’s in prior years are cleared in the current year, they may be included for that year’s clearance rate. It is important to note that clearing a case does not mean that it is solved.

The county executive to get public input on how to spend the NFL settlement funds when that money arrives in the county coffers.

Page delivered his address inside Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus.

Prior to the address, Elder Shawntelle Fisher, an UMSL graduate, delivered a prayer before the singing of both the national anthem by soprano Madeleine James and the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by soloist Swabu Jefferson.