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Sam Page and St. Louis County Council remain at odds over COVID response

Missouri

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – For several weeks, members of the St. Louis County Council have been at odds with County Executive Sam Page. On Tuesday, a Democrat on the council crossed party lines to vote against Page’s power.

The council passed a pair of bills limiting the power of both the county executive and the health department. The first bill would force Page to explain his COVID-related decisions to the council. The second bill gives the council authority to extend any and all public health orders.

Page claims the county council has other plans.

“The bills before council to eliminate public health restrictions do nothing to help protect the health and welfare of people in St. Louis County,” Page said.

Democrat Rita Heard Days says Page is not telling the truth and she crossed party lines to make sure both bills passed.

“This has never been about undoing any mandates, or social distancing, or changing parameters around people visiting establishments. That’s not what this is about at all,” she said. “It was about understanding that there are other branches of government and we should be included on some of the decisions being made.”

Councilman Tim Fitch says he sent a letter to the associate county counselor that shows the council is trying to establish a mandatory mask order relating to the pandemic.

“Sam Page has tried his best to make the oversight bills appear that they’re an attempt to end the mask mandate. They are not,” Fitch said.

Councilwoman Days says Page is making assumptions on what the council would do.
She says he should be working with them to collaborate and be more inclusive.

“We don’t support carte blanche – whatever you want to do and do it however you do it,” she said. “Without including us. That hasn’t happened.”

For his part, Page says he will veto the bill if it passes because he doesn’t believe they support public health.

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