St. Louis County Council meeting ends abruptly with heated words


CLAYTON, Mo. – Members of the St. Louis County Council debated the selection of a council chair for the second straight week. This time, the debate ended abruptly following heated comments from some council members.

During the council’s Jan. 5 meeting, the council voted by a 4-3 margin to keep Councilwoman Lisa Clancy (D-5th District) as the council chair. The same majority selected Councilman Ernie Trakas (R-6th District) to be the council’s vice chair. One of those votes was cast by an outgoing member who lost her election.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Tim Fitch led an effort to hold another vote for chair. The effort was aimed at allowing newly sworn-in Councilwoman Shalonda Webb (D-4th District) to vote. She supported the resolution.

“I asked to be included in the vote and that did not happen; instead, my predecessor was allowed to cast a vote that should have been mine,” Webb said during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Clancy said there is no language in the county charter allowing for a second vote to select the county chair. Fitch went ahead and pushed forward with his resolution aimed at undoing last week’s vote. Four members voted for the resolution. Clancy said the resolution had no legal teeth.

Fitch insisted Clancy was no longer the council chair following the vote. Tensions escalated before Clancy told Fitch, “I will not allow you to bully this council. You may have been a bully as the police chief but I will not allow you to bully this council.”

Trakas jumped in, telling the former police chief, “Why don’t you quit being a bully or if you chose to bully someone, bully someone who can push back, sir.”

The meeting was adjourned minutes later with Clancy telling Fitch, “I’d gladly take time to put my kid in bed tonight; I would rather do that than put up with this nonsense and disruption.”

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