CLAYTON, Mo. — The St. Louis County Council voted Tuesday night not to confirm Dr. Faisal Khan as permanent health director after a heated meeting surrounding mask ordinance in the county.
In a 5-2 vote, the Council voted against approving Dr. Khan as the full-time head of the St. Louis County Health Department. This comes after Khan sent an email out to staff last week calling some critics “the lunatic fringe.” In July, Khan also made a rude gesture after a council meeting.
As for the mask mandate, Council members were supposed to discuss the legality of having an ordinance after a Cole County judge ruled a mandate is illegal.
Councilwoman Lisa Clancy tried to have the Council vote on a mandate, but that was voted down because she did not turn in the paperwork in time.
Several citizens Tuesday night voiced their concerns, most of them against imposing any kind of mask ordinance. One woman said she’s sick of the different stances.
“Anger and anxious to find out what exactly is driving Dr. Page. How he thinks he can trump what a judge has ruled on. That’s what I’m concerned about,” said Rene Artman.
The controversy also got the attention of State representative Jim Murphy. Murphy wrote the law that prevents a mask ordinance if it’s not voted on by the Council.
“Only legislative bodies can make law,” Murphy said. “They have been in violation of it. Sam Page knows they are in violation of it. I just thought it would be good for me to come and explain the law to the Council because they are wasting our money. This can’t go on.”
FOX 2 spoke to Councilman Mark Harder, who said tonight should clear up some confusion for citizens.
“There is no mask mandate on this day,” he said. “We are going to move forward and look at the science and trust some other voices on this issue.”
Even though the Council said there is not a mask mandate, Dr. Page urged people to still use masks and hoped there will be a mandate in the future. Also, despite Tuesday’s vote, Khan will remain as acting health director.