ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — St. Louis County voters have spoken and St. Louis County Executive, Sam Page, has gotten the message, though he is avoiding speaking the words in public.
He has apparently quit his part-time job as anesthesiologist one day after voters approved an update to the County Charter’s ban on the practice.
Page gave his first-ever State of the County speech Wednesday morning. In the close to 30-minute speech, he did not address the landmark election result from about 12 hours earlier.
“I can declare that the state of our county is strong,” Page told a supportive, invitation-only crowd at UMSL.
He left right after the speech, steering clear of reporters. A spokesman said he was spending time with his family.
More than 61% of St. Louis County voters supported Prop B, a ban on part-time jobs for the St. Louis County Executive, whose salary is $140,000. Fewer than 40% voted to allow part-time work for the County Executive.
Page has been locked in a court battle with St. Louis County Council members over releasing his employment records as a part-time anesthesiologist with Western Anesthesiologist Associates for Mercy Hospitals.
Prop B adds specific language to the County Charter’s ban on secondary employment for the County Executive, saying the County Executive “shall hold no other employment” while in office and that a violation “shall cause the County Executive to forfeit the office.”
Both Republicans and Democrats in the audience for his State of the County speech called on Page to publicly clear the air. Page supported extended restaurant closures and mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic while he continued to work his two jobs.
“When people are losing their jobs, their restaurants are being closed, all of the sports are shutdown, he’s still running off to Mercy Hospital, working at the hospital,” said Republican County Councilman, Tim Fitch.
“I think the citizens of St. Louis County made it extremely clear,” said County Council Chairwoman, Rita Heard Days, a Democrat. “The numbers are overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that they want the County Executive to be the County Executive and that’s it.”
“He should take that as a wake-up to start listening to the voters and do what they’re asking him to do. He’s doing neither right now. I think that’s why the County is struggling,” said Democrat, Jane Dueker, who’s running against Page in the upcoming August primary. “He did not answer their call last night. It’s a ‘yes or no’ question, County Executive Page: are you going to quit your job yes or no?”
“I think he should make a statement to the media and the people of St. Louis County,” said Republican County Councilman, Mark Harder. “He will be a full-time County Executive or he needs to make a statement that he’s going to be a full-time anesthesiologist at Mercy Hospital. That statement needs to be made here, real soon.”
About an hour after the speech, his spokesman released a one-sentence statement saying,” Dr. Page will abide by the charter as amended by the voters Tuesday.”
Mercy Hospital still lists Page as an employee, but he has reportedly resigned from the part-time post.