ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Tensions are rising ahead of an important vote by the St. Louis County Boundary Commission. The proposal to annex a county-unincorporated area that could become part of the City of Manchester is included in the vote.
The unincorporated area is roughly two square miles and includes a busy stretch of Manchester Road, which is home to many businesses and about 6,500 residents in the surrounding area.
“We had originally hoped to bring this question if it was going to go to a vote in April,” said Manchester Mayor Mike Clement. “We’ve lost that window of time.”
He said the city has held a town meeting, spent months working with the boundary commission, and at the beginning of January, the proposal was accepted by the commissioners.
“They had three seats that had been left vacant for years and years,” Clement said. “So the eight-member boundary commission had five votes for Manchester, three against, and then that’s when the county executive decided that he would nominate two new members.”
He said the St. Louis County Boundary Commission requires two votes; the second one allows the plan of intent to move to elections and allows voters to make the decision, but the mayor said that vote has been put on hold.
“Trying to disrupt, interfere with the work of the boundary commission over the last eight months is just unacceptable,” Clement said.
St. Louis County refused to answer when FOX 2 asked about the change of boundary commissioners before the second vote.
Doug Moore, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Executive’s Office, released the following statement:
“As you will see from the press release today, it was sent from the Manchester mayor’s office, and the mayor is on the board of directors of the Municipal League. This is a conflict of interest by the Manchester mayor here, and it clearly demonstrates the city is doing all it can to annex pot dispensaries into the community. It’s a shame the mayor has not been transparent with residents about the real intent of the annexation efforts.”
Clement said his issue is with the last-minute change in boundary commissioners.
“That really was offensive to all of us, and it certainly is offensive to the municipal league,” he said. “Perhaps the county executive doesn’t want to trust the voters to make this decision.”