Charter Commission set to hold public forums on proposed changes

By Erin Achenbach
Staff Reporter
eachenbach@callnewspapers.com

The St. Louis County Charter Commission plans to host four public forum/open house-style events in September to allow the public to provide feedback about possible changes that the commission is looking into making to the Charter.

The Charter Commission will host four events where various members of the commission will be present to answer questions and hear from the public about the panel’s proposed changes to the Charter:

• A central event will be held in Clayton from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, in the County Council Chambers, 41 S. Central Ave., Clayton.

• A South County event will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Jefferson Barracks Visitors Center, 345 North Road.

• A West County event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Manchester Justice Center, 200 Highlands Boulevard Drive, Manchester.

• A North County event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 28, at the North County Recreation Complex, 2577 Redman Avenue.

After being plagued by absences and vacancies and a slow start to the year, the commission has been meeting weekly since March 28.

It has proposed a number of changes to the Charter, including adopting a county manager form of government, holding nonpartisan elections for county office, expanding the Board of Equalization into four boards, codifying police standards into the Charter and removing the requirement that three of the nine Planning Commission members come from municipalities.

The commission is currently in the beginning process of drafting the Charter language for some of its changes, such as the expanded Board of Equalization and Planning Commission requirements.

For those unfamiliar with the Charter Commission, the commission is charged with coming up with amendments to the current Charter or creating a new one altogether, or recommending no changes at all. County voters decide on years that end in 8 if a commission should convene. In November 2018, voters decided that a panel should be held.

The commission, which is chaired by former County Executive Gene McNary, has until Dec. 31 to review and recommend changes. The commission is comprised of 14 members, appointed by the County Council and the county executive.