Clancy seeks reelection against challenger Bailey

Steven+Bailey%2C+left%2C+and+Lisa+Clancy

Steven Bailey, left, and Lisa Clancy

By Erin Achenbach, News Editor

The race for the 5th St. Louis County Council District features incumbent Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood, and Republican Steven Bailey, a retired college professor.

The election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Bailey, 64, lives in Clayton with his wife Karen. He previously taught at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, and and the Meramec campus of St. Louis Community College.

While he has not held public office before, Bailey ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Congress and the Missouri House in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

When asked why he is running for County Council, Bailey said, “I seek this office to help the people of St. Louis County have a reasonable and functioning council.”

Clancy, 37, lives in Maplewood with her husband Jeremy and two children. She has served as the 5th District councilwoman since 2018.

When asked why she is seeking relection, Clancy said, “I know the challenges and strengths of the region, and I’ve spent my career working to improve the community … In my time on the County Council, I’ve consistently stood up for public health, equity and working families … There’s more work to be done, and our best days are still ahead.”

The candidates gave the following responses to The Call’s questionnaire:

(Editor’s note: The following questions and answers appeared in the Oct. 20 print edition of The Call. They have been edited to fit in print.)

What issue do you consider the single most important issue in this race and

why?

Bailey: “The county of St. Louis is faced with a number of difficult challenges, but to fix them or address them it is essential that its currently dysfunctional governing body heal itself that it may address these problems reasonably … I look forward to cooperating with council members in a non-partisan fashion in hopes of diminishing the current in-fighting culture.”

Clancy: “I think it’s impossible to name one single most important issue – we have to be honest and forthcoming about all of the challenges and priorities that face county government and our residents, including public health and COVID recovery, economic development, public safety, housing, our growing budget deficit, continued racial divides, etc. My experience in this seat and track record of working collaboratively across county government makes me the best candidate to continue tackling these issues.” 

Do you believe the St. Louis County Planning Commission is responsive to county residents? Is there anything about the zoning process that should change? 

Bailey: “No governmental body will please everyone every time. Some matters are contentious and challenging to remedy unless participants are willing to compromise or see value in half or partial solutions that attempt reasonable resolutions while maximizing permitted land use … I see nothing in the process requiring immediate change, but I rely on constituents to make arguments for changes they perceive as needed.”

Clancy: “The Planning Commission has processes to consider resident input but other factors appear to be weighted more heavily in their decisions by design. It is all of our jobs to responsive to county residents in their input related to planning and zoning and that means that the council often picks up where the commission fails (e.g. Tower Tee and the McBride proposal).”

What will you do to prove to 5th District residents that you are not violating the public trust as other public officials have?

Bailey: “I will remain retired, and if I secure employment or other sources of income which might create a conflict of interest, I will promptly disclose them and where appropriate recuse myself from consideration of  … pending matters.”

Clancy:I have no motive to be in this position other than to serve my community – there is no place in county government for those who will exploit public trust for their own benefit. I will continue to make myself available to my constituents and get good policy done.”

Do you plan to accept campaign contributions from developers with projects before the council? Should council members vote on projects submitted by campaign contributors?

Bailey: “No.”

Clancy: “No and no.”

What do you suggest to improve public safety and reduce crime?

Bailey: “I certainly do not recommend defunding the police. The real solution lies in not permitting educational grade advancement until the student reads, writes and performs mathematics at grade level. That is not a matter properly before the County Council excepting approval of zoning for alternative schools where appropriate.”

Clancy: “We have to attack the issue from multiple angles, including prevention. Investing in social services, health care and education is linked to reduced crime. We also need to make sure that police are well-trained and are focused on violent crime. I think it is worth looking into alternatives to police responding to things like traffic violations and mental health crises … so cops can focus on where they’re needed most.”