County Council members fail to fulfill office’s duties

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

One of an elected official’s primary responsibilities is to be fully informed about legislation being considered by the governmental body on which they serve.

That’s pretty fundamental, right?

Yet we can clearly recall one former Mehlville Board of Education member who would show up at meetings in the 1990s with her board packet still sealed.

She didn’t need to be informed, as she took her cues on how to cast votes from other board members.

Fast forward to today, and we have some members of the County Council balking about legislation they approved last November that, among other things, grants county Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch a higher pension.

The measure unanimously approved by the council — including former 6th District Councilman Kevin O’Leary, D-Oakville — repeals a clause the council earlier placed into the pension ordinance that reduced McCulloch’s county pension by however much he receives from the state prosecutors’ pension fund.

But now some members of the council, particularly Chairman Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, who represents the 2nd District, and 1st District Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, contend they were unaware of the provisions of the legislation the council approved.

We can only conclude that the two weren’t fulfilling the responsibilities of their jobs, as a letter County Executive Steve Stenger sent to the County Council stated the measure would roll back a reduction in McCulloch’s pension.

We agree with Stenger that the intent of the legislation was abundantly clear, had council members bothered to read the legislation and the county executive’s accompanying letter.

“No one was fooled. No one was tricked. There was no deceit,” Stenger said. “If someone needs to come in and read to the council, then that’s a pretty darn sad state of affairs.”

If Erby and Page didn’t read this piece of legislation, the question becomes: What other legislation have the two not read before casting votes, as the council considers hundreds of bills each year.

Residents who live in the 1st District and the 2nd District may want to give some serious consideration to ousting Erby and Page when they’re up for re-election because by their own admission they certainly aren’t performing all of the duties of the office to which they were elected.