Crestwood meetings are staying virtual for now


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Birthday parades have become a fun activity during the stay-at-home order in effect in St. Louis County due to the coronavirus. During the parades, residents drive by the birthday celebrant’s house separately in their cars, keeping social distancing. The events are organized online, in Facebook groups like Lindbergh Community Birthday Parades, Oakville Birthday Parades and Mehlville Birthday Parades. Above, Ryan from Crestwood got a parade for his birthday April 6, 2020.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen will continue to hold its monthly meetings through videoconferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, despite a brief discussion earlier this summer to reopen meetings to the public.

At the May meeting, Ward 2 Alderman Justin Charboneau asked when it would be possible to resume in-person meetings, adding that he hoped it could happen sooner rather than later.

“I do think some of these Zoom meetings limit access or maybe discourages participation by individuals, so I would like to get back to in-person as soon as possible,” said Charboneau. “Would it be possible to write the notice to indicate Zoom or the actual chambers if possible. I do think by June it would be nice to be back in the chambers.”

Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan expressed similar concerns about the accessibility of videoconferenced meetings for constituents.

“I’m just a little concerned about … the lack of public access to our meetings,” said Duncan.

“As things do reopen … the flexibility does exist for cities as they stake out their own reopening to involve things like masks and social distancing and things of that nature,” said Mayor Grant Mabie. “Thus far I haven’t heard any complaints about how we are conducting our business. It’s not ideal — I think in-person is certainly preferred.”

City Administrator Kris Simpson added that the city planned to continue following guidelines from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health regarding social distancing and group gatherings. At that meeting, the consensus was to continue with Zoom meetings through June.

In a followup email with Simpson July 15, the city administrator told The Call that the only decision that had been made was to continue with remote meetings through July and then discuss again in August. This month’s Board of Aldermen meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 25.