Stenger takes ‘pay to play’ to a new level in county, reader contends


Letter to the Editor

To the editor:
The recently filed campaign-finance report for County Executive Steve Stenger shows he has now taken in $325,000 from the developers of the old Northwest Plaza site.
This is where St. Louis County has moved the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners and other offices after the developers were given a no-bid lease for office space worth as much as $50 million.
The 20-year lease was proposed by Stenger and then approved by the County Council in July 2016 when the council was still controlled by the county executive.
Had a request for proposals been issued, it could very well have resulted in a savings of many millions of dollars for county taxpayers.
The $325,000 is likely a record amount of campaign contributions ever received by a public official in St. Louis County related to just one project.
Steve Stenger has taken pay to play to a level never before seen in the county, resulting in millions of dollars of contributions for his re-election campaign.
When Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, took his 6th District seat on the County Council this year to represent south county, he became part of a new council majority no longer controlled by Stenger.
It has impaired the county executive’s ability to hand out favors to his campaign supporters.
Many believe Stenger is secretly arranging most of the funding for the effort to recall Trakas.
It’s not difficult to understand why.
Tom Sullivan
University City