Letter to the Editor
To the editor:
The St. Louis County Council recently selected council Chairman Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, as county executive at a meeting in which the public was prevented from speaking. It was not a great choice. In many ways Page has been as big a problem as Steve Stenger.
In Stenger’s first two years as county executive, Page was a member of the “Gang of Four” on the council that rubber-stamped everything Stenger wanted. This included the notorious office leases at the old Northwest Plaza that could cost county taxpayers $20 million to $30 million more than comparable space. Page praised the holdup, saying the county was getting “better space” at a “great value.”
In 2017 Sam Page insisted the County Council hire someone as county auditor who had no auditing or accounting experience, Mark Tucker. In his first year the auditor did not produce a single audit, yet Page continually backs him. “If he completes his audit plan, he will be the most ambitious and productive auditor in recent county history,” said Page. Not likely.
Page also supported the recent approval of $240 million of county tax dollars to expand the downtown convention center — another taxpayer-funded boondoggle with a total cost of $480 million. (South County Councilman Ernie Trakas voted against it.) This follows $180 million of county tax dollars for the downtown Dome. The total cost for that boondoggle will come to $720 million.
The same as Steve Stenger, Page does not like public participation. One of the last things he did as chairman of the County Council was to keep members of the public from commenting at the special meeting of the council that picked him as county executive.
People, jobs and revenue have been leaving St. Louis County in record numbers in recent years while the tax burden has continually climbed. Sam Page deserves as much of the blame as anyone. This is why I think he is the wrong person for county executive. I hope he proves me wrong.