3 propositions in St. Louis County could bring major changes to government

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 7:55 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Missouri is now just days away from a heated primary race.

If you’re picking up a ballot on Tuesday in St. Louis County, you won’t just see candidates on the list, but several proposals that could change how government works for you.

“You have a say in literally how the county can operate,” said Chris Howard.

Howard has gone over the St. Louis County Charter with a fine-tooth comb as one of the commissioners that suggested changes to it last year.

“The charter is like the constitution and should be changed cautiously and carefully,” Howard said.

The change first up: Proposition A

Otherwise called a whistleblower law, proponents say it would strengthen protections for people coming forward in the county.

“You go back to the Steve Stenger era right and a lot of people said, something is bad here. They had nowhere to go and no way to be protected when they did it. This provision, which I am personally in favor of, provides that,” Howard said.

“Often it takes one brave soul to blow the whistle and bring attention to these things,” said William Dailey, a spokesperson for the Ethical Society of Police.

The Ethical Society of Police, which represents Black police officers, supports the proposal and so does the broader St. Louis Police Union.

It would be a step forward, Dailey says, to weeding out bad apple officers and combating implicit bias.

“This is going to create a clean slate to allow those individuals to speak honestly and truthfully as to what they actually saw, what took place,” said Dailey.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and others on the council had previously criticized the plan for being too vague and had tried to block it.

Proposition M

It proposes a compensation commission and additional procedures for when council members elect to give themselves a raise. It is similar to what happens at the state level.

“An independent, non-elected commission would then say, you know what, based on this, the council should get x or say no, the council shouldn’t get it,” Howard said.

Proposition V

And lastly, Proposition V addresses political appointments by the county executive. Born from a problem, Howard says, when the council rejected Page’s pick for head of the health department, Dr. Faisal Khan, but Howard says there wasn’t a clear procedure for what happens next.

“This provides that answer,” Howard said.

Bottom line, Howard says: “look at it from a logical long-term perspective and ask yourself is this what’s right.”

And, he says: “go vote, exercise your citizen vote, go vote,” he said.

If you want to read more on the propositions, click here.