Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mayor Not Wasting Any Time

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

New Mayor Not Wasting Any Time

Article excerpt

University City Mayor Joseph Adams Jr. spent Tuesday at his desk, adjusting to the post he received the night before.

"I'm getting caught up on the stack of papers on the desk," Adams said. "I'm being brought up to speed."

Adams said he was shocked by the sudden resignation of Janet Majerus and his own elevation from 2nd Ward council member. He had been mayor pro tem for most of the nearly 10 years Majerus was in office, but he said he had never been close to the details of her job.

Adams is far from a stranger to University City government or to reaching an elected office by appointment. He joined the City Council in 1974 when he was named to fill the seat of Harriett Woods, who resigned to become a member of a state commission. Woods later became a state senator and lieutenant governor.

Adams plans to stay in city government. He said he will run in April for the remainder of Majerus's unexpired term. If successful, he will seek a full term in 1998, Adams said.

His promotion was praised by several long-time observers of University City politics. "He is excellent," said former Mayor Nathan Kaufman. Adams was on the council in the last four of Kaufman's 20 years in office. Kaufman said of Adams, "He is a very dedicated, very principled man. He takes the long view of the needs of the city. He is very persevering."

Larry Mooney, a top aide to County Executive George "Buzz" Westfall and the son of a former University City mayor, said Adams was a consensus builder "who has a reputation for working well with everyone in the community."

Adams agreed with Mooney's description of his style. Efforts at consensus building have kept major controversy away from the City Council, he said. "Council members vote differently," he said. "But nobody takes it personally. That's a joy - to see how well the council works together."

Adams is the first black to serve as mayor of a community that is populated nearly evenly by blacks and whites. University City has a racially diverse council that reflects the community, he said. …

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