Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mayor, Commission at Odds over Charter

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mayor, Commission at Odds over Charter

Article excerpt

St. Peters Mayor Tom Brown will campaign against the home-rule charter that 13 elected commissioners are still writing. The first draft is complete, and the Charter Commission is having public hearings.

Brown says the commissioners came up with a "very staff-oriented written document." He has charged that City Administrator Robert Irvin had undue influence in the charter and notes that two of Irvin's employees are married to charter commissioners.

Andrew Foster, chairman of the commission, says there was a lot of misinformation being spread by the mayor and his allies among elected officials. Foster says the fact that his wife, Shirley Foster, is the economic development director for St. Peters had nothing to do with the way the charter was written. Brown has implied that because Shirley Foster works closely with Irvin and has a highly paid position, her husband has slanted things in the charter the way Irvin would want them. "That's utterly and absolutely false," Andrew Foster said. "For the l ife of me, I can't understand what is going on. I'm not a political person. I'm a volunteer. For him to say that is just an untrue statement. The first time (Shirley Foster) saw the charter was last Thursday night when copies were passed out (at a public hearing)." Andrew Foster said that Brown had a preconceived notion about what the charter would say "before we even started writing it. We had only met a couple of times and he was telling people he was going to spend his leftover campaign money to defeat it." Brown spoke to the Charter Commission after last April's elections and explained that he believed St. Peters should have a full-time mayor, similar to Florissant, where Mayor James Eagan has ruled for years. One of the key decisions made by the commission was the form of government that would carry St. Peters into the next century. Foster said that the Charter Commission had three alternatives: A strong-mayor form of government; a mayor-council-administrator form of government; or a city-manager form of government. Andrew Foster said Brown advocated the strong-mayor approach. "That's where the mayor completely controls the government and all of the employees are patronage," Foster said. "Everybody is hired and fired by the mayor. The mayor handles the ceremonial and operational functions of the city. When Mayor Brown came before us, that is what he wanted to do. He wanted complete control of the city - all employees, all policies, all everything." The commission, Andrew Foster says, decided independently to stick with the form of government that has been in effect for years with a part-time mayor, a full-time administrator and a city council. Instead of a board of aldermen, St. Peters would have city councilmen under the charter. Two repr esentative from each of the four wards would be elected. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.