St. Louis County voters approved a proposition Tuesday that will bar county executives from holding other jobs.
Proposition B passed with an unofficial 61 percent vote and will amend the county charter to specify county executives “shall hold no other employment” while in office.
County Executive Sam Page’s side gig as an anesthesiologist has long been under scrutiny, though Page and his campaign have insisted that what little time Page spends performing medical duties does not interfere with his role.
County Councilman Tim Fitch (R-District 3) proposed the measure last year and has openly directed it at Page.
“I think it’s very clear what the public intended when they passed the charter, even originally back into the 1950s, that they wanted a full-time county executive,” Fitch told St. Louis Public Radio last week. “However, he claims there’s a loophole there that says there’s no penalty. This clears up any kind of loophole or any kind of doubt, and does add a specific penalty if he does it.”
Violation of the amended charter “shall cause the county executive to forfeit the office,” though it’s unclear how passage of Prop B will affect Page.
Prop B was one of four county-wide proposals on ballots Tuesday.
Prop A asked if costs associated with employees appointed by the county executive should be covered by the executive’s budget. Currently, salaries for some employees appointed by the executive are charged to the departments they were assigned, even though the executive’s office sets their salaries, according to an audit by State Auditor Nicole Galloway. This will eventually end, now that 76 percent of those who voted on the proposition were for it.
Voters shot down Prop C, which would have levied a county-wide sales tax on purchases from out-of-state vendors.
A fourth measure, Prop D, would have authorized a private grade school to lease a building and surrounding property in Queeny Park, but voters not denied it with a 54 percent “no” vote.
Voters in St. Louis City also hit the polls Tuesday.
The much-debated Prop R passed with a 69 percent vote. The proposition will impose many changes to the city’s charter, including a transfer of redistricting power from the Board of Aldermen to an independent commission.
Voters also supported Prop 1, which gives the city clearance to issue $50 million in general obligation bonds to cover the costs of several projects, including improvements to roads, correctional facilities, neighborhood recreation centers and more.