Yesterday, a young reporter for the local daily newspaper told my staff that her newspaper had learned that I was going to be making an appointment to the St. Louis Police Board of Commissioners on Monday. It was certainly logical to assume that a mayor would appoint members of the City’s police board. But, under our Civil War-era system of government, the state’s governor, not the City’s mayor, selects the City’s police commissioners.
You’d think a reporter or an editor would know that. But, then again, many people do not know who is charge of what!
We recently learned that a couple of dead people have been signing recall petitions in a City election - and, even, voting. A lot of people assumed that the City of St. Louis is responsible. They’re wrong. The Governor appoints the members of the Board of Election Commissioners. In point of fact, my office has made many recommendations to improve the Board of Elections, but the board can ignore us.
I can - and do - hold my own department heads and managers accountable for results. (That’s the reason we have the CityView program.) But, many elements of government that are municipal duties in other cities are overseen here by the state.
I believe all municipal functions should be performed by the City - and accountable to City government and City voters. I would welcome your thoughts.