Board will examine options for future of St. Louis City and County governance
Fred Searcy, director of minority recruitment for Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 and president of the North County Labor Club, has been nominated by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page to serve on the Board of Freeholders, which will examine the future of St. Louis City and County governance.
Searcy, a Democrat, is also a trustee at Mt. Herald Missionary Baptist Church.
Page recently nominated nine people to serve on the board. Both he and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson have to appoint 18 out of the 19 members of the board, which could potentially ask city and county voters to approve a consolidation or merger proposal. Gov. Mike Parson appoints the final member. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen and the St. Louis County Council must approve the selections.
The Municipal League of Metro St. Louis collected enough signatures to form the board in response to the now-failed Better Together effort to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County governments.
In addition to Searcy, County Executive Page’s nominees include:
- Mark Mantovani, who lost the 2018 Democratic nomination for county executive to Steve Stenger.
- Former Bi-State Development Agency CEO John Nations.
- Democrat Cheryl Milton Roberts, senior equal opportunity and diversity practitioner at the Missouri Department of Transportation.
- Independent Dee Joyner, director of resilient communities at the Adrian Dominican Sisters and former senior vice president at Commerce Bank.
- Democrat Carol Stroker, a Hazelwood city councilwoman and former member of the Missouri House.
- Democrat Jason Wilson, CEO of Northwest Coffee Roasting Co. and a member of the Clayton Board of Education.
- Republican Katy Forand, president of the board of directors for Lemay Child and Family Center and a sales associate at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. She previously worked for then-Gov. Matt Blunt as his director of outreach.
- Independent Alex Garza, chief medical officer at SSM Health.
Page told members of the county council that his selections mark “the beginning of a year-long process that will bring 19 people together to determine if there’s a better way to address some of our regional challenges.
“I want St. Louis County to be as strong as possible — to provide opportunities for all of our residents and to be at the top of the list when someone thinks about bringing jobs or new business to a new location,” Page said. “We know that the stronger St. Louis is, the stronger that St. Louis County will be.”
Mayor Krewson’s nominations include:
- Independent Abdul-Kaba Abdullah, executive director of Park Central Development.
- Democrat Bridget Flood, executive director of the Incarnate Word Foundation.
- Democrat LaShana Lewis, CEO and founder of L.M. Lewis Consultant.
- Republican Taunia Allen Mason, 28th Ward GOP committeewoman.
- Republican James Mathis, attorney at Husch Blackwell.
- Democrat Earl Nance, Jr., pastor at Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church.
- Independent Eddie Roth, attorney and former St. Louis mayoral staffer.
- Democrat Jerry Schlichter, attorney who helped develop the state historic preservation tax credit.
- Republican Dan Zdrodowski, attorney at Hais, Hais & Goldberger.
The Board of Freeholders will have a year to present options to city and county voters. Those options could include combining certain services – such as what happened in the 1950s with the creation of the Metropolitan Sewer District, some type of merger proposal – including having St. Louis become a municipality within St. Louis County – or nothing.