ST. LOUIS (KMOX) — St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is responding to an exclusive KMOX report that says a majority of council members feel he’s threatening them and cancelling their projects if they don’t vote the way he wants.
Four of the seven council members spoke with KMOX and had similar stories to tell. Stenger joined KMOX’s Mark Reardon to talk about those allegations, which started upon the drafting of a letter from Council Chairman Sam Page.
“These threats include threatening the seat of one Council member, threatening projects and district priorities of several others, and trying to gut the body of the Council as a whole through budgetary tricks,” the letter reads in part.
Stenger says he didn’t cancel projects — namely a Colleen Wasinger-led initiative for a new park in Frontenac, and a new community center in the central corridor led by Hazel Erby — because he’s getting back at anybody, rather because the council cut $31 million from this year’s budget — including $8 million for parks.
“Because the $31 million was removed from the budget, the projects they requested could no longer be done,” Stenger told Reardon Thursday. “It’s a really simple matter, and it really has nothing to do with threats or retribution. It’s the natural consequence.
I did not kill the project[s] … [Hazel Erby], like Colleen Wasinger killed her own project, and it has nothing to do with me killing them.”