Update 3:55 p.m.: This story has been updated to include a statement from Sam Page’s office.
St. Louis County voters on Tuesday approved a proposal that will bar county executives from taking other jobs.
Proposal B passed with an unofficial 61% vote and will amend the county charter to specify that county executives “shall not hold any other employment” while in office.
County Executive Sam Page’s side job as an anesthesiologist has long come under scrutiny, though Page and his campaign have insisted that the short time Page spends performing medical duties does not interfere with his role.
Doug Moore, St. Louis County communications director, wrote in a statement Wednesday, “Dr. Page will abide by the charter as amended by voters on Tuesday.”
County Councilman Tim Fitch (R-District 3) proposed the measure last year and openly aimed it at Page.
“I think it’s very clear what the public wanted when they passed the charter, even originally in the 1950s, that they wanted a full-time county executive,” Fitch told St. Louis Public Radio Last week. “However, he claims there is a loophole there that says there is no penalty. This clears any type of loophole or any type of doubt, and adds a specific penalty if he made.
Violation of the amended charter “will result in the loss of office of the county executive.”
Proposition B was one of four countywide propositions on the ballots Tuesday.
Proposition A asks if the costs associated with employees appointed by the county executive should be covered by the executive’s budget. Currently, the salaries of some executive-appointed employees are billed to the departments to which they were assigned, even though the executive’s office sets their salaries, according to an audit by state auditor Nicole Galloway. It will eventually end, now that 76% of those who voted on the proposal were in favour.
Voters rejected Proposition C, which would have levied a countywide sales tax on purchases from out-of-state vendors.
A fourth measure, Proposition D, would have allowed a private primary school to lease a building and surrounding property in Queeny Park, but voters did not turn it down with a 54% “no” vote.
Voters in the city of St. Louis also headed to the polls on Tuesday.
The highly controversial Prop R passed with 69% of the vote. The proposal will force numerous changes to the city charter, including a transfer of redistricting power from the Board of Aldermen to an independent commission.
Voters also backed Proposition 1, which gives the city authority to issue $50 million in general bonds to cover the costs of several projects, including road improvements, correctional facilities, neighborhood recreation, etc.