According to their own article, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s hand-picked County Executive appears to be floundering. Further he has needed to depend on Republican support to bail him out:
For three months, St. Louis County government has had a Keystone Kops feel to it.
On Aug. 26, County Executive Charlie A. Dooley proposed a property tax increase, then pulled it 10 days later. A revenue shortfall was first said to be $10 million, then $5 million, then, maybe, less than $2 million.
The West County Satellite Office was ordered closed; four days later, Dooley canceled that order.
And then there was the threat to close about half the county park system, which panicked some residents and which others saw as an end-around to force the tax increase. It was withdrawn last week.
These may appear to be political missteps, but, Dooley said in an interview last week, they are the natural stumbles that come with navigating rugged economic terrain.
“I have clumsily made some mistakes,” Dooley said from behind his desk in his red-carpeted, ninth-floor office overlooking Shaw Park. “I have been rushing people, and there was shock and some confusion. But this recession has this county in new territory.”
Last week, however, Dooley and the council predicted calmer seas ahead. They called a cease-fire in a conflict that began on Halloween Night, when Dooley presented the council with his plan to close what he said was a $10 million budget gap.
Last week’s turnabout came after behind-the-scenes negotiations between Dooley’s staff and the council earlier this month, and after a series of missteps and miscommunications in Dooley’s administration.