CLAYTON, Mo. – St. Louis County Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, 5th District, and Councilman Timothy Fitch, 3rd District, were sworn into office on Tuesday. After taking their oath, Clancy and Fitch shared what they hope to accomplish on the council while serving their constituents.
Equity, inclusion, public safety and economic growth are a few priorities for the council members. Their constituents are at the focus of their decision making.
Clancy said her friends and neighbors in the 5th District brought up equity and inclusion frequently during her campaign.
“That’s going to be my guidepost. We’ve got a lot of great recommendations from things like the Ferguson Commission report, from the Dismantling Divider report. A lot of reports that tell us how our region can be more equitable and inclusive for all of us,” Clancy said. “And those are the things that I hold dear when I think about what I want to get done.”
Fitch noted that crime and the county’s economy are related. He said going door to door during his campaign, people in the 3rd District were most concerned about public safety. He mentioned his twitter feed and the ShotSpotter report from the last 24 hours.
“I think what I’m going to do…is file for legislation asking the council to reconsider their $4.8 million cut to the police department,” Fitch said. “Homicides are double what they were in 2014. This is not the time to cut the police budget.”
Fitch also mentioned the talk of the city-county merger. He said not one of his constituents said the merger would be a good idea.
“However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that we can still do together. We just don’t need, in my opinion, and the [opinion of the] constituents that I work for, a combined government,” Fitch said. “This should be a vote of the people in the city and county. People in Joplin should not be deciding our system of government and governance in St. Louis.”
Both council members said they look forward to working together with the other members of the council and County Executive Steve Stenger.
“I think we’ve got some new voices at the table and hopefully, that can maybe soften some of the hard edges a little bit. A lot of people have asked me recently, ‘So are you going to be voting with the council on everything or siding with the Executive?’ And I don’t know that I subscribe to that, either or,” Clancy said. “I’m going to be forging a way for myself, and at the center of all of that will be the people that I represent.”
With seven members on the council and the County Executive, St. Louis County has seen many instances where differences in opinions can get in the way. Fitch does not see this as a problem, but rather as a strength of the council.
“We all have differences of opinion. It’s okay, we don’t have to hate each other. If we decide we don’t agree with the Executive on this particular issue, there will be things that we can agree on. So let’s concentrate on the things that we can agree on,” Fitch said. “Let’s make sure we’re all at the table together and coming up with solutions for St. Louis County together.”
Clancy and Fitch will serve with the other council members at the first meeting of the year on Thursday at 6:30 pm in the Council Chambers.