Time shift: Harder’s council time change bill moves to final passage

The St. Louis County Council at its weekly meeting on Tuesday moved legislation forward that could change what time its weekly meetings start.

In addition to that bill, the council also moved numerous bills to second reading that would improve or change how the county handles its elections.

Councilman Harder

Since last year, Councilman Mark Harder has tried to pass legislation that would move the County Council’s weekly meeting’s starting time from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Harder last week re-introduced the bill and it’s now headed towards the final passage stage as it passed the second reading phase 7-0 on Tuesday.

The councilman said that residents from outlying regions of the county struggle to make the regularly scheduled meetings and that they wanted a chance to express their concerns during the council’s public forum.

“This is a bill that I brought up last year and thought I would bring it up in the new year,” Harder said. “We’ve had a number of constituents that have come to the meeting asking for a later meeting time. I think that would more time for people from the greater distances to get here on time, and park and be able to register to speak.”

Council Sam Page’s bill that would allow St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger to accept a grant of $170,000 to make improvements on to the county’s election process also passed its second phase, and is now scheduled to be voted on at its final passage stage next week.

The legislation hopes to improve the way the county handles elections by hiring temporary personnel for specified projects, purchase of equipment and supplies for polling place improvements, performing routine list maintenance to update voter record status, maintenance and programming cost for voting equipment, purchasing certified voting equipment and replacement parts and improving polling place accessibility.

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