In a unanimous vote, the City Council of University City removed Bill 9112 from further consideration at a special session on Monday night.
The bill, introduced originally by Ward 2 councilmember L. Michael Glickert was given first reading at the April 26 City Council meeting. Ward 3 councilmember Arthur Sharpe Jr. put a motion at Monday’s meeting to remove the bill from further consideration.
Joe Edwards of Blueberry Hill and other members of the community were present at the special session.
A curfew, as well as additional police presence in the Loop were primary reasons for discontinuing discussion of Bill 9112. The bill, if passed would have fined individuals $1,000 if found guilty of loitering, or obstructing the sidewalks in the Loop business district.
The controversial measure got widespread media attention, in the weeks after its first reading at council.
After the unanimous vote to “kill” Bill 9112, members of the community erupted in applause.
The special budget session of City Council was also called because the city charter requires the budget to be finalized by June 27 of each year. Councilmembers Byron Price and Terry Crow led the charge against new budgetary spending while several city departments were forced to make cuts, which formed the bulk of the conversation.
In particular, Price questioned the budgeting of $30,000 for a council microphone system replacement, rather than spend additional money on the Youth Employment Program, a budgeted item of $50,000. Another source of contention was a budget of $14,000 for City Council Professional Development and $100,000 for Public Communications and Marketing.
Crow expressed concern about spending $100,000 on public relations, while Mayor Shelley Welsch supported the amount, stating that University City had not marketed itself to it’s detriment.
The votes on the proposed changes to the budget will be looked at in more detail at the June 13 City Council meeting.
The last order of business at the special session was discussion of council rules and procedures. Price expressed concern that the original wording of Section 8 of the amended rules would abridge his rights, and called into question rules 29 and 30. He felt that he was entitled to support whomever he chooses politically.
That particular section deals with the council being nonpartisan. Rule 29 states the council and mayoral elections are nonpartisan and that endorsements, financial or organizational support those elections. The second sentence was removed after council discussion. Councilmember Stephen Kraft of Ward 1 noted that charter was written in such a way that it requires a nonpartisan council.
The council will have its regular session in council chambers on June 13.