Mayor Schneider Vetoes Charter Review Commission Bill
In his first action of veto, Mayor Schneider challenges Florissant City Council members to review the charter as a part of their duties.
History continues to repeat itself regarding the Florissant City Charter.
“I find it necessary for the benefit of the people of Florissant to veto Bill number 8737, Ordinance number 7813,” Mayor Schneider wrote in his statement. “The sponsors of this bill offered this divisive issue for public debate in the infancy of a new administration with an incomplete and interim council body. These five sponsors, one of which is temporary, created an avoidable distraction and impediment to good governance at a time when our city and all cities are facing more urgent challenges.”
The announcement comes after days of speculation regarding the mayor’s decision on the bill.
On Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the mayor had not signed the bill into law or vetoed it and had only a couple of days remaining to make a decision. The mayor has 10 days to sign or veto a bill and it would then becomes law.
Despite the mayor’s veto, Florissant City Council President Keith English holds a strong position that the council, if not a commission, will review the charter by the end of the year.
“We’re not making any decisions on the veto at this time,” English said.
English said that the council has 21 days from the time of notification of the veto to attempt an override or make a response to it. He pointed out, however, that in the next 21 days, both Ward 3 and Ward 6 council people will be decided by an election on Aug. 2, and both will be sworn in during that time.
Questions remain however if the new council members would have overriding powers in such a new position, English said.
No matter what happens, though, English said the charter will be reviewed.
“I don’t care if it’s during Christmas, I will set dates for the council to hold public hearings, and we will review this charter,” he said.
The city council passed the city charter review bill at its July 11 meeting with a vote of 5-2. Ward 8 Mark Schmidt was absent during the meeting.
Despite his veto, Mayor Schneider has challenged the council to review the charter.
“I will not endorse any legislation that allows the City Council to abdicate the responsibilities that were given to them by the citizens of Florissant,” Mayor Schneider wrote. “I voted against this legislation when it was introduced while I was a Council member because it shifts the job from the citizens and their elected City Council to a few hand picked residents. As your new Mayor, it is now my duty to veto this legislation for the same reason.
“I challenge the four sponsors of this bill who will remain on the Council to accept the responsibilities that come with their elected position, and encourage them to undertake the task of reviewing the Charter in such a way that all of the citizens of Florissant will be represented and involved.”