Preservation Board St. Louis Board of Aldermen

Kennedy Out as Public Safety Chair, Preservation Board Member?

by Michael R. Allen

Word from the Board of Aldermen this week is that Alderman Terry Kennedy (D-18th) is out as Chairperson of the Public Safety Committee, to be replaced by Alderman Phyllis Young (D-7th). Kennedy is supposed to chair the Transportation Committee instead.

This move is significant to historic preservation because the chair of the Public Safety Committee by ordinance has a seat on the city’s Preservation Board. The chairperson can take that spot himself, as Kennedy did, or appoint a proxy member of the Public Safety Committee. No news yet on Young’s intentions.

Terry has been a thoughtful member of the Preservation Board, often raising issues of class, race and public policy that no one else would. While more often than not we have been on opposing sides of granting demolition permits, I have always appreciated Terry’s principled voice and willingness to discuss — and find solutions to — deep divides between preservationists and communities.