St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson departing comments

“I just took a slightly different approach than him, which I think is a more balanced approach.”

ST. LOUIS – Outgoing St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, the first woman to serve in this role, touted her “calm” leadership through many crises, including the pandemic, and major investments in the city in an interview Thursday Simultaneously engages in closely monitored relationships with other regional leaders.

In her relationship with Sam Page, the St. Louis County executive who differed from Krewson on some pandemic policies, including restaurant closings for the winter, Krewson noted that she spoke regularly with her counterpart. But she also admitted tensions.

“I think the pandemic made it particularly difficult,” she said. “I just took a slightly different approach than him, which I think is a more balanced approach.”

“We didn’t close our parks. There was never a day that I thought about closing our parks and I knew he wanted to close parks,” Krewson continued. “I thought if you have an order for the home, at least people need to be able to get out and walk in the parks.”

As of Wednesday, the city reported 460 COVID-19 “associated deaths”.

Krewson’s term as mayor ends Tuesday when Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones is inaugurated. Krewson, who is not seeking re-election, said she had given no advice to Jones, whom she defeated for office in 2017. The two met last week in the town hall.

“If she asked for advice, I would give it to her, but I won’t give her advice that she doesn’t ask for,” said Krewson. “I’ll be as helpful as possible.”

“I’m hard for your success because your success is the city’s success,” said Krewson, adding that the “extremely broad subject” of the job is “really fun,” but also “one of the things that make it up.” The job is really challenging. “

Crises and victories

She also made the case that she had tackled a wave of crises, including protests against the acquittal of Cop Jason Stockley in the death of Anthony Lamar Smith, “in a very civil, calm way that I believe helped de-escalate some situations. ” “”

Krewson also reflected on failed efforts to bring the city and county together through a Better Together plan to investigate the privatization of operations at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“We shouldn’t just do the same thing day after day, year after year,” she said. “We should be ready to break new ground, and both topics fell into that category.”

And Krewson listed numerous large investments in the city, at least some of which were made during her tenure: the new headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Major League Soccer stadium, the Saint Louis University Hospital of SSM Health, the redevelopment of the Union Station and continued growth in the Cortex Innovation District as well as Square’s move to downtown. Her office also pointed to tens of thousands of renovations in the North and South neighborhoods.

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