Historic actions designed to enhance the health, safety and economic vitality of our region were hallmarks of my administration in 2015.
In my first year as County Executive, I initiated groundbreaking measures that included a top-to-bottom audit of county government; the county’s first-ever Disparity Study to assess the way it awards contracts for county projects to minorities and women; and legislation requiring that municipal police departments meet fundamental standards, ensuring equal access to quality law enforcement to all residents of St. Louis County.
The past year also saw nearly $1 billion in corporate expansion in St. Louis County. Boeing, Schnucks and World Wide Technologies were among the more than a dozen companies that expanded operations, broke ground on new facilities or started manufacturing lines that will generate hundreds of new jobs.
Through the Great Streets Initiative, the county is at the national forefront of expanding the way communities conceive of their streets. West Florissant Avenue, a target of this program, is being rebuilt to create a positive sense of place and a community that is connected, safe and accessible for all users.
My administration has made changes that go to the heart of the philosophy of government. We renamed the Highways and Traffic Department -- it’s now the Department of Transportation and Public Works. Meanwhile, the Health Department became the Department of Public Health, a shift that signals an emphasis on our service-driven philosophy. And we are looking to the future with our Children’s Service Fund, which last year began providing mental health services to all 23 school districts in St. Louis County.
We have done well but there is so much more to do. I look forward to working with all of you in 2016 as we continue to push for progress and innovation in St. Louis County government.
Steven V. Stenger