Jeff Palmore, the newly elected mayor of Pacific, will not be installed in office during the first meeting following the election because the St. Louis County Election Commission has not certified the election results, according to City Administrator Harold Selby.
Palmore received a total of 570 votes to Mayor Herb Adams, 464. Of the total number, only six were cast in St. Louis County — four for Palmore and two for Adams.
The St. Louis County Election Commission has 12 days following the election to certify the vote count.
Because of the small number of votes in St. Louis County, Selby and City Clerk Kim Barfield worked with mayor-elect Palmore to prepare the agenda for the second portion of the April 15 board of aldermen meeting.
Traditionally, the outgoing mayor opens the meeting following the election and newly elected officials are sworn in. That meeting adjourns and then a second meeting starts, chaired by the new mayor.
Selby said he thought that was the way the April 15 meeting would go.
“Because the number of St. Louis County votes was so low, we went ahead and made plans to install everybody,” Selby said. “But Mayor Adams informed us that he had received a call from City Attorney Dan Vogel admonishing him that the installation should not take place until the St. Louis County votes are certified.”
As it was explained to him, Selby said, if Palmore were installed prior to the St. Louis County election certification, any action that he took at that meeting could be challenged later.
Selby said a special board meeting for the installation of Palmore and all re-elected officials, will be called later in April after Pacific receives the St. Louis County election certification.
Palmore and Vogel have had a contentious history, following Palmore’s lawsuit against the city over cemetery lot charges. But Selby said technically it does appear that both counties should certify elections before elected persons are installed in office.
Selby also said he wants to be respectful to both the outgoing mayor and the newly elected mayor in the change of office.
“We’ll call a special meeting and get him (Palmore) installed and work through the changeover,” Selby said.
Palmore also said the wait of 10 additional days would not make a difference in his role as mayor.
“Waiting another 10 days is not a burden,” Palmore said. “This is the beginning of a new administration, these are learning steps and we want to get it right.”