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Sexual-Orientation Protections Approved by Clayton Aldermen

The Clayton Board of Aldermen met Tuesday night at City Hall.

An ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and an agreement regarding an easement for Ameren were among the items discussed Tuesday by the Clayton Board of Aldermen.

An posted earlier Tuesday. The following are highlights from the discussion.

Have a question about Tuesday's meeting? Post it to this article and we'll follow up.

REGULAR MEETING

7:28 P.M.: The aldermen also have approved meeting dates for 2012 and are returning to closed session.

7:27 P.M.: Aldermen have unanimously approved a liquor license for . The restaurant is to open in February.

7:26 P.M.: The aldermen have unanimously approved the amendments prohibiting such discrimination.

7:19 P.M.: Maddox-Dallas said she agrees with Goldstein that it's important to move forward with this issue. She also asked for a timeframe for a domestic partner registry.

Owens said the city should have more details about the registry in the next 30 days.

Lichtenfeld asked whether there have been any apparent challenges to city laws such as this one.

City Attorney Kevin O'Keefe said there have not been any challenges to his knowledge.

Andrew Shaughnessy with PROMO told the aldermen that if they pass this nondiscrimination measure tonight, it would make Clayton the third city in St. Louis County to do so.

7:17 P.M.: Goldstein said the city received two letters of support for a nondiscrimination ordinance of this kind and the creation of a domestic partner registry in Clayton. They came from council representatives in University City and Olivette.

Meanwhile, Clayton officials will "continue to draft an appropriate ordinance regarding domestic partnership registry," Goldstein said.

7:15 P.M.: Owens is providing an overview of suggested amendments to city code to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

7:13 P.M.: The board has unanimously approved the ordinance regarding the easement.

7:11 P.M.: Harris asked whether the work Ameren has agreed to do at the 10 S. Brentwood Blvd. building could include addressing a power box that sits alongside Shaw Park near the drop-off circle on Brentwood.

Owens said the city would investigate the possibility.

7:06 P.M.: Lichtenfeld asked whether any part of the proposed easement would be located in areas where future development is planned by the city, school district or other entities.

Owens said the easement would parallel right-of-way for the MetroLink.

"It's so tight up against there that I think it provides enough adequate buffer," he said.

7:03 P.M.: City Manager Craig Owens is providing an overview of a proposed Ameren easement at . The easement would be used to provide electricity to the city.

As a side note, Harris earlier suggested that the city and School District of Clayton meet to discuss tasks that could be shared jointly, perhaps including grounds maintenance. Owens said he would meet with the district's superintendent to discuss options.

Owens also introduced new finance director , who began this week.

7:01 P.M.: The aldermen have returned to the room and the regular meeting is underway. 

CLOSED SESSION

6:37 P.M.: The board has voted to go into closed session about one or more of the following issues: legal issues; real estate; personnel; negotiation of a contract. It will return for its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

DISCUSSION SESSION: Storefront Art program

6:33 P.M.: The presentation has ended.

Goldstein said she has been talking with people interested in pedestrian safety in downtown. The city is discussing ways to add wording to its website to reinforce its support of walkers and bicyclists. Aldermen should also expect to see an ordinance to this effect in the near future. St. Louis City has passed a similar item known as the complete streets ordinance that "essentially reaffirms that commitment to pedestrian and bicycle safety."

6:30 P.M.: Ward II Alderman Michelle Harris: "I would argue that we already have a lot of people walking around during lunch. If we really want to drive foot traffic at other times, evenings and weekends, we've probably got to light these things up. I wondered, had you looked into the cost of that?"

She said she would be interested in looking into such costs, provided they would not be too expensive.

Carter said he would look into the possibility.

6:27 P.M.: "I think it's a wonderful concept, and it adds some vibrancy to these empty storefronts," Ward 1 Alderman Judy Goodman said.

She asked whether the idea has been discussed with property owners.

Carter said that he's talked with some people tentatively and that they were more interested in what the final product would be.

Goodman also asked whether the city might focus on a particular area to develop some kind of an art walk. Carter said he had hoped to provide a map at Tuesday's meeting.

6:23 P.M.: Ward 3 Alderman Steve Lichtenfeld asked whether there are program provisions for art from students at schools such as Washington University and Clayton High School.

Carter said there are no prohibitions against student art because art will be exhibited on an open-call basis.

"I think it might be good to focus on them also," Lichtenfeld said. Mayor Linda Goldstein agreed.

Lichtenfeld also asked whether displays would be lit at night.

Carter said they would not.

6:22 P.M.: Carter: "It's going to help downtown look better." 

6:21 P.M.: Economic Developer Gary Carter is addressing the aldermen about the city's Storefront Art program, which aims to pair artists with empty or underused retail space in the city. In all, the city has identified more than 20 spaces that could be used to display art.

Exhibits would be displayed for two months, and artists would be able to sell their work. But galleries in Clayton wouldn't be permitted to use the space to direct people to their locations, Carter said.

6:08 P.M.: The session is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 7, at .


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