And despite its billing as a regional organization, ex-employees say St. Louis County was clearly the Partnership’s focus under Sweeney.
“The emphasis was 100 percent on county relations and Stenger relations,” one former employee said.
The successor to the former St. Louis County Economic Council, the Partnership still manages county development arms like the port authority and industrial development authority, just as the St. Louis Development Corp. manages those offices in the city. But for companies looking to relocate or expand in the region, the Partnership was supposed to be agnostic about promoting sites in the city or county.
Sweeney, however, “made it abundantly clear she would support the county over the city,” said one person familiar with management’s thinking.