Today, my staff and I testified before the Streets, Traffic and Refuse Committee regarding the FY19 Parking Division Budget. It is no secret that Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, who is chairman of this committee, has threatened to make drastic changes to our budget. Today, he kept his promise and attempted to cut essential members of my staff, playing petty politics with people’s livelihoods.
Earlier this year, I met with Mayor Krewson and offered to transfer $6 million from the Treasurer’s Office reserves to the City of St. Louis reserves in order to help improve the long-term financial health of the City. I never received a response to that request.
Last month, we received a request from Alderman Boyd that asked for $5.8 million to be transferred from the Parking Division reserves to the City of St. Louis general revenue fund. We were surprised because we never received a response to our previous request to transfer a similar amount to the City’s reserve fund. He made a similar request again today.
While I am appalled by the personal threats made to my staff today, I am still committed to helping the City of St. Louis increase its long-term fiscal health. I remain open to recommending that the Parking Commission transfer money to the City’s general fund reserve. I offered the transfer to the City’s reserve fund because it is my belief that it is better financially to shore up the City’s reserve funds, which would help the city over a longer term, than it is to transfer money into the City’s general revenue fund.
While we empathize with the City’s position, we are committed to long-term financial health, not short-term, temporary solutions. The City has a revenue problem, and it can’t be solved by using reserves.
An overview of the FY 2019 Parking Division budget can be found here.