What Happens To Prop P Money If City Is Annexed Into County?

yTkejEGTEOur local government taxing authority comes from State law. There are all kinds of taxes that cities, counties, and special districts may ask the voters to adopt. In the case of Proposition P (Board Bill 60), the public safety sales tax increase on the November 7th Special Election ballot, the enabling law is Section 67.547 RSMo.

It’s a county sales tax, not a city sales tax. It’s the same section of State law that St. Louis County used to pass its Proposition P (Ordinance 25678) last April.

In the event that the City of St. Louis passes Proposition P and later is annexed into St. Louis County as a municipality, the City would no longer collect the sales tax for itself. Instead, St. Louis County would collect the tax from us and give some of it back to the City. Distribution of taxes has long been a contentious issue in the County.

Having less funds from the tax, the City would need to raise taxes to make up for the loss or reduce services commensurate with the loss.

The other possibility is that the City is annexed, likely unwillingly, as an unincorporated area or areas served by St. Louis County Police Department and one or more fire districts, as the County does not operate a fire department. Under that scenario, certainly a big pot of money, say from privatizing Lambert Airport, would come in handy to pay outstanding commitments from the former city as a city-county, such as pensions for its former police, firefighter, municipal and county office workforce.

It seems odd that in all the talk and posturing on the City being annexed into the County, usually referred to as a merger or consolidation, that there has been no conversation about taxes and fees. Which taxes and fees currently collected by the City are city revenue and which are county revenue? How much revenue loss would there be for the City? How do we continue to pay for services?

–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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UPDATED: Tuesday Public Safety: Bill To Defund City Emergency Management Agency

st-louis-tornado-destruction-1896b

The Hearing on this Board Bill was cancelled. Perhaps someone finally told the sponsor that all appropriations bills have to be recommended to Board of Aldermen by Board of Estimate and Apportionment.

Make your voice heard. Contact your Alderman and Board President Lewis Reed. Contact Info at end of post.

10 am Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
St. Louis City Board of Aldermen
Public Safety Committee
Kennedy Hearing Room (#208)
City Hall, 1200 Market City

Online Calendar Meeting Notice/Agenda

Agenda Includes Board Bill 119 by 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad to defund the City Emergency Management Fund (sic) Agency and re-appropriate the funds to a workforce development and employment to out-of-work residents program to be named “City Works Now.”

Presently, the City Emergency Management Agency (CEMA)  has four employees, two funded by City General Revenue and two funded by grants and other funds. See Budget summary for CEMA below.

The General Revenue side of CEMA’s funding is $206,985. Board Bill 21, however, seeks $215,000 for the new jobs program, which is more than the General Revenue funding.

Grant funding not used for the grant application’s purpose(s) could be returned to the funding source but cannot be diverted to another program.

Perhaps the alderman believes by charging the Mayor to declare the City in an unemployment emergency that emergency management funds can be spent on an employment program.

Either way, this legislation seeks to defund CEMA.

However, the City Charter has something to say about all this. It says that the alderman cannot reappropriate funds.

“Article IV. Board of Aldermen. Section 25 – Expenditures to be pursuant to ordinance; recommendations required.Except as otherwise expressly provided in this charter, no money shall be expended except in consequence of appropriations made by ordinance, and no improvement involving any expenditure of money shall be ordered except by ordinance. No ordinance making, changing or transferring an appropriation or contemplating or involving the payment of any money shall be adopted unless the board of estimate and apportionment shall have recommended or joined in recommending the same.”

The Board of Estimate and Apportionment did not send the Board of Aldermen this legislation, meaning it violates City Charter, making it a wet hot mess.

Addressing our City’s unemployment rate among Black youth is laudable. Gutting the agency charged to “reduce the loss of life and property” with “a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of prevention, preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation” is, however, an inappropriate response.

CEMA

Members of BOA Public Safety Committee: 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, Chair; 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard; 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar;12th Ward Alderman Larry Arnowitz; 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer; 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad; 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd; 23rd Ward Alderman Joe Vaccaro; 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn; 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd. Board President Lewis Reed is a voting member of all committees.

Contact Information for all Aldermen and Board President

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Did Rex Sinquefield Just Donate To Prop P Campaign?

yTkejEGTEAs previously blogged (and, yes, that will get updated with the late reports info)…

Consultants have conned Civic Progress into believing November 7th’s Prop P has a chance at passage. The Kings of Status Quo donated $125,000 on October 12th to the Kelley Group‘s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a campaign committee for Prop P, the November 7th Sales Tax Increase Special Election.

Kelley Group’s STL Citizens for Safety is carrying a $82,397.52 debt from the April St. Louis County Prop P Sales Tax Increase Election. Keeping an eye on that one to see if the City Prop P money from Rex Sinquefield, who donated to the County Prop P campaign, goes to that account.

Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories gave $10,000 to their Regional Progress PAC On October 16th. This is also a committee to monitor for activity on Prop P. Check with the previous blog post on where all the Regional Progress PAC money has gone.

And now the money to stuff mailboxes with Prop Propaganda is rolling into Kelley Group’s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis.

October 17th: $50,000 from St. Louis Police Foundation (Clayton)
October 17th: $100,000 from Regional Business Council (Clayton)
October 18th: $100,000 from Centene Management Corporation (Clayton)

Total as of Wednesday afternoon, $375,000 so far for Kelley Group to spend on Prop P.

I went back and looked at the Civic Progress October campaign finance report. They also paid $16,750 to Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories for polling.

Then I looked for information on St. Louis Police Foundation. My first thought was, is this the organization that you are asked to donate to by rounding up your bill at the grocery? The money is supposed to go to buying equipment for police, not on a political campaign to raise sales taxes.

The St. Louis Police Foundation website was easy to find.

Finding out who runs the Foundation not so much. The website states, “The Foundation’s leadership consists of 25 volunteer board members and one executive director,” but no where provides the names. There hasn’t been a Newsletter posted there since October 2015.

In trying to find information on who runs the organization, I came upon who are major funders. Look at the Sponsors pages and you’ll see Rex Sinquefield is an important part of this 501(c)3.

Now it seems odd to me that a charity that buys equipment for police would spend $50,000 rolling the dice on a ballot issue. It makes more sense to me that someone donated $50,000 to the Foundation and it was earmarked Prop P. And it makes sense to me that Kelley Group would want to keep Sinquefield’s name out of this campaign and that he was the donor. Sinquefield donated up front to the Prop P campaign in the County last April. But he is a lightning rod for opposition to anything he supports here in the City.

If not, if rounding up at the grocery for this charity is actually donating for political purposes, then my grocery is asking for a boycott.

I hope news media ask questions and get answers. Who is really funding Prop P?

—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

October Campaign Finance Reports

Game on, Rasheen!

5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard‘s Missouri Ethics Commission page says her next election is a special election. I liked the way those Rodney Hubbard vs. Rasheen Aldridge and Penny Hubbard vs. Bruce Franks Jr special elections went. I think a Tammika vs. Rasheen election would go just as well.
Hubbard

Hubbard’s Deputy Treasurer, a paid for campaign treasurer, is Kathryn Jayne Drennen of Midwest Compliance Group. Drennen is also Deputy Treasurer for 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar and, he just won’t go away, Russ Carnahan. Carnahan, unfortunately, is looking at running statewide in 2020. His state campaign committee recently gave $1,000 to his federal committee ARCH PAC (Arch Leadership PAC),

Return of the Ortmanns?

Coatar has $73,159 on hand. The second biggest war chest among aldermen campaign accounts belongs to, surprisingly,  Ken Ortmann, former 9th Ward Alderman, with $47,200.39. Ortmann’s MEC account says he is running again in 2021.

Pat Ortmann, former 9th Ward Democratic Committeewoman, Ken’s wife and partner at The Cat’s Meow bar in Soulard, also has an MEC account. She plans on running for a seat on Central Committee in 2020 and has $502.97 on hand. 9th Ward Committeewoman Sara Johnson has filed Limited Activity reports all year.

Coming in third among the well-monied aldermen accounts is 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy with $40,835.27. Roddy recently paid $1,300 to consultant Jim McHugh and continues to pay a social media contractor to block Twitters users.

10th Ward Alderman Joe Vollmer is sitting on $11,950.98.

22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd loaned his committee $400 and has $14.97 on hand.

As of 11 pm Monday, 3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley, 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther, 11th Ward Alderwoman Sarah Martin, 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis,  20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer, 24th Ward Alderman Scott Ogilvie, 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd, and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, all had missed the 5 pm Monday campaign finance report deadline.

Collector of Revenue For Life Gregg F.X. Daly has $601,572.88 available for his re-election bid next year. License Collector Mavis Thompson has $7,021.12 on hand and fundraiser scheduled for the end of this month. Dana Kelly Franks, wife of State Rep. Bruce Franks, launched her campaign for Thompson’s job last weekend.

Something must be seriously wrong with the MEC database because it is showing the last report filed by 6th Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia was in July 2016.

Ingrassia

Is a Bosley the next 79th District State Representative? Is Butler the next Recorder of Deeds?

3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley has no October Report up yet as of 11 pm Monday. Ironically, his amended July Report shows he paid $408 in “Fees” to MEC. That’s usually means late fees.

Bosley’s July Report also shows he received a total of $500 in contributions from two of his campaign office landlord’s businesses. Rent is usually not very interesting. But Bosley’s landlord, Michele Duffe, former LRA Director, is also State Rep. Michael Butler‘s campaign office landlord. Butler has amended his account to run for Recorder of Deeds next year. Rumor has it that Butler and the Bosley Family have swapped endorsements and Lakeysha Frazier-Bosley, the Alderman’s sister, getting the nod from Butler as heir to his 79th District seat.

Consultants have conned Civic Progress into believing November 7th’s Prop P has a chance at passage. The Kings of Status Quo donated $125,000 to the Kelley Group‘s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a campaign committee for the Sales Tax Increase Election.

safer

Kelley Group’s STL Citizens for Safety is carrying a $82,397.52 debt from the April St. Louis County Prop P Sales Tax Increase Election. Keeping an eye on that one to see if the City Prop P money from Rex Sinquefield, who donated to the County Prop P campaign, goes to that account.

Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories gave $10,000 to their Regional Progress PAC after deadline for October report. This is also a committee to monitor for activity on Prop P.

Kelley Group established Regional Progress PAC with $10,000 from Show Me Victories in November 2016. Usually what this political action committee does is deliver money from other sources. Since its beginning, the political action committee has received…
$67,500 from Anheuser-Busch
$10,000 from Schnuck Markets
$6,000 from Centrex Strategies (a.k.a. Lou Hamilton)
$2,500 from HMS Host (airport food)
$1,000 from QuikTrip Corp.

Most of the money went back out as donations to candidates, including…
$25,044 to Mayor Lyda Krewson
$10,000 to St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger
$6,000 to 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro
$5,044 to 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar
$5,000 to 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis
$4,000 to Board President Lewis Reed
$4,000 to 3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley
$2,600 to State Auditor Nicolle Galloway
$2,500 to Board President Lewis Reed
$2,500 to 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther
$2,500 to 13th Ward Alderwoman Saran Martin
$2,000 to Comptroller Darlene Green
$2,000 to 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd
$2,000 to 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy
$1,000 to 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard
$1,000 to 11th Ward Alderwoman Beth Murphy
$1,000 to 16th Ward Alderman Tom Oldenburg
$1,000 to 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad
$500 to 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn
$500 to State Rep. Peter Meredith

Donations to losing candidates included…
$5,000 to Ken Ortmann’s 9th Ward re-election campaign
$1,044 to Jennifer Florida’s 15th Ward campaign
$44 to Lindsay Patton’s 19th Ward campaign

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I am an employee of the City of St. Louis at the Recorder of Deeds Office. I am 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman. I ran for Committeewoman twenty years after I had been working at the Recorder’s as an archivist. I did not get my job because I am a Committeewoman. As a Committeewoman, I have had text conversations and met with State Representative Mike Butler who is running for Recorder but have made no endorsement. I have had no conversation with current Recorder Sharon Quigley Carpenter about whether she is running for for re-election. I have had a phone conversation with License Collector Mavis Thompson and text conversations with Dana Kelly Franks, her challenger, but have made no endorsement in that race. People are making a lot of bad assumptions these days. I am a straightforward person. Don’t assume, ask me.

—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Saturday: #ExpectUs Protest Downtown + ACLU Legal Observer Workshop

There is an Action scheduled to begin Downtown 3 pm Saturday at St. Louis City Police HQ, 20th & Olive. Updates here

Also 3-5 pm Saturday, ACLU is having a Legal Observer Training Workshop specific to people of color who want to volunteer for legal observer duty at actions. Workshop is at Julia Davis Library, 4415 Natural Bridge. More info

expectus