Let’s Cut A Mayoral Appointee To Save Money

city-hall3During the last Budget battle, City departments were told to slash payroll and did. This was done by new retirements and not filling old vacancies. Most everyone slashed payroll except Mayor Lyda Krewson. Her office got additional staff and more money.

Now, as it turns out, the Mayor doesn’t have to give up office staff to make a personal cost cutting choice.

St. Louis City is both a City and its own County. Like any other County in Missouri, we have elected or appointed offices performing county duties by state law- Assessor, Circuit Court Clerk, Collector of Revenue, Coroner/Medical Examiner, Prosecuting Attorney/Circuit Attorney, Public Administrator, Recorder of Deeds, Sheriff, and Treasurer.

We also have a License Collector and some other anomalies. Our County Recorder is also our City Vital Records Registrar. Our County Treasurer is also our City Treasurer and Parking Czar. Our City Comptroller is also our County Auditor. Our City Board of Aldermen and Board of Estimate and Apportionment are our County Commission/Council. Our Mayor is our County Executive. Our City Register is our County Clerk.

You can find our County offices on Page 772 of the 2015-2016 Missouri State Manual.

Our City Register/County Clerk is keeper of various records but, unlike, most other County Clerks, is not our Election Authority. Here, we do not run our own elections. The Governor appoints a Board of Election Commissioners to oversee our elections. Governor controls. We pay the bills. Local control via an elected Register/County Clerk would be better. But Rex Sinquefiled, the man who bought local control of the Police Department for St. Louis, doesn’t seem to be interested in empowering us to run our own elections.

With no reason to believe the Legislature is going to do St. Louis City any favors, and no sugar daddy to fund a ballot issue to force the state to return control of elections to us, we are pretty much free to consolidate the City Register with another office.

The City Register is a records center. Who else is in the public records business at City Hall? The Recorder of Deeds & Vital Records Registrar and City Comptroller. Either one of the offices would make good places to consolidate the Register.

How does this save money? The Register is a mayoral appointee. If you combine the office with another office and make the elected Recorder or Comptroller also the Register, you free up the salary of the previous mayoral patronage job. Comptroller would become Comptroller and Register. Or Recorder becomes Recorder of Deeds, Vital Records Registrar, and City Register.

That’s not to say the City Register does not put in a day’s work for a day’s pay. But by consolidating a three person office into a larger office, one where employees are cross trained to perform numerous functions and fill in when needed, cutting that appointee salary could be done.

What would be necessary to make this change? A charter amendment removing the Register from the list of mayoral appointees  and giving the Comptroller or Recorder the title of Register. Pretty sure voters would approve such an amendment and appreciate the opportunity to vote on something to cut a cost as opposed to raising a tax.

Mayor Krewson was in the reform camp as a alderwoman. Here’s a reform waiting for her to take the lead on.

In fact, the Mayor could do it tomorrow without a charter amendment. She could appoint the Comptroller or Recorder as Register in the interim until a charter amendment could be passed.

Far fetched? Not really. It was considered by Mayor Francis Slay early in his first term. He had worked to consolidate Vital Records with the Recorder of Deeds and was interested in also consolidating the Register with Recorder.

Does getting rid of one salary save a lot of money? No.

But is there a good reason to keep the Register a mayoral appointee? No.

Go ahead. Ask the Mayor. There’s no checks and balances rationale for maintaining this post as a reward to a supporter.

And if the Mayor doesn’t lead on this, then, hopefully, someone at the Board of Aldermen will.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Bring School Supply Donations to August 13th Old Frenchtown Bingo

homeCelebrate the early history of Soulard, LaSalle Park, and Lafayette Square at our Old Frenchtown Bingo Party 2-4 pm Sunday, August 13th on the patio at Nadine’s, 1931 S 12th in Soulard. More Info  

Remember to pick some school supplies for donation. More info on 7th Ward School Supplies Drive.

We have some great prizes for the Donors Drawings including this handsome cheese board donated by Andrea at Looking Glass Designs in Lafayette Square.
cheeseboard

 

Central Committee Should Support Treasurer Jones Against Takeover By Board of Aldermen

I have written St. Louis Democratic City Central Committee requesting the Committee seek a veto from Mayor Krewson on Board Bill 92 to reduce authority of City Treasurer Tishaura Jones and to support any lawsuit by the Treasurer to strike down the legislation.

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The Votes by Aldermen are not available on the BOA website yet.

As mentioned in the email, Central Committee previously opposed elimination of Recorder of Deeds and state legislation to reduce authority of our elected Sheriff.

Consistency dictates if Central Committee will defend two elected county offices against takeovers, it should do the same for a third county office, and all county offices.

Board Bill 92 is sponsored by 22nd Ward Alderman, and perennial citywide candidate, Jeffrey Boyd, who came in 5th of 7 candidates for mayor in March of this year. He received only 1,439 votes. Jones came in 2nd with 16,374, only 888 votes separating her and winner 28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson.

Boyd came in 3rd of 4 candidates in the August 2012 Treasurer election in which Jones won her first term.

In August 2014, Boyd ran and lost to Mavis Thompson for City License Collector.

Perennial Candidate, that’s Jeffrey Boyd. Sore Loser.

Suggested reads…

6/22/2-17 St. Louis American: Using reserve funds is only a quick fix

7/6/2017 St. Louis American: Political payback still holds St. Louis back

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

SLPOA Does Not Support Public Safety Sales Tax Hike

Because someone forgot, it’s all about them.

“We are not signing off on an agreement that doesn’t include significant raises and full funding of Sergeants overtime. If the Mayor’s office thinks that we are going to support a sales tax on the ballot without an enforceable agreement on competitive wages, she’s simply lost touch with reality. We’re not going to spend our political capital to pass another sales tax where—at best—only about 1/3 of the money will be for police raises….without any guarantee. We will not mislead voters that this is pro-police measure. To accept the terms currently offered by the Mayor would be a slap in the face to every member and would be nothing more than a lie to the voters we are sworn to protect and serve. We will stand firm. Remember, every member will have the opportunity to vote on any deal we reach with the City before any contract becomes final.” 

“We are also planning rallies and an aggressive media campaign to drive our message home. Stay tuned for more on that.”

“This fight is far from over and we need everyone’s participation. This is no time to be complacent.”

“We need to show the Mayor and other elected officials that they woke a sleeping giant.”

-St. Louis Police Officers Association Executive Board

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7th Ward School Supplies Drive: Donate If You Can

school supplies7th Ward Independent Democrats are assisting Andrea Heugatter in Lafayette Square with her School Supplies Drive going on at Looking Glass Designs, her business, and at Lafayette Park Concerts.

The first delivery of school supplies went to Peabody Elementary School in Peabody-Darst-Webbe Neighborhood west of LaSalle Park Neighborhood. The second delivery went to KidSmart.

We are collecting new backpacks for kids and school supplies to help Andrea’s efforts. Here is the St. Louis City Public Schools School Supplies List.

You can drop off school supplies and backpacks at the olive green and white School Supplies container on the potting table at 1911 S 11th Apartment C, in back and upstairs.

You can also drop off at the July 17th Drinking Liberally Happy Hour.

Or drop off at Looking Glass Designs, 1917 Park or the next Lafayette Park Concert.

Call 7th Ward Committeewoman Marie Ceselski at 314-630-7599 with any questions.

Donate To #TakeItDownSTL And I Will Match Up To $25 Per Donation

takeitdownI will match all donations up to $25 to the #TakeItDownSTL Forest Park Confederate Memorial Fund made from 8 am Saturday, June 3rd through 8 am Wednesday, June 7th.

Treasurer Tishaura Jones started this fund and it is our job to finish the job and reach the $25,000 goal.

Make your $5, $10, $25 donations, or more, to the #TakeItDownSTL Fund and I will match the amount to $25.

I also challenge those with more means than I to make a matching funds pledge for amounts greater than $25.

Cemeteries of our enemies must be respected. But the Confederate Memorial at Forest Park is not a grave stone to those who fought and fell supporting the wrong side of a war. It is a public park memorial to defenders of enslavement.

The Confederate Memorial was part of a systematic attempt to rewrite the history of the Civil War without, “the great and foul stain”* of enslavement,” while also instilling fear that the South would rise again.

The Civil War tore our nation apart and we should never forget how close we came to complete collapse and ruin because men, women, and children, rich and poor, took up arms against our nation to defend enslavement.

The Confederate Memorial is a glorification of treason. Following orders is never a justification for doing wrong.

By donating to the #TakeItDownSTL Fund, we stand together united as citizens of these here United State of America committed to righting the wrong that is the Forest Park Confederate Memorial.

Some good online reading material relating to Confederate Memorials:

05/23/2017 The New York TimesMitch Landrieu’s Speech on the Removal of Confederate Monuments in New Orleans

05/29/2017 Associated PressOld South Confederate monument backers cite 1929 book claiming Lincoln, ‘vindictive’ anti-slavery movement caused Civil War by Jay Reeves

06/04/2017 The AtlanticThe Myth of the Kindly General Lee by Adam Serwer

06/04/2017 The HillRemoving Civil War statues the first step in finally defeating the Confederacy by Maya Rockeymoore

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

*John Quincy Adams