This article is 6 years old. It was published on August 16, 2017.
It is unfortunate that Comptroller Green is being sued just for doing her job. As Chief Fiscal Officer of the City of St. Louis, the Comptroller is charged with protecting the city's credit rating, and is given broad authority to pursue strategies that do so.
Pursuant to Article XV, Sec. 2 of the Charter of the City of St. Louis:
The comptroller shall be the head of the department of finance and exercise a general supervision over its divisions, over all the fiscal affairs of the city and over all its property, assets and claims, and the disposition thereof. He shall preserve the credit of the city, and for that purpose, or in case of any extraordinary emergency of any kind, he may, with the approval of the board of estimate and apportionment, and with or without any ordinance or other authority or appropriation therefor, draw warrants on the treasurer or effect temporary loans to pay debts and judgments and other liabilities of the city, or to meet any such emergency, charging such warrants to any excess balances in appropriations made by the general annual appropriation bill and specifically reporting his action to the board of aldermen at its first meeting thereafter.
Comptroller Green has made clear she would work with the Kiel Center Partners and other officials to find an alternate financing strategy—one that would not draw upon the city’s general fund and take money away from essential city services or harm the city’s credit.
At a time when everyone knew the City of St. Louis had to make compromises on its 2018 budget in order to meet a revenue shortfall and citizens are being asked to pay an additional $3 a month for trash pickup and to pay more taxes for police raises, it behooves all to focus on the needs of the citizens.
There are several ways the Kiel Center Partners could have chosen to fund the renovations they want. And yet they chose to pursue this strategy—taking from St. Louis's 300,000 residents—instead of pursuing a more equitable strategy.
The Comptroller stands by her statement of Friday, August 11.
Comptroller Darlene Green is the chief fiscal officer of the City of St. Louis and is charged with safeguarding the city's credit rating and with protecting taxpayer dollars. Visit www.stlouis-mo.gov/comptroller to learn more about the Office of the Comptroller.
Office of the Comptroller
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