2019 Budget Approved
Last Friday, the Board of Aldermen approved Board Bill 1AA, which set a $1.1 billion spending plan for the 2019 fiscal year. Highlights of the budget include:
- much-needed pay raises for police officers and firefighters, which were made possible by the voters who helped pass Proposition P last year;
- funds to establish a new Office of Community Mediation, and to re-launch the Police Cadet Program;
- full funding of the Ward capital budgets, which allow Aldermen to pay for critical improvements in their neighborhoods; and
- full funding of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, along with money for outreach to – and advocacy for – homeless individuals.
Citywide Audit Update
Last year, the Board of Aldermen passed a resolution inviting Nicole Galloway, Missouri state auditor, to begin an audit of the City’s various departments and offices. I recently had a chance to meet with Auditor Galloway to discuss her process and highlight suggested areas of focus.
The audit will begin by reviewing the impact of recommendations and findings from the City’s 2010 audit, then shift to a department-by-department examination. Recommendations that I am urging Auditor Galloway to address in her findings include, but are not limited to:
- Establishing an independent audit committee that is responsible for ensuring the City’s implementation of audit recommendations and findings. An audit is only as good as the management decisions, practices and polices that are improved as a result of its conclusions.
- Directing a single City agency to handle all compliance relating to bond issuance, rather than allowing each agency or office with bonding authority to independently interact with investment banks and rating agencies.
- Ensuring that each City office issues contracts for work only after soliciting proposals according to set guidelines, rather than “single-sourcing” from recurring suppliers. Issuing proper requests for proposals is the only way to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent as efficiently as possible.
Investigating the Northside Regeneration Project
Following a resolution sponsored by Ward 20 Alderwoman Cara Spencer
, the Board of Aldermen recently called for Federal and state investigations into the activities of Paul McKee and his Northside Regeneration project. The City also has moved to declare McKee in default of his redevelopment agreement
. I will keep you updated in future editions of the Ward 16 Weekly
as this topic unfolds.
Fourth of July Reminder
As we prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July with our friends and family, please remember to be safe. Ward 16 residents are reminded that City Ordinance No. 65824 prohibits the discharge or explosion of fireworks within City limits