Dear St Ann Residents,
There are many questions as to why we are being asked to vote on a Prop L for our Police Department.
I will copy and paste my website info here as well as to some of my thoughts as to why it was necessary to ask you the residents to have a say on how you would like the Board of Alderman to proceed on this topic.
Some of you are unable to link to my website, some do not do Facebook or Twitter and there is a lot of information to review to make your decisions. So in this email I have attempted to put as much information as I have studied to aid you in your decisions on Prop L. Please share this information with your friends and neighbors.
Why is the BOA putting a Police Tax on the April Ballot?
Just so we keep to the facts there have never been less than 5 officers on our streets even when we were doing the highway patrol. 4 officers and 1 supervisor. 24/7/365
Crime has decreased in St Ann.
The officers may have increased when we were (past tense) running the highway detail however many of those were reserve officers- (a program that has been eliminated as well as 10 police positions were cut in response to sb5 in 2015.) The highway program was terminated by the Chief in Nov. 2016 due to lack of funds to continue it, as the results of sb5 and sb572 which created Court changes that allow for tickets to go unpaid with no real ability to enforce collection at the city level. Basically, the courts must give 4 new court dates for failure to show, then turn over collection to the State of Mo.
Something to think about where sb572 is concerned will be this summer’s high grass issues as the procedure for this now is to give a 10 day notice, followed by an additional 10 day notice before action can be taken.
Fact the money made on the highway recycled into running the highway detail, left overs from that were invested in school resource officers and dare programs, national night out and neighborhood watch. Schools are where the state wants this money redirected anyway.
I will ensure that all of the information I receive is published on my website under the police tab at www.amypoelker.com
In my opinion an additional cut of 13-15 officers from our patrols - number to depend on financial impact to the need to cut $975,000.00 from the budget....will impact how our city is policed/affect your response times and therefore should be a decision made by the public and not by 8 members of the BOA.
As for the rhetoric/propaganda you have viewed in the news in the past here is an excerpt from one of my speeches given while running for County Council (fact checked)
Better Together has stated that in 2013 the City of St Ann collected 37.47% of its revenue in Court Fine revenue. The inference is made and repeated by some local politicians who have taken millions in contributions from Better Together Mega Backer Rex Sinqfield is that it all came from petty “minor” traffic violations and somehow violated state law. The Missouri State Auditor disagrees with Better Together’s calculations and concluded that 27.8% was the number and was below the amount authorized by state law. The state auditors also gave the St. Ann Court a GOOD ranking on our accounting/court practices which is the second highest ranking given. Additionally, conveniently left out of Better Together’s “narrative” was the context in which the tickets that resulted in this revenue were written. In 2013 the City was in middle of a partnership with the Missouri Department of Transportation to lower the number of accidents on I-70 that were a result of speeding. This effort started in 2010 and by 2013 serious accidents on St. Ann’s portion of I-70 went from 143 in 2009 to 11 by the end of 2013. Revenue generated by these tickets was used to pay for the overtime for police officers enforcement efforts. It was and still is used for paying for School Resource\DARE Officers in Ritenour and Pattonville schools… including 2 at Ritenour High.
Better Together fails to note that in Oct. of 2011 our Board of Alderman took steps to reduce its own government by voting to eliminate an entire Ward, reducing St Ann’s Alderman from 10 to 8 and using the extra dollars to reestablish the St Ann Newsletter, so we could better communicate with our residents. And prior to that in April of 2010 the Board of Alderman voted to reduce its income from $475 to $375 per month. Also at that time the Mayor’s salary was reduced from $30,000 to $20,700/year.
See Financial Documents below these numbers indicate that the budget has been affected by $600,000 even over a time period when the Highway detail did not exist, thus placing the budget in a financial position it has never had to encounter before.
Should the Prop fail, be assured the officers will be laid off the day after the election, to ensure the cities financial strength is maintained.
For those who do not know me well, I have fought off every tax increase until I exhausted all other avenues to fix the problems. These were decisions my predecessors did not have to make because before the mall closed the city had so much money flying in, it never had to think about or plan for the future maintenance of its needs. A lesson well learned that you should always have a rainy day fund put away. Something I appreciate about the Ritenour School District in how they plan for the future, they had a rainy day fund and it what has gotten them through the last 9 years of Economic loss.
There will be a lot of pictures to review. Here is the link to the 2017 Budget http://stannmo.org/154/Finance
Homes worth :
64,000 = $8.09/mth for 97.12/yr
100,000 = $12.67/mth for 152.00/yr
120,000 = $13.92/mth for 167.00/yr
151,000 = $19.13/mth for 229.52/yr (only one block of the city)
to calculate your home go to https://revenue.stlouisco.com/IAS/index.htm
put in your address
scroll down to 2016 assessed value on far right
use assessed value x .008 to get total $ value for year
Good Luck in your decisions, we certainly understand that there are some who just cannot afford to vote yes, no worries but the residents had to be asked the question BECAUSE IT WILL AFFECT RESPONSE TIMES. the BOA, CUT 10 men 2 yrs ago and eliminated the Reserve program as well, this was done without affecting service but since service will be affected you the residents deserve to decide the FATE of YOUR RESPONSE TIMES..
Alderman Amy Poelker
As always any questions... you got my number.
Hope to see you at my Meet the Alderman meeting on Feb 21st at 7pm at the Community Center and to my understanding there will be a Public Meeting held in the beginning of March.
BEGINNING HERE WITH THE 2008 BUDGET YOU CAN REVIEW ALL THE BUDGETS AND AUDITED RESULTS OF THOSE BUDGETS THROUGH 2017.