Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

150415digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

150415digest

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS > Aldermen to decide on civilian oversight board * A special meeting of the Board of Aldermen will convene Wednesday to consider final passage of a controversial bill to establish a civilian oversight board of police.

The board will meet at 10 a.m. at City Hall.

Under the bill, a seven-person St. Louis Civilian Oversight Board would have the authority to investigate allegations of police misconduct; research and assess police policies, operations and procedures; and make findings and recommendations. It could also review evidence and witness statements from investigations by police internal affairs. The board would report its findings to the city's public safety director and police chief.

The board would not have subpoena power.

The topic has been controversial at City Hall. One public input meeting ended in chaos, with people shoving and shouting.

Still, the bill, as written, has heavy support, including most aldermen and Mayor Francis Slay, who is expected to sign it. (Nicholas J.C. Pistor)

UNIVERSITY CITY > Councilwoman urges spending cuts * Because city voters last week rejected bond issues proposals for streets and parks, the city should instead finance needed infrastructure improvements with savings that could accrue by slashing unneeded spending, according to Councilwoman Paulette Carr.

At a City Council meeting Monday night, Carr suggested that the city trim $1 million in discretionary and unnecessary spending from the fiscal year budget to begin July 1 and use the money to finance needed road and possible parks projects.

"We need to make the streets a priority and cut out discretionary and unnecessary spending," Carr said.

Councilman Stephen Kraft responded that the city's infrastructure needs may exceed $1 million in one year but said he supported reallocation of funds.

"We have to start over...and figure out how we are going to get these things done," Kraft said. "I think we have to come up with budget cuts."

On April 7, voters rejected a $20 million bond issue proposed for streets and sidewalks and a second $5 million bond issue for parks improvements. Carr and Councilman Terry Crow campaigned against the spending plans, which would have triggered an increase in property tax rates. …

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