Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 5

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Letters to the Editor, Nov. 5

Article excerpt

Give police the resources to do a better job

City Treasurer Tishaura Jones asserts that giving $12.8 million to Interim Police Chief Lawrence O'Toole is "rewarding bad behavior" for the way the St. Louis Police Department controlled protesters ("Jones comes out against sales tax hike for police salaries," Oct. 25). The chief has 100 vacant positions and fears quite realistically that he'll lose many experienced officers to better pay in St. Louis County. So, we punish him by denying more funding. How will that fill those empty slots, or keep those knowledgeable officers?

Interestingly, Jones hasn't talked about rewarding bad behavior by fellow elected official Kim Gardner, our circuit attorney. Gardner lost more than 20 of her staff in the first months of her administration, and recently the office's lead prosecutor also quit. Gardner prosecuted former Officer Jason Stockley with a single charge of murder, a strategy that many considered too narrow and which failed to win conviction.

Recently, Gardner says she's unable to prosecute 3,500 interstate highway violations because she's short-staffed. Is giving Gardner $1.5 million rewarding bad behavior? Isn't it, rather, giving her the resources to do a better job?

Mayor Lyda Krewson and the city's new director of public safety aren't looking back at the past two months and the rather limited outbreak of public demonstrations. They're looking at law enforcement across many fronts, and looking at policing in the next two, five or even 10 years. It seems to me that voting for the sales tax isn't rewarding bad behavior. It's giving them the resources to do a better job.

Robert J. Byrne * St. Louis

City must find more equitable way to pay for services

The reason for Proposition P is justified; the means is not. It is a travesty that the city hands millions of dollars in unnecessary tax abatement to developers then wants to replace that revenue on the backs of the poor.

A sales tax is a regressive tax; it is a financial burden to those who can least afford it, and the current sales tax is already high. Voting no on Proposition P will force the city to find a more equitable way to replenish its coffers to pay for needed services.

Patti Teper * St. Louis

Boycotting city until aldermen show police support

I have begun a boycott of St. Louis city until the St. Louis Board of Aldermen demonstrate:

* Intelligence.

* Reduced pandering.

* Zero racism.

* Police support (philosophically and monetarily).

Sorry, Cardinals.

Gary Lasadose * St. Louis County

Show brotherhood toward veterans

This Veterans Day, let us remember those soldiers who died on the battlefield to protect our way of life.

Let us also reflect on those living warriors who have endured great mental and physical hardship to maintain our freedom. Millions of our heroes require not only the help of our government but also dedicated organizations, businesses and volunteers to lead as normal a life as possible. …

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