Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), February 16, 2019 | Go to article overview

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16


County library's projects should get an independent audit

Regarding the editorial "Who needs appraisals?" (Feb. 13):

As a taxpayer, it is not only very disappointing but utterly inconceivable that the St. Louis County Library District would proceed with a major land purchase without obtaining a current appraisal of that property as a basic component of its decision process. In fact, every dollar must be viewed as an incremental choice of investment when expending taxpayer-provided funds.

It certainly appears that the Library Board of Trustees is either fiscally ill-prepared, blatantly cavalier with other people's money, or some of both. There can be no valid explanation for paying $6.1 million for a property assessed at less than one-third of that amount without even obtaining a current valuation.

Given this egregious breach of the public trust in failing to execute the board's key fiscal stewardship responsibility, there must be a complete independent financial audit of the county's library expansion/renovation project, which was funded by the most recent tax increase. And, the addition of some new, fiscally astute library board members seems necessary as well.

But this is not the only recent misuse of increased county sales tax funding as approved in good faith by voters and then expended wastefully or redirected to other unintended purposes. In 2017, county taxpayers approved the Proposition P sales tax increase to provide for enhanced law enforcement services, only to see nearly $5 million of such voter-approved funding removed from the current county budget.

A few years prior, county taxpayers approved the Proposition A sales tax increase to fund future mass transit initiatives, only to have $3 million of those funds donated by the county to the Loop Trolley fiasco, hardly a mass transit endeavor.

So, as we now face sales tax levels approaching 10 percent in many locales and suffer abuses of our generosity as described above, it's up to we taxpayers to be much more diligent and discerning as we evaluate the legitimacy of any future sales tax increase proposals.

Larry Feuerstein - Chesterfield

Criticism of dog's euthanization is far from rational

The current news about the plight of the stray dog that was euthanized after biting a veterinary technician is sad but also disturbing ("Stray Rescue blasts St. Louis County for euthanizing dog it had rescued," Feb. 13).

The article in the Post-Dispatch gave all the facts in this story. Unfortunately the interpretation of these facts by some in social media and by the owner of Stray Rescue have created a narrative that is far from rational thinking in an incredibly serious human situation. Rabies is approximately 99.99 percent fatal when contracted by humans. It is a horrible death.

Stray Rescue's Randy Grim said that "it would make sense to bring her back to the facility and care for her and keep her under observation instead of jumping to the conclusion of rabies." The best neurologist and best veterinary facility in the state both used their experience and skill to coordinate with St. Louis County Animal Control and the Missouri state veterinarian to come to a very painful decision. For Grim to suggest the option of quarantine for the stray with no record of rabies vaccination and showing neurologic systems of possible rabies would have put the life of the technician in extreme danger.

To encourage people to harass Veterinary Specialty Services and St. …

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