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City Finance Common Sense Approach

January 10, 2013 0 Comments

City FinancesWe need a common sense management approach to our financial challenges. Here’s one example:

I was there – for over a year- as the Council debated and deliberated how to pay for the street alignment and the traffic signal at Graeser and Olive.

I said on the record that the city should pay for the project with the funds on hand- with contributions from the developer and St.   LouisCounty. The developer proposed a complex structure, a Transportation Development District, which would borrow money and collect an extra one percent sales tax for 40 years.

There were two things wrong with the plan. One, we did not get to vote on the new tax. Two, the TDD structure added over $1 million in interest and administrative fees to the cost- at our expense.

And to top it off, the whole financing scheme fell apart (as I warned) when the debt could not be underwritten. The city bailed out the TDD by purchasing all the debt.

I was there working as a consultant with the city’s Finance Director to make sure that purchasing the debt was the best alternative available at the time.

The bailout was the best option. But now, when we shop at the Walgreens, the city is indirectly collecting taxes from us every time the TDD pays interest to the city.

Why should Ward 1 residents pay more taxes?

If I had been a member of the City Council I would have supported the street improvements but opposed the risky, costly financing scheme. There were others on the Council who felt the same way but they did not have a majority.

If I am elected to the City Council I will work to dissolve this TDD and eliminate the TDD tax.

As an MBA in Finance, retired Director of Corporate Finance at Monsanto, and successful business owner, I know finance. I will be there to ask the right questions when financial schemes are proposed in the future. If elected, I will vote for the common sense solution.

Vote for me April 2- for finance experience and common sense financial judgment.

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