I had some time to speak with St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay on a number of issues.
First on his mind is the census. There is a push to have residents fill out their forms. Among the more important reasons, is federal funding. Slay estimates that shorting the population by just 10,000 can cost the city $34 million in federal funding.
As for the city budget and the struggle to close a big deficit, Slay says he doesn't want to take police off the streets, but everything else will be looked at. He doesn't want and across the board cut, but it's possible the city might have to do without some things, although he wants a "safe and clean city."
The struggling economy and a poverty rate in the city of 25 percent is what he views as the biggest challenge for him now.
As for the struggle over control of the Police Dept., Slay says he came close to getting what he wanted in Jeff City and he believes that many more people understand the issue about state control of the city police.
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