City officials are sparring over what should be done with the millions of dollars raised every year from the parking fees and parking fines.
There were tense exchanges between Alderman Jeffrey Boyd and Treasurer Tishaura Jones at the meeting on Tuesday. Their long-strained relationship was made worse as Boyd sued over parking funds last year.
“I feel like you have harassed me since 2012 when you lost the treasurer's race,” Jones said at the meeting.
Applause erupted from the crowd, mostly made up of treasurer's office employees, who were told to attend.
“I think it's a waste of taxpayer's money,” said Boyd.
Boyd said his many questions about the budget are nothing personal.
“The position of that office is to do what it wants to do and not answer to anybody and that is a problem, that is a great problem,” said Boyd.
With the city facing a deficit, he said wants more of the parking money turned over to the city's coffers.
“I don't want to call it a slush fund, but there's a lot of money in the Parking Division,” Boyd said.
Boyd recommended cutting five executive-level positions from the treasurer's office on Tuesday, claiming it's too top-heavy. This suggestion fired up the treasurer. Those employees then took a stand to fight for their jobs.
After another disruption later, Boyd asked to clear the room. The treasurer told her employees to stay.
After a recess, the decision to cut jobs was tabled until Thursday.
Alderman Brandon Bosley said the conversation about city funds is uncomfortable, but necessary.
“Every department is making budget cuts and everyone is trying to save the city money,” said Bosley.
The treasurer's office issued a statement regarding the Tuesday meeting.
“While I am appalled by the personal threats made to my staff today, I am still committed to helping the City of St. Louis increase its long-term fiscal health," Jones said. "I remain open to recommending that the Parking Commission transfer money to the City's general fund reserve.".
News 4 will continue to follow up on this issue.
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