CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOX) – Dozens of police supporters were in the audience at a special work session of the Chesterfield City Council Monday evening.
That included Elizabeth Snyder, widow of slain St. Louis County police officer Blake Snyder.
She was there to argue that Chesterfield should spend all of its Prop P dollars on police.
“When I heard that our Prop P funding might not go towards the officers — it might go towards potholes or ‘public safety’ — that was upsetting because they deserve so, so, so much more,” she told council members. “It’s hurtful for our law enforcement officers because they got so excited, and it was an exciting thing for this to be passed. They were finally going to get what they deserved — equipment, training, raises.”
On April 4, county residents voted by a nearly 2-to-1 margin to approve a half-cent sales tax “for the purpose of providing funds to improve police and public safety.”
It’s expected to generate some $80 million a year, with Chesterfield’s slice of that pie equalling more than $2.3 million.
Some residents who spoke during the session were angry with Mayor Bob Nation over public comments he’s made suggesting that road repairs fall under the “public safety” aspect of Prop P’s wording on the April ballot.
“I don’t understand as a city if we can’t afford to fix our potholes on our own and we have to steal the money from our police officers, maybe as a council you guys are doing something wrong,” said Dave Kaplan to a huge cheer from many in the audience.
Also concerned with how the sales tax funding will be spent was Chesterfield resident Debbie Donnelly.
“This money should be dedicated as a line item in the police public safety budget, not poured into the general fund,” she suggested.
At first, Nation declined any comment on the matter, saying he’s been misrepresented in the media, but relented and spoke with reporters during a break in the meeting.
“If you think about it, you know, I think it falls within the realm of public safety,” he suggested. “You know, if there’s a pothole that may cause an accident.”
But to Elizabeth Snyder, there should be no confusion over how Prop P dollars should be spent.
“When it comes to better training, better armor, two-man vehicles, there is always a need,” she told the council. “You can always put that money toward something more for our law enforcement.”
No action was taken on the public input at Monday’s Chesterfield City Council meeting.