ST. LOUIS (KMOX)– In the midst of a police budget crisis, with officers leaving to make more money elsewhere, aldermen discover the city’s parking meter department is sitting on a pile of surplus cash.

Alderman Jack Koatar and others want City Treasurer Tishaura Jones to give some of that $23 million to general revenue to help hire more police, or replace aging trash trucks. Jones says she needs that money to insure her debt.

“Every organization has a certain amount of debt reserves that, should an emergency happen, they can cover their bills. There are other reserve funds that the city can look at,” she says.

Jones says the airport has a $150 million reserve and the water department has $34 million.

“I would be open to a conversation about the root causes of crime, which are poverty, eradicating poverty in our city, and looking at expanding mental health and substance abuse services, which is what I talked about on the campaign trail,” she says.

Even her critics concede, Jones is sharing what she’s required to with the city under state law, they just wish she would share more.

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