St. Louis County, Missouri

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Portions of this article were taken from Wikipedia.

St. Louis County is one of 114 counties in Missouri. Its county seat is Clayton. St. Louis County is part of the St. Louis Metro Area wherein the independent City of St. Louis and its suburbs in St. Louis County, as well as the surrounding counties in both Missouri and Illinois all together account for a total population of over 2.8 million people. St. Louis County borders the City of St. Louis, which is independent from St. Louis County. Census 2010 put the county population at 998,954 -- which is more than 3 times the size of its adjoining namesake city.[1]

Website evaluation

Grade2.pngB-
Budget
{{{1}}}
Meetings
{{{1}}}
Elected Officials
{{{1}}}
Administrative Officials
{{{1}}}
Permits, zoning
{{{1}}}
Audits P
Partial.png
Contracts
{{{1}}}
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public records N
600px-Red x.png
Local taxes
{{{1}}}
County websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process


Last rated on March 5, 2012.

Main article: Evaluation of Missouri county websites

The good

  • Budget available.[2]
  • County council members listed with contact information. Meeting schedule, agenda, and archives available.[3]
  • Administrative contact details are listed on individual department pages.[4]
  • Information on building permits[5] and zoning[6] available.
  • Audits are listed[7], but have to be requested. Financial reports posted.[8]
  • Current bidding opportunities and awarded contracts are posted.[9]
  • Taxes can be paid online.[10] Tax rate books available.[11]

The bad

  • Does not disclose details about lobbying or belonging to a government sector lobbying organization.
  • Information on how to make a public records request is not provided on the site.

Budget

The 2012 budget contained a reduction of 52 funded positions, 32 full time, and 20 part time. It created a $22.6 million Parks budget, and layer off 24 Parks Department employees. Park maintenance activities were reduced, along with services such as pool seasons. Four capital projects at county parks were eliminated from the budget. Budgeted appropriations totaled $546,786,636.[12]

The 2011 budget for all budgeted funds is $489,377,029, a decrease of $48.3 million or 9.0%. This budget funds all operating departments of the County, highway capital projects, the Spirit of St. Louis Airport, debt service obligations, and pass‐through taxes that are distributed to Metro from the Public Mass Transit Tax Fund. This budget does not include grant funds or trust and agency funds.[13]

General
Funds
Special
Revenue
Funds
Debt
Service
Fund
Spirit of St.
Louis Airport
Fund
Public Mass
Transit
Fund
Highway
Capital
Funds
Total
Estimated Beginning Balance $ 58,385,848 $ 60,229,103 $ 13,241,795 $ 13,458,025 $ ‐ $ 4,992,232 $ 150,307,002
BUDGETED REVENUES
Property Taxes $ 105,249,291 $ ‐ $ 9,230,963 $ ‐ $ ‐ $ ‐ $ 114,480,254
Sales Taxes 43,635,000 125,549,820 105,836,800 275,021,620
Utility Gross Receipts Tax 30,500,000 30,500,000
Casino Taxes /Fees 10,064,775 10,064,775
Licenses & Permits 12,269,635 12,269,635
Assessment & Collection Fees 22,593,342 8,961,000 31,554,342
Fines & Forfeitures 4,048,130 36,720 4,084,850
Investment Earnings 1,672,227 745,060 292,765 244,701 29 732,504 3,687,286
Rents & Concessions 2,693,851 1,907,872 7,200 4,608,923
Intergovernmental 15,482,062 1,585,420 14,102,000 31,169,482
Charges for Services 39,658,641 265,444 39,924,085
Fees 5,551,000 7,547,791 13,098,791
Other Revenue 13,340,151 10,000 19,982,212 195,000 33,527,363
Total Budgeted Revenues $ 306,758,105 $ 144,691,255 $ 9,533,728 $ 22,134,785 $ 105,836,829 $ 15,036,704 $ 603,991,406
BUDGETED EXPENDITURES
Salaries & Wages $ 178,237,725 $ 7,693,092 $ ‐ $ 868,628 $ ‐ $ ‐ $ 186,799,445
Payroll Fringes 70,847,935 2,711,340 316,061 73,875,336
Purchased Services 56,365,025 14,169,355 919,181 24,324,000 95,777,561
Commodities & Supplies 27,987,241 452,956 16,323,100 44,763,297
Personal Allowances 3,675,548 346,927 8,100 4,030,575
Other Expenses 12,556,699 2,106,422 13,526,757 2,229,731 1,693,000 32,112,609
Transfer Payments 17,194,992 8,866,850 888,800 36,338,429 63,289,071
Capital Outlays 5,073,394 148,630 153,500 5,375,524
Expend Trsf/Reimb (16,586,388) (60,000) (16,646,388)
Total Budgeted Expenditures $ 355,352,171 $ 36,435,571 $ 13,526,757 $ 21,707,101 $ 36,338,429 $ 26,017,000 $ 489,377,029
Transfers In/(Out) $ 22,698,000 $ (33,998,000) $ ‐ $ ‐ $ ‐ $ 11,300,000 $ ‐
Adjustments 2,438,936 (34,749,200) (69,498,400) (101,808,664)
Estimated Ending Balance $ 34,928,718 $ 99,737,587 $ 9,248,766 $ 13,885,709 $ ‐ $ 5,311,936 $ 163,112,715

Public Employees

Elected Officials

St. Louis County was the first Missouri County to adopt a home-rule charter under the Missouri constitution in 1950. The current St. Louis County Charter was adopted by the voters on November 6, 1979.

Executive power of the county is vested in the county executive, which is a full-time salaried position. The current county executive is Charlie Dooley, who was re-elected November 2, 2010. The county executive's term is 4 years; he/she is elected by the general population of the county.[14]

Ordinances are passed by a county council. The council is made up of 7 members, each from a separate district within the county. Council member terms are 4 years, beginning on January 1 following the election. Elections are held in even-numbered years, with terms for even- and odd-numbered districts staggered.

Name District Party First Elected Current Term
Expiration
Hazel Erby District 1 Democrat 2002 2011
Kathleen Burkett District 2 Democrat 2002 2013
Colleen Wasinger District 3 Republican 2006 2011
Michael O’Mara District 4 Democrat 2000 2011
Pat Dolan District 5 Democrat 2010 2015
Steve Stenger District 6 Democrat 2008 2013
Greg Quinn District 7 Republican 5th term  ?

Administrative Officials

A list of county departments can be found here.

Emergency Personnel

St. Louis Metro PD: Total Crimes Index

Month 2009 2010 2011
January 2725 2402 2348
February 4984 4188 Unavailable
March 7850 6879 6489
April 10678 9898 9366
May 13701 12796 12487
June 16920 15768 15677
July 20442 18998 18719
August 23960 22189 Unavailable
September 27369 25174 Unavailable
October 30933 28228 Unavailable
November 34338 31062 Unavailable
December 37203 33782 Unavailable

(Note that these numbers are cumulative, meaning that by December, all previous crimes are including in the total)[15]

  • As indicated by the chart, the number of crimes is decreasing since 2009. Part I crimes (violent crimes) decreasing by 9.2% and Part II (property crimes) is decreasing by 7.7% since 2009. Crime in St. Louis is at the lowest levels since 1967.[16]
  • The average 911 call wait time is 4.8 seconds.[17] The average police response time is approximately 6 minutes. Although there is no national average, for similarly sized cities, the response times are between 9-11 minutes.[18]
  • In 2009, there were 1,358 full-time officers. There are 3.96 officers per 1,000 residents.[19] The average ration of police officers is 2.5 officers to1,000 residents nationally.[20]
  • In 2006, the Census placed total MO state/local police per capita expenditures at $417, below the national average $597.[21] In 2002, St. Louis expenditures ranked 4th per capita at $175 (the highest was Denver at $237).[22]
  • In 2011, the Uniform Crime Reporting Audit gave SLPD 98% compliance rating.[23]
  • In 2010, SLPD cut $16,000 from its annual budget by instituting a crime mapping report used in Baltimore, LA, Boston, San Francisco and DC.[24]

Police

The organization of the County Police is divided into four divisions.[25]

  • The Division of Patrol maintains a uniform presence 24 hours a day. The division has seven precincts: North County precinct, Central County precinct, Affton Southwest precinct, South County precinct, Fenton precinct, Wildwood precinct and the West County precinct. Each precinct is assigned a Captain as its Commander and over 400 uniformed officers work within the division. Currently each precinct has Neighborhood Police Officers (NPO's) assigned who work directly for the Commander of the precinct. The Division of Patrol maintains 285 fully marked patrol cars equipped with radios, radar guns, digital video cameras, wireless in-car computers and GPS technology. Many of these cars are utilized as part of the Resident Officer Program that allows officers to take their patrol cars home to their neighborhoods. At any given time during a 24-hour period there are between 80 and 100 on-duty officers patrolling the neighborhoods and business areas.[25]
  • The Division of Special Operations maintains units of specially trained officers to respond to unusual situations. Among these are the Tactical Operations Unit, comprised of select officers trained to execute high risk search warrants and conduct hostage negotiations. Other units under the Bureau of Patrol Support include our Canine Unit, which utilizes specially trained dogs to locate drugs, explosives and other evidence; the Highway Safety Unit was created to reduce the number of injury accidents on state highways throughout St. Louis County; the Metro Air Support Unit which flies both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters in an airborne law enforcement support role; and our Airport Liaison who coordinates services provided at both Lambert International and Spirit of Saint Louis Airports.[25]
  • The Division of Criminal Investigation serves as the formal investigative branch of our Department. Years of experience culminate in an assignment to the Bureau of Crimes Against Persons. These detectives are responsible for the successful investigation and apprehension of perpetrators who have committed murder, rape and robbery, as well as other violent acts against the family and society. Their counterpart in the division is the Bureau of Crimes Against Property. These detectives, along with securing the arrest of criminals, are responsible for reuniting the victims of larcenies, burglaries and auto theft with their property. The bureau also contains the Arson and Explosives Unit which is manned with members trained by the FBI and the National Fire Academy, who are responsible with safely disposal of explosive devices and work with local fire districts to investigate fires of a suspicious nature. Detectives are also assigned to the Bureau of Drug Enforcement where members work locally as well as with the Drug Enforcement Administration and other federal task forces targeting drug dealers. The Division is rounded out with the Bureau of Criminal Identification. Detectives assigned to the Crime Scene Unit have a mission to develop, photograph, collect and package any and all physical evidence that will forever link the perpetrator to the offense. To assist in identifying criminal suspects the Department utilizes a highly advanced Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) which holds the fingerprint records of those arrested in both St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis. The system is designed not only to identify local offenders but is also capable of searching all the fingerprint records maintained by the State of Missouri.[25]
  • The Division of Operational Support leads the Department in terms of developing technological innovations for contemporary law enforcement. The design and use of our Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) system along with the successful multi-jurisdiction integration of the 911 system has significantly reduced the time to locate and send the closest available police unit for an emergency call for service.[25]

A portion from the website states: "How do you rate the quality of service provided by your local law enforcement agency? Is the measure of quality service simply a result of the number of police officers per 1,000 population, or the average response time to all citizen calls for service, or the per capita cost of police services to the residents of a community? While these measures are frequently used throughout the country to evaluate police service, they do not accurately assess the quality or effectiveness of a police agency."[26]

While this may be true in a general sense, the number of officers, average response times, or cost are important indicators of quality and shouldn't be ignored.

Salaries

According to the 2012 budget, salary and fringe costs make up 46% of all budgeted expenditures. The 2012 budget saw a decrease of $1.3 million in salaries and wages, as salaries have remained frozen since 2009.[12]

Pensions

Permanent, full-time employees working more than 30 hours per week are enrolled in the County's retirement plan. Full benefits are payable at the normal retirement age of 65, or if an employee's age and years of service combine to equal 80. Reduced benefits may begin at 55 for employees with enough service time. The County pays the full cost of employee retirement benefits.[27]

Lobbying

Main article: Missouri government sector lobbying

In 2005, St. Louis County reported $180,000 spent on lobbying.[28]

Taxes

The county collects both a real estate and personal property tax, as well as a sales tax. Tax rates can be found here.[29]

External links

References