ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones says upgrading city services and finances in her department are helping to balance the entire city budget this year.
She also says roughly 100 employees in the parking division, maintenance, and janitorial staff will now get a minimum wage of $15 an hour, which equates to $30,000 a year.
“I wish we could do this for all city employees,” Jones said. “Hopefully, I hope my colleagues in city hall will follow my lead.”
Her new investment strategies have delivered about $25 million in returns for the city. They also have a policy of transferring the maximum legal amount from parking revenue to the general fund, which is approximately $1 million a year and something her predecessor didn’t do.
“We’ve improved services over the last few years: new parking meters on streets, new parking app to pay for parking, collecting credit cards in city-owned garages,” Jones said.
The money generated from these changes allows the raises and helps save the overall city budget about $10 million this fiscal year.
“I hope we see a trend where we spend more money on human services because I believe the more we spend on people, the more we'll see a decrease in crime,” Jones said.
The treasurer’s office also made a huge contribution to the city's reserve fund of $11 million last year, as well as purchasing new city tow trucks.
Jones says the creative changes they have made are paying off and she wants residents to know where their tax dollars go in the budget.
“If you take a look, over 60 percent of our budget goes directly to public safety, the fire department, police, jails; the rest of it goes to pay other services,” she said.