Spirit of St. Louis – Pick Your Charity, Pick Your Car

Alderwoman disagrees with spending on Scottrade Center renovations

St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer of the 20th Ward says a lawsuit to stop city money from funding upgrades to the Scottrade Center could be forthcoming.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed a bill giving Scottrade Center $64 million of city money for renovations. However, the bonds have not been issued and Alderwoman Spencer says they shouldn’t.

“Our state constitution is clear. Cities shall not spend municipal funds on private enterprises and that’s what we have going on here,” she said.

Spencer sent a letter to Comptroller Darlene Green and copied the other 11 aldermen who voted ‘no’ on the Scottrade bills, to research whether the bills passed were unconstitutional.

A spokesperson for Green’s office said she is reviewing the letter and stands by her January statement: “Any proposed use of current budget revenues reduces available funding for public safety and delivery of essential city services."

“I think she'll do a good job; our comptroller has been steadfast. She has been a watchdog for city finances,” Spencer said.

The city has seen its credit rating continue to slip in the last few years, plus they are having difficulty meeting obligations of their city services. Alderwoman Spencer does recognize that Scottrade does bring in a lot of lucrative business.

“Our problem isn’t with the ownership group or the activities they bring here, but the exclusive ownership there is a problem,” she said.