CHESTERFIELD, MO – Dozens of Chesterfield residents packed City Hall Monday night to address concerns over how money generated from Proposition P will actually be used.
"We need the services the police provide and you're taking their money" said Chesterfield resident David Kaplan.
In April, St. Louis County voters approved Proposition P; a sales tax that would generate millions of dollars a year to help improve police and public safety in the county and its municipalities. A little more than half of the money would be given to St. Louis County and the remaining money would be split among the county's 89 municipalities.
"To think that our mayor and city council alone without voters input, could take what they intentionally voted for and to change that is not only illegal, but morally wrong" said resident Jami Dolby.
The latest controversy in Chesterfield started after Mayor Bob Nation suggested that he would like to use the city's cut of Prop P funding for non-police uses like road repairs and snow removal- things he believes still fall under the realm of public safety.
"Public safety is a generic term that is applicable to much of what government does" said Nation.
"They deserve so much more" said Elizabeth Snyder, wife of fallen St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder. "They put their lives on the line for every single one of these people in this room every single day" she said.
Nation says he supports police but notes that Chesterfield Police are already some of the highest paid in the county, earning a starting salary of just over $54,000 a year. Supporters of Prop P and people who voted for it to be used for police and public safety, say there's more to it than police pay.
"When it comes to better training, better armor, two man vehicles, there's always a need" said Snyder. "You can always put that money towards something more for our law enforcement officers" she said.
"Great we start out high pay for the police department- that's great- we should be able to retain those officers" said resident David Kaplan. "We don't want to be the place where everyone comes to train and goes somewhere else" he said.
Where Proposition P money goes won't be known until later this year when the council passes next year's budget. Until then, residents are hoping to keep the pressure on their city leaders to do the right thing.
"Think about your citizens, think about what your voters have voted for and think about the next election before you make a change" Dolby said.