Has anyone besides myself propounded the question of just how this Memorial Walkway would be paid for honoring the victims of the February 7, 2008 city hall shooting? Well, if you believed the city version of some sort of "grant", I'm sorry to report, that's a misrepresentation of the truth.
March 5, 2009 Kirkwood passed Ordinance No. 9838 appropriating $400,000 from the Capital Fund and transferred that money into the Capital Improvement Fund. This is deemed to be unconstitutional and illegal because it is charged that the Memorial Walkway is not a capital improvement project. In addition, November 5, 2009, Kirkwood passed Ordinance No. 9887 allocating $117,032 from the General Fund to be transferred into the Capital Improvement Fund for cost associated with the Memorial Walkway, which is also illegal because money from the General Fund is to be used on basic city services, and the memorial is not a service providing basic needs to Kirkwood residents.
November 8, 1994 Kirkwood asked voters to approve a 1/2-cent capital improvement sales tax (Proposition 1) to purchase fire and police equipment, repair streets and sidewalks; in addition to repairing the Clay and Forest Avenue bridges. Kirkwood's voters passed the ballot measure with 63.1 percent of the vote. The sales tax was a 10-year tax taking effect in 1995, and expiring in June 2005.
However, on April 6, 2004 instead of ending said sales tax Kirkwood asked voters to extend it for an additional 15 more years, when asked why? Mike Brown stated, according to the Webster Kirkwood Times, March 26- April 2, 2004 issue, page 13, " The sales tax is the only source of funding for major capital outlay for streets, sidewalks, police cars, fire trucks-all the equipment that goes into making a city run. All these things have been improved and put in place. We're now faced with having to maintain them as would be expected. Without capital dollars, they won't get maintenance they need".
Therefore, with that being stated, the Memorial Walkway is not defined to be a street, sidewalk, bridge, police nor fire equipment whereby capital dollars are to be allocated. Mo. Rev. Stats. §67.700.3 states in pertinent part; “all revenue received by a city from the tax authorized by sections 67.700 to 67.727 which has been designated for a certain capital improvement purpose shall be deposited in a special trust fund (Capital Improvement Fund) and shall be used solely for such designated purpose.” The Memorial Walkway is not that designated purpose.
So why are we sitting back and allowing the City of Kirkwood to violate the City Charter and Code of Ordinance? If I committed a crime against any of the readers of this blog would you not call the police and bring to their attention the crime committed? Now that I have brought this information to your attention what do you plan to do?
The General Assembly in 2000 passed legislation that would allow for the establishing of a permanent memorial for any public worker killed on the job using grants or gifts, not public money (See. Mo. Rev. Stats Chapter 8). Therefore according to the City Charter Article II: Powers Section 2.1. states. "The city shall have all powers which the General Assembly of the State of Missouri has authority to confer upon any city, provided such powers are consistent with the Constitution of Missouri ". Therefore, if the State of Missouri cannot use public money then is it not true that the city must follow suit and stay in consistent with the Missouri Constitution Article X section 3.Taxation, which states in pertinent part; “Taxes may be levied and collected for public purposes only". However, Mo. Rev. Stats Chapter 184, does allow public money to be allocated for memorials, but only those honoring WWII veterans.
Don't get me wrong here, I think the Memorial Walkway is a wonderful idea, but must we violate our city laws to build it? The City, along with other private entities and individuals have made donation for a total combining over a half million dollars for the victims families. And I for one believe that the families are satisfied with the monetary donations received and continue to receive.
So who are the master minds behind this devious plot to spend money illegally? Hmm, well let start with the city attorney because nothing is done without his approval. Then there is;
Timothy E. Griffin
Joseph E. Godi
Paul W. Ward
These are the individuals that asked you for money towards one thing and is using it for another.
However, please let us keep in mind that just as it was wrong for Mr. Thornton to break the law and take the lives of Kirkwood public servants, it it also wrong for Kirkwood to break the law by using public money to preserve their lives.Michael Moore