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Contents Of Blue Bag: Purse, Lunch, or ?

March 7, 2016 Downtown, Featured, Politics/Policy 4 Comments

You might recall a post from last August where I showed a driver had been repeatedly placing a blank parking ticket on his vehicle, and a parking enforcement officer placing a large blue bag in the rear seat. If not, see Parking Enforcement Officer Kept Putting A Blue Bag In A Vehicle Displaying A Fake Ticket.

Parking enforcement officer carrying a big blue bag to the Ford Edge, August 2015
Parking enforcement officer carrying a big blue bag to the Ford Edge, August 2015

Many were curious about the situation and contents of the bag. Even though I was threatened by the owner of the Ford Edge, the police refused to do anything — they turned it over to the Treasurer’s office who oversees parking. The Treasurer’s office refused to tell me anything beyond it was a personnel matter, the POE was suspended without pay for two weeks. Case closed.

What I didn’t know, until recently, was Post-Dispatch transportation reporter Leah Thorsen was pursuing the matter.     She filed a formal records request, which was declined citing personnel issues. An appeal to the Attorney General was also denied.

However, very recently she was told by the Treasurer’s chief of staff, Jared Boyd, it “was a gym bag with a purse inside.” Really? Who puts a purse inside a gym bag and drops it off routinely? After I met with the reporter I suggested she ask the owner of the Ford Edge — I still see it routinely — just parked in the YMCA lot rather than on the street. A week ago she asked him:

On Monday, the SUV was parked in the Downtown YMCA lot, where patrons must pay $1.50 to park during daytime hours.

As he left the gym, I asked him what was in the bag placed in his vehicle over the summer.

“It was a lunch bag,” he said before slamming the Edge’s door. (Post-Dispatch)

I think only two people know the contents: the PEO & the owner of the Ford Edge. I knew it was a gym bag — but they can hold a myriad of things. Months ago I saw a PEO pulled into the YMCA parking lot but I couldn’t tell if a bag was dropped off. Since then I’ve not witnessed anything suspicious.  The purse (wink) or lunch (wink) drop offs ceased.

Tishaura Jones is running for reelection as Treasurer, the primary is August 2nd. Filing closes March 29th.

— Steve Patterson

 

Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark-AL says:

    Tishaura is running for reelection! Based on what accomplishments? Beyond replacing certain meters and installing pay stations which accept credit cards and cell-phone payments around the city, I don’t see much evidence that she has done much of anything else to grow the city and attract development of any kind, as did the previous treasurer. She still employs her share of employees who are related to long-time city politicians, although she has taken away their city vehicles because of public pressure. But she’s kept her own city vehicle–and I wonder what purpose it serves beyond her personal gain. She needs to publicly justify her decision to retain exclusive use of that vehicle! She’s in a unique position to have the resources and potential contacts to help serve the city as a catalyst for economic development, and her only interest over the past 3+ years appears to have been to change out a few meters and to occupy a suite of offices. St Louis needs to challenge her on her record before they arbitrarily vote her in for another 4 years. Maybe ST Louis needs to revisit HOME RULE to eliminate these redundant, patronage positions, as a way to save the city money, especially in light of the possible e-tax repeal.

     
      • Mark-AL says:

        I can’t believe she wrote that…..and that taxpayers are buying it!
        1)The parking division employs managers for each subdivision in the department: there’s a guy who manages all parking enforcement officers; one who runs all off-street parking; one who’s in charge of all garages. In addition, there’s a manager in each garage, who responds to all after-hour emergencies. And, there’s an “executive” assistant who serves directly under the treasurer. With this layer of “management” , does anyone believe that Jones gets up in the middle of the night to clear a paper jam in a ticket dispenser in one of the garages? Or if the night manager fails to show up for work at a garage, does Jones put on her overalls and fill in collecting money at the gate?
        2) The cost of her car was $19,000, she says. (This is a significant cost,however the bread is buttered)
        Add to that: maintenance, gas, insurance. Notice how the costs grow. In exchange, $4,000 a year mileage reimbursement would be a bargain for the city.
        3) Regardless of enterprise status, any “excess” profits realized by the treasurer, regardless of which department generates it, would be a net windfall for the City. Just because the parking division (vs the treasurer’s office) earns the $, doesn’t mean that excess profits couldn’t be forwarded to the police or fire departments, for example, to hire more needed personnel. The city needs another police officer a hell of a lot more than Jones, who makes $9X,XXX/yr, needs an exclusive city vehicle.
        4) She’s ULTIMATELY responsible for 7700 metered spaces (managed by a separate manager) , 6 parking garages (each managed by separate managers), 2 surface lots (normally self-service, while special events are managed by adjacent garage managers); and (DRUM ROLL): 30 elementary schools teaching school kids how to manage money.That’s a noble endeavor, no question about it. BUT THIS IS AN EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITY THAT SHE VOLUNTEERED FOR! Certainly this activity is not listed in her job description!!!!People in all professions volunteer their time for charity, but their employers don’t partially pick up the tab for it. Could I proposition my employer to buy me a vehicle so that I can more conveniently coach my sons’ hockey teams?
        5) I’m a working father. My wife’s a working mother. We both purchase our own cars, get the kids to the train in the mornings for school and pick them up or arrange to have them picked up in the evenings. Parents do this and don’t expect their employers to purchase the vehicle that is used to do it in!
        6) Parking garages tend to be isolated at night and early morning. Lots of working women and men know that first hand, and they don’t like the idea of using them after hours either. But they do! Another lame excuse!
        7) She can get out of bed 45 minutes early, drive HER OWN CAR TO DELIVER HER KID TO SCHOOL, then drive to the parking garage, pick up her fleet vehicle, then go about her business. She’s not a queen; she’s a public SERVANT. And lots of kids get to school much earlier than they’re required. And if the school won’t open its doors, OTHER PARENTS make alternate arrangements! DAYCARE!

        Sorry, but I just don’t buy her rationale, especially when I don’t see anything coming out of her office that nets economic development in the city.

         

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