Over the past few years, some tax and rate payers in the City of St. Louis have used donation boxes on property tax forms and water bills to contribute funds to build a new animal shelter. Because their generosity and other fund raising efforts did not ultimately collect enough money to design and build Animal House, the money was never spent. As I wrote here several weeks ago, I do not regard that money as discretionary funding that might now be spent on other causes, no matter how worthy. Instead, I believe that it should be spent as specified by the ordinance that enabled it ' or refunded to the people who donated it. My current inclination is towards the latter, when donation information exists.
I have asked aldermen to pass a new ordinance removing the check box. They are debating the subject now.
The current partnership with a community of not-for-profit groups has resulted in more humane treatment for animals in the City of St. Louis ' and far fewer cat and dog deaths. That common effort, not another tilt at a public works project, should have our full attention.