Mayor Tishaura Jones and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed are at loggerheads over proposed expenditures of nearly $500 million in federal pandemic aid.
ST. LOUIS — City leaders on Wednesday continued to clash over how to spend the latest round of federal aid — and who should be in charge of it.
Aldermanic President Lewis Reed called on Mayor Tishaura O. Jones to rescind parts of a public health proclamation giving her health director power to spend without consulting the Board of Aldermen.
The proclamation’s provisions that go beyond the revival of the city’s mask mandate amount to an “illegal money grab,” Reed said in a statement.
Mayoral spokesman Nick Dunne dismissed Reed’s demand as silly.
Dunne said Reed has spent weeks refusing to make changes to the board bill that the administration thinks are necessary for it to meet federal spending guidelines, leaving relief for thousands of people in limbo.
“When we continue to have these funds held up, we have to consider all of our options,” Dunne said. “We are in a public health emergency. We’ve got an eviction moratorium that lifts in three days.”
The Board of Aldermen gave initial approval to a $168 million spending plan earlier this month on a 27-1 vote. But when the plan came before the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the city’s top fiscal body, on July 16, Jones and Comptroller Darlene Green declined to second Reed’s motion to approve it.
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