Thank You St. Louis City Voters for defeating Proposition A Body Cam Scam
51.6% to 48.4%
(60% needed to pass a Charter Amendment)
Prop A seeks to abolish the Office of Recorder of Deeds and immediately make the elected Recorder of Deeds an employee under the mayoral appointed Assessor for the remainder of her term of office. Prop A’s Initiative Petition/Ordinance states…
The Missouri Constitution specifically requires an elected official to serve out the term, as in carry out the duties, and says changes cannot take place until the end of that term.
Oddly enough, that Article VI, Section 32(b) is the section that State Senator Jamilah Nasheed often cites as legal basis to abolish the office.
Furthermore, under Missouri Statute, you cannot provide Recorder of Deeds services without an elected or appointed official named Recorder of Deeds. Every county must have a Recorder of Deeds.
The Prop A Initiative Petition/Ordinance fails to name the Assessor as Recorder. It states..
There is a $2.2-$1.4 Million per year Body Cam Plan. There is no $1 Million Police Body Cam program on the table.
So, for starters, proponents are not even suggesting that this ballot issue will fully fund or even fund half of a Body Cam Program.
As for the alleged $1 Million cost savings from eliminating the Recorder of Deeds Office (which cannot be done under Missouri law) and moving Recorder services to Assessor without giving Assessor the title of Recorder (which cannot be done under Missouri law), even if this petition had been written correctly, there is no $1 Million cost savings.
The Recorder’s Budget is $2.8 Million. $2.5 Million of the budget is personnel. All staff of the Recorder would be retained as City employees under any consolidation of services affecting the office. It’s a constitutional protection.
The remaining $300,000 of the Recorder’s budget is copiers, paper goods (a primary function of Recorder is producing certified copies of deeds, marriage licenses, and other records in its care, which requires copiers and paper), and the $70,000 a year contract with State of Missouri to provide Birth and Death Certificate copies (which brings in $900,000 annual to City General Revenue).
Even in the imaginary world of Proposition A, there is only an imaginary $300,000 a year cost savings from eliminating an office you cannot eliminate and failing to to carry out statutory duties of recording deeds and issuing marriage licenses.
As you can see, this ballot issue does not create an Office of Assessor-Recorder, or name the Assessor as Recorder, or make the Recorder a mayoral appointment. It seeks to eliminate the office and title of Recorder of Deeds, which, under Missouri law, means the Assessor could not record deeds, issue Marriage Licenses, or make certified copies of Marriage Licenses or deeds. This ballot issue is poorly written and never should have been circulated as an initiative petition.