Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Response from Darlene Green, Candidate for St. Louis Comptroller

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

The key role for the Comptroller is to safeguard the credit of the city and to protect taxpayer dollars. I have 21yrs of strong fiscal management experience as Comptroller with integrity, accountability and transparency, Prior to becoming Comptroller, I worked as the Budget Director for the city for 2yrs, and Finance Director for the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court for 8yrs..

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

I am the best person for the Comptroller position because I am the only candidate with financial experience and I have a proven track record with positive results. Just last year I saved taxpayers $10 million dollars and overall since taking office I have saved taxpayers $100 million dollars through refinancing debt. I have worked to help the city achieve and maintain an A+ credit rating with Standard and Poors. I protected taxpayers from a football stadium plan that didn’t make financial common sense.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

The most pressing issues currently facing the office of Comptroller: 1) safeguarding the credit of the city by finding ways to increase the flexibility of revenues and reduce debt, 2) streamline economic incentives to developers in order to increase revenues and realize revenue sooner from the development project. I have outlined a financial framework which protects the city’s credit and current budgeted revenues for developer to adhere to when considering financing plans for the their project. As a public servant with a purpose and a vision, I have commissioned a 10-year financial strategic plan for the city’s future (approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment September, 2015) that will help the city implement policy to achieve goals for improving revenue flexibility and reducing debt,

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

I work very well with city leaders seeking consensus on ways to work together to make a project, for example. better and to protect taxpayers dollars.

5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

My 3 largest campaign contributors so far would be Thompson Coburn Law, Hardwick Law, and St. Louis Cardinals.

6. The Ferguson Commission Report asks government to look through a "racial equity lens" in developing policies. Specifically, what does that mean to you?

Specifically, the city must be willing to develop policies throughout city government that can create an environment where its citizens do not have barriers of any kind that exist to interfere with a citizen’s life and liberty.

7. What are your criteria for approving tax abatements and TIFs?

Both tax abatements and TIFs should follow a strict approval process, The large number of development TIF proposals creates a need to streamline the request in order to see a more consistent flow of revenues into the city coffers. The number of years of tax abatement for all development proposals should be limited to no more than 5 to 10 years.

8. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for all.)

What is your experience to be Comptroller of the city of St. Louis?

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