Slay: St. Louis furloughs postponed due to Cardinals' great postseason | St. Louis Public Radio

Slay: St. Louis furloughs postponed due to Cardinals' great postseason

Oct 20, 2011

Updated at 4:19 p.m. to reflect debate about need for furloughs.

The World Series has already given St. Louis one night of memorable plays, a visit from first lady Michelle Obama and a sea of red at Busch Stadium. But, it seems, the event has catalyzed a more monetary benefit for St. Louis city workers.

"Because of the revenue generated during the playoffs, we are going to postpone furloughs planned for this year," St. Louis mayor Francis Slay said in a statement.

According to the statement, "city officials estimated the seven playoff games have generated almost $2 million in additional tax revenue." And would it be even better if the World Series were longer? Well, from a revenue standpoint, yes.

The statement from the mayor's office says that "hosting games six and seven of the World Series would add another $900,000" in additional tax revenue for St. Louis.

The system of furloughs has been in place in St. Louis over the past three years in an effort to "help cover rising pension costs and minimize layoffs," the statement said - a move that Slay says only "spread the pain around."

However, the relief brought on by the World Series is, predictably, probably a short-lived help.

"Although the future remains cloudy, I am glad that we can lift this burden off of our employees," Slay said.

All of this said, it should be noted that two members of the board (Estimate and Apportionment)  that would authorize furloughs, Comptroller Darlene Green and Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed, have disagreed with Slay about the need for furloughs all along.

Back in August, we also reported that "10 of the 11 unions had agreed to furloughs if they were approved by E&A. The 11th - the city's largest - had refused, echoing Reed's argument of a 'manufactured' fiscal crisis."

Included in Slay's statement today regarding the furloughs was a statement from Green: “We are so thankful that the City employees can also benefit from the post season success of the St. Louis Cardinals."