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St. Louis Comptroller Green On Adamantly Opposing Airport Privatization

Comptroller Darlene Green talked about a number of city matters, including airport privatization, on Thursday's program.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
Comptroller Darlene Green talked about a number of city matters, including airport privatization, on Thursday's program.

As the city’s chief fiscal officer, Comptroller Darlene Green is responsible for getting the bills paid — and ensuring the city’s long-term financial health. She's also taken a bold stance on a number of key city issues that include signing on to the campaign to close the city's workhouse and criticizing Mayor Lyda Krewson on public safety issues.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Green joined host Sarah Fenske to explain her outspoken views on airport privatization and a number of other city matters. 

Among her stated top reasons for criticizing proposals to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport are the success rates the airport has had thus far and that “it doesn’t make good financial sense.”

“At the airport, we've got more and more passengers, and the air operations are better, the revenues are extremely strong, the credit ratings are up. So the airport’s doing very well, without a private operator,” Green said. 

She has also not shied away from her discontent with some of the city’s leadership, including Krewson and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. 

The process by which city officials are exploring airport privatization also concerns Green – such as the dismissal of a public vote.

“It is arrogance for elected officials to not allow the people to vote on this very precious asset of the city,” Green added “Lyda Krewson, President Reed or any elected official that would not allow the public to vote or [is] against the public vote, they’re then for special interests.”

She wrote an opinion piece in the St. Louis American about Krewson with heated remarks accusing the mayor of serving special interests.

“Instead of keeping the streets safe, the alleys clean and the grass mowed, the mayor has enlisted her administration in a territorial fight against other offices and other elected officials,” Green wrote. 

“I had to say it because it was true — that there was no priority said for delivering city services by this mayor or the administration, because the administration has been looped into [Krewson’s] ‘political first,’ as opposed to ‘people first,’” Green said on Thursday’s program. 

When asked if Green herself has given thought to run for mayor, she said, “I have not, [but] I have been asked to consider it several times. That's because the people are saying they're fed up.”

Listen to the full discussion: 

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan and Alexis Moore. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.