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Alderman asks new Crestwood mayor for written copy of his plan

Crestwood City Clerk Kimberly Cottle administers the oath of office to the city's new mayor, Roy Robinson, during last week's Board of Aldermen meeting.
May 04, 2005 - Shortly after he was sworn in as Crestwood's new mayor last week, Roy Robinson was asked by a Ward 2 alderman for a written copy of his plan for the city.

The new mayor said he would "check into that,'' but would not commit to providing it.

Robinson, who was elected last month, took the oath of office April 26. In the April 5 election, Robinson defeated Mayor Tom Fagan, receiving 2,327 votes to Fagan's 1,948 votes.

After Robinson called for a May 5 work session to discuss the "resizing'' of the "retrofitting'' of the Crestwood Government Center to include a new police facility, Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood asked Robinson for a written copy of his plan for the city.

Trueblood said, "Mr. Mayor, I'm hoping that before our meeting you'll present to us your plan for the city that you alluded to in the campaign so we can be sure to work hand in glove with you as we deal with these problems. Can we expect that in ... written form? I'd really like to study it so that when we start these work sessions we're not going different directions. Is that a possibility that you'd have that for us by then?''

Robinson said, "I'll check into that. I won't promise you that I'll have that, but I'll check into it.''

Trueblood said, "OK, thank you.''

Robinson, who served as an alderman from 1988 to 1992, was successful in his fourth bid for mayor. He twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor against the late Pat Killoren and was defeated by Fagan last August. In his last bid for a Ward 3 aldermanic seat in 1996, Robinson was defeated by Pat Duwe, who now represents Ward 4 on the board.

After being sworn in, Robinson said he was "extremely proud to have been elected mayor of Crestwood.''

Noting that he and his family have a deep involvement in the community, he said, "I once was an alderman. It seems like many years ago. I was a fiery-type alderman like some of our aldermen are today, younger, but fiery, but that's OK. We all have our ways of debate and all that. But the main thing I want to re-emphasize as the mayor, I hope that we can all respect each other. I don't need a drinking buddy and I don't need somebody to go out to have dinner with me.

"But I want the one thing that we all must remember, this is not a high-paying job. This is more of a volunteer job and I'm no better than any of you sitting out there. I wish that I could do the things that some people think that a mayor can do. I think I can and I think I'm going to try,'' he said.

"I know that there were a lot of hard feelings and things stated during the campaign. I would never offend anyone personally. I think that we get a little heated and we get a little concerned about what our opinions are and how we're right in our particular way. Well, I'm here to tell you I'm not right all the time, but I am, as some of our people on this board, outspoken and I believe in telling the way it is. And I will deeply respect each one of you guys and ladies ...,'' Robinson said.

In other business during the April 26 meeting, the Board of Aldermen voted 5-3 to adopt an ordinance awarding a contract for the reconstruction of Ewers Drive to Kelpe Contracting.

Opposed were Trueblood, Ward 2 Alderman Jim Kelleher and Duwe.

Eleven responsive bids were received by the city for the reconstruction of Ewers Drive, Ewers Court and Lawndale Drive with a low bid of $389,745 submitted by Kelpe Contracting, according to an April 12 memorandum written by City Administrator Don Greer to aldermen.

Before the vote was taken, Ward 4 Alderman Joseph O'Keefe asked if the city could afford the work, noting the April 5 defeat of Proposition 1, a measure that would have allowed the city to issue up to $6 million in general obligation bonds.

... I'm going to have a lot of tough decisions this year based on the fact that that bond issue didn't pass and I want to make sure we can head off any issues now, at least get it out there for discussion ...,'' O'Keefe said.

Greer said, "This is capital improvements. This is within the amount that was budgeted and set aside. The issues, I believe the issues that the board's going to face in the next couple of months are going to relate primarily to the park and stormwater fund and, in particular, the general operating fund of the city. Based on the most recent financial report, the capital improvements fund is healthy and this is a project that's part of the plan developed by the director of public works and is within budget even within the contingency that he's asked for.''

Ward 3 Alderman Don Maddox later said, "I think the administrator answered the question that Alderman O'Keefe posed. The budget for capital improvements is projected to have a surplus at the end of this year of over $600,000, so that's with these expenditures from the budget.''

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