May 01, 2013 - The Crestwood Board of Aldermen underwent transition last week with the swearing in of its newest members and electing a new board president, while outgoing aldermen discussed their time in office.
Taking the oath of office were newly elected members Richard Breeding of Ward 1, Mary Stadter of Ward 2, Bill Boston of Ward 3 and Mike Tsichlis of Ward 4.
Breeding is a former Ward 1 alderman who served from 1998 to 2007, at which time he was unable to seek re-election due to term limits. He replaces Mimi Duncan, who did not file for re-election.
In Ward 2, Stadter defeated Bill Schelinski for the seat held by Bob Deutschmann, who did not file for re-election.
In Ward 3, Boston bested Grant Mabie to win the seat held by Jerry Miguel, who was unable to seek re-election because of term limits.
In Ward 4, Tsichlis prevailed over Timothy Anderson, Cindy Minor and Richard Rutledge for the seat held by John Foote, who did not file for re-election.
Ward 3 Alderman and former board President Paul Duchild nominated Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood as board president, which the board unanimously approved.
Duchild said Trueblood's past experience on the board and "his willingness to come back and join the board within the last year" shows a commitment to the city.
Miguel told the board his nine years on the board have been "a good journey."
"The best part has been the people I've met along the way," Miguel said. "Many residents gave me advice and direction. Some told me I was headed in the right direction. At times, some told me that I was headed in the wrong direction ... I thank the people for their advice and their friendship. I thank the people up here for tolerating me. I thank the employees of the city for their loyalty and good work, and I thank my wife for standing by me."
The former Ward 3 alderman said some of his disappointments while on the board include the decline of Crestwood Court and the "decimation of the Public Works Department" in 2005.
"The personnel in that department was just simply cut in half and that was a step that was necessary to get the city back in the condition that it could balance its budget," Miguel said.
Miguel said he considers the passage of Proposition S, a 20-cent tax-rate increase, as one of the city's accomplishments during his tenure on the board.
"(Prop S is) what allowed the city to get out of debt," he said. "That bank debt, which was at $1 million in '03 escalated to $2 million in '04 and to $3.5 million in '05 ... That proposition, I think, was explained very well to the people of the city, the city understood it, they voted for it and it enabled the city to get out from under (its debt)."
Miguel also said the owner of Crestwood Court "needs to identify specific tenants," along with looking at eliminating tax-increment financing and, "if necessary," using community-improvement district or transportation-development district incentives.
Deutschmann said his one regret is that the board did not "get that mall under control" before he left office.
"It's been a short year. I wish we could have done more with the mall," Deutschmann said. "... (But) in two weeks, I'll be back in that audience out there because I believe in this city."