December 05, 2012 - Term limits have robbed the Crestwood Board of Aldermen of much of the institutional memory it once possessed.
That's why it was such a welcome relief when Ward 2 voters returned Tim Trueblood to office last April. As some may recall, Trueblood served as a Ward 2 alderman from 1993 to 2006, when he was unable to seek re-election because of term limits.
During last week's Board of Aldermen meeting, Trueblood raised the issue of aldermen having private conversations with potential vendors or developers, saying he believes such discussions are a "bad idea." Early in his tenure as an alderman, Trueblood told the board he had been taken aside by a senior alderman, who recommended against such discussions.
"... It has come to my attention that that has been happening. The reason I bring this publicly is it needs to stop. We can't do this," Trueblood said.
We agree with Trueblood that such conversations should take place in such public settings as Board of Aldermen meetings or board work sessions. That way, the public can see firsthand interactions between aldermen and developers, and a record will be made of the entire conversation.
When an alderman meets privately with a potential vendor or developer, who knows what kind of information was exchanged or what kind of promises have been made?
Though Trueblood did not mention any alderman by name, Ward 1 Alderman Mimi Duncan took his re-marks as a personal affront.
Duncan, who acknowledged she has had such conversations, immediately rose to her own defense, saying she felt like she was being attacked.
Given her remarks, Duncan apparently believes she can't rely on city staff and Mayor Jeff Schlink to provide her with accurate information.
"I can't rely on anecdotal evidence. I can't rely on the Internet to get my information," she said. "I need to have primary sources, and if somebody has a problem with me, come to me and ask me about it …"
Duncan later said, "… I don't know that I'm getting the information. I have no way of knowing that I'm getting correct information. I just don't …"
We certainly didn't agree with much of what Duncan had to say last week, except this: "… If my constituents don't like what I'm doing, they have the option to not vote for me ..."
Given her unique views of governing, we believe Ward 1 voters should not vote for Duncan if she decides to seek re-election next April.