Vote 'no' Aug. 5 — it's just more of the same
To the editor:
Crestwood is a charter city in which the mayor is responsible for the supervision of the affairs of the city. He sets the agenda and executes its policies.
Mayor Robertson says the city doesn't spend money it doesn't have. However, he never knows how much the city has — it changes big time from week to week depending who you ask.
Crestwood holds the championship. For example, fiscal 2004 revenue projections originally estimated merchant licenses would generate $1,381,817; that figure now is projected at $799,817 — a de-crease of $582,000.
The general fund budget for 2003-2004 is $9,765,192. That's a record. It includes moving $1,206,240 from other funds — beware of the last two guys that did this. One got paid about $180,000 and the other one is seeking permanent disability.
The real truth is we're a ship without a rudder — no navigator and the stars have gone dark.
We have no true master plan. We do patchwork and we have five patches that make us vulnerable to every developer.
For example, the developer of the northwest corner of Watson and Sappington roads where the Kohl's is being built initially was granted nearly $2 million in tax-increment financing assistance.
An amended agreement increased the amount of TIF assistance the developer is eligible to receive by $375,000 — to $2.285 million.
In addition, the amended pact created a transportation development district and a community improvement district, two funding mechanisms that will bring the total assistance package the developer is eligible to receive to $3.5 million.
THF Realty also will be reimbursed for the $750,000 purchase of the former site of the Crestwood Swim Club through a three-eighths-cent sales tax levied on purchases at Kohl's.
The city recently initiated condemnation proceedings to provide cross access from the Kohl's site to the adjacent Watson Plaza. I'm sure Stan Kroenke of THF Realty has more money than Crestwood.
We built a larger aquatic pool that will cost more than $11 million with interest, but we have no money for a decent road to it.
The new pay plan — we pay a $26,000 fee to consultants who advised: Do not give an across-the-board raise. The board's first move was give everyone a $1,500 raise plus 30 percent for fringes.
Next, we're going to build a police station six times bigger than old one with a firing range simulator — only city this size to have one — costs are floating from $8 million to $9.5 million. The city borrowed $9,830,000 and with interest the total cost will be $14.6 million. The mayor says we can do this and spend a million on the streets — wrong.
One could say do you have a better idea? Yes, I do. Stop the money hemorrhage, take back the $1,500 raise to the white-collar workers. If that's not enough, reduce high-salaried personnel — not grass cutters.
Go to the county for police protection. Fenton did, which is twice Crestwood's size, with 10 times more industrial with the Chrysler plant and three or four more times shopping area — cost $1,977,000. Crestwood's savings $2 million. I could go on.
They won't listen to me, but they will to you.
It's your choice. Vote "no'' Aug. 5.
Roger C. Anderson