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Sometimes it's just easier to attempt to rewrite history

"Call the Tune" by Mike Anthony

Mike Anthony
The adage goes that those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat the past.

Sometimes, though, instead of learning from history, people find it easier to attempt to rewrite it.

Just consider the revised spin on the Mehlville School District's Proposition P, which was "sold'' to the public as a nearly $68.4 million bond issue funded by a 49-cent tax-rate increase.

Now with a board-approved budget of more than $86.7 million, the new spin is that it always was a 49-cent tax rate increase.

We don't buy that, but unfortunately there are many people who will swallow that load of bunk.

Or consider newly elected Crestwood Alderman Jerry Miguel's take on the construction of a new police building and Proposition S, which voters approved to fund it.

It's no secret that Mr. Miguel, a Ward 3 alderman, is opposed to the construction of a new police station.

While he ran on a platform of fiscal responsibility, we can't help but believe Mr. Miguel talks out of both sides of his mouth. As he espouses fiscal responsibility in one breath, in the next he's willing to spend thousands of dollars to obtain an unnecessary second opinion about the tax consequences of bond-like certificates that were issued to fund construction of the new police station.

Mr. Miguel suggested last week that perhaps voters didn't fully understand the ramifications of Proposition S. We find that hard to believe.

In our endorsement of Proposition S, published July 25, 2002, we wrote, in part, "As proposed, the extension of the sales tax would fund the construction of a new police station, provide revenue for needed renovations and repairs at City Hall and allow for the continuation of the city's street repair and replacement program ... If voters agree to extend the sales tax by 15 years — to 2023 — bond-like certificates called certificates of participation would be sold to fund the construction of a new police facility and be repaid over an estimated 20-year period.''

Just as we understood what we were endorsing, we believe Crestwood residents fully understood what approval of Proposition S meant.

If Mr. Miguel wants to halt construction of the new police building, he should make a motion to do so. If he can't get a majority of the board to agree with him, he should move on and start to address the real issues that currently are facing the city.

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