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Those who initiated audit should ante up, pay for it


March 16, 2005 - After listening to Tom Kremer of the State Auditor's Office present his findings to Crestwood residents last week, I can't help but believe that the people who initiated the effort should pay the state's $23,800 fee.

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Bill Milligan
That includes Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel and non-residents like members of the Boegeman family and Kelley Isherwood of Oakville who gathered about two-thirds of the required signatures for the state petition audit. None of the non-residents nor chief petitioner Roger Anderson of Crestwood were present to hear the results of the state audit they wanted.

Why? Because it didn't reach the conclusion they and their supporters wanted.

One recommendation in the audit urges the city to consider the "reasonableness'' of an $830 per month car allowance given to City Administrator Don Greer. Greer who is also police chief, took on the extra duties in the wake of the departure of former Administrator Ken Leichliter.

Perhaps Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance supporters would rather give two checks to Greer instead of a car allowance, but reasonable people know a good deal when they see one.

According to the city's response in the audit report, Greer's car allowance saves taxpayers $135,000 per year.

Everyone has the right to petition for a state audit and there are clear examples of where an audit would well serve south county residents today. After a 2003 forensic audit, Crestwood is not among them. If it was, this newspaper would lead the effort.

Our readers will know when there's something wrong with their government because those with something to hide stop talking to our reporters and restrict our access to public information.

Even though the Smart Growth bosses didn't attend the audit hearing, they'll keep peddling their anti-Crestwood message. Even though Kremer specifically said there was nothing illegal or unethical about the way Crestwood is being run by the current administration, non-residents with agendas still will be able to lead political wannabes and disgruntled citizens with a whisper campaign spread outside the public scrutiny.

Where is the accountability, checks and balances for those who participate in whisper campaigns? But if the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance and Alderman Miguel want to preserve any shred of credibility, they'll come forward and pay the cost of this frivolous state audit they created.

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