Adds his two cents to debate over fiscal woes
June 08, 2005 - To the editor:
The city of Crestwood, as most of you know, is experiencing financial troubles along with unrest in the aldermanic chambers at 1 Detjen Drive.
On the second and fourth Tuesday nights of each month, some of the Crestwood aldermen shamelessly do their best to disrespect the newly elected mayor and those who come to speak before the board. As this rancor continues, the city is looking at renovating City Hall and expanding the police station, while it operates on borrowed money.
Economic development along Watson Road has been difficult at best, given the competition from neighboring municipalities and the board's focus on spending instead of earning.
Consequently, with the city's current woes, there has been some information given as fact, but upon close examination, is really not factual at all.
In a Board of Aldermen meeting several weeks ago, David Brophy spoke about moving City Hall over to temporary quarters in Crestwood Plaza. Despite the ex-pense of $3,333.33 per month for up to 18 months plus additional monies retrofitting the space in Crestwood Plaza, Brophy and some board members thought it appropriate to waste money by moving City Hall operations to Crestwood Plaza while renovations take place at 1 Detjen Drive.
In his argument, Brophy said he used numbers in the Crestwood 2000 Commis-sion Final Report — Community Goals for 2000 and Beyond.
In this newspaper, he was quoted as saying, "The fact of the matter is, is that streets, yes they're No. 1 with respect to Commission 2000 report. But police and police facilities and City Hall come in second — 24 percent compared to 27 percent for streets, ahead of all other priorities ...''
Incorrect. Wrong. Do not pass go.
On Page 35 with graphs on Page 37 and 38 of the Crestwood 2000 Commission re-port, a residential survey shows street up-grades far outweigh police/City Hall facility upgrades.
Police coverage comes in second. Police Facilities rank No. 5 and City Hall facilities rank No. 12 — dead last — in a chart called "Crestwood Priorities.'' You can view these charts yourself in the report at City Hall.
I write this because it is vital to keep the facts straight as we debate and discuss what is good for the city.
Furthermore, voters approved Proposition S three years ago under the premise that the financial condition of Crestwood was healthy. And the ballot language for this proposition did not mention anything about a new police station or a renovation of City Hall.
In fact, many residents I speak to are less concerned about an expanded police station and more concerned about keeping our police employed and on the payroll.
I encourage all Crestwood residents to pay close attention to your city. If you can, attend Board of Aldermen meetings and any other meetings that are open to the public.
If there ever was a time that your city needs you, it is now. If there ever was a time that your voice should be heard, it is now.
James William Murphy