Trueblood wants revote on sales-tax extension
July 20, 2005 - A motion to instruct Crestwood City Attorney Rob Golterman to draft a ballot measure asking voters whether the city's capital-improvements sales tax should remain in place until 2023 or end in 2008 was tabled last week by the Board of Alder-men.
Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood made the motion, which was seconded by Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding.
Voters in August 2002 approved Propo-sition S, the extension of the half-cent capital-improvements sales tax to fund construction of a new police building, fund re-pairs at the Government Center and allow the continuation of the city's street repair and replacement program.
The half-cent, capital-improvements sales tax had been scheduled to end in 2008, but voter approval of Proposition S extended the sales tax until 2023.
Aldermen voted 6-0 July 12 to initiate the process of defeasing bond-like certificates issued in late 2002 to fund the construction of the new police facility.
Ward 1 Alderman Richard LaBore and Ward 3 Alderman Don Maddox were absent.
Noting that defeasance would bring an end to the police facility project, True-blood later said he wanted City Attorney Rob Golterman to draft an ordinance asking voters whether the capital-improvement sales tax should remain in place until 2023 or revert back to its original sunset in 2008.
Trueblood said he would like to place the measure before voters in November.
Resident Dale Kreader asked Trueblood to explain why he wanted voters to reconsider the extension of the sales tax.
Kreader said, "What you're asking for is to send back to us, is this the same thing as Proposition S?''
Trueblood said, "Yes.''
Kreader said he was confused about why Trueblood would want to place the same issue back on the ballot.
Quoting from the ballot language from Proposition S, Kreader said, "It doesn't say anything about City Hall. It doesn't say anything about a Police Department. It doesn't say anything about anything but capital improvements. I don't understand why you'd want to revote on something we voted on already.''
Trueblood replied, "There has been, if you I'm sure read in the papers a large number, a group, a very vocal group opposed to money being spent on the City Hall and the police station. So much so that they said, some of them if quoted accurately, as having said they didn't know what they were voting for. I think this gives those voters an opportunity to know exactly what they're voting for.''
Kreader said, "Well, this is what I voted for ...''
Trueblood said, "That's great.''
Kreader said, "That's what all and everybody voted for and we're asking to go back and vote because we didn't vote for a police department or a City Hall in the first place to go back and vote for it again?''
Trueblood said, "... People didn't realize what they were voting for the first time, so maybe this time they will ...''
Kreader said, "It's just very confusing to me.''
Trueblood said, "It is, isn't it?''
Kreader said, "... There were several people that were sitting by me that didn't understand what we were talking about ...''
Trueblood said, "They may not have understood what the original issue was either. I can't help that. I mean, quite honestly, it was well publicized what was on the ballot, but now that we've changed the process of what we said we were going to do, I think they have a right to revisit what they had told us to do with their vote. Is there a problem with them revoting on it?''
Kreader said, "It just doesn't make sense to spend ...''
Trueblood interjected, "But is there a problem? What's the problem?''
Kreader said, "Well, if what the reason we're doing this is because we're de-feasing bonds or whatever for ...''
Trueblood interjected, "Well, no. What we're saying is that the city is no longer going to build what we said we would with that money ...''
Kreader interjected that the ballot language didn't mention building anything.
Trueblood continued, "In the past we were accused of having not told them, so now we're saying: 'You're right. We're not going to.'''
Kreader said, "Well, what was voted on and what was on the ballot didn't say anything about City Hall ...''
Trueblood interjected, "Nor did it say anything about streets.''
Kreader replied, "No, it did not. You're correct. It just says capital improvements, which (are) fire trucks, police cars, all that as far as I'm concerned from what I understand is all part of ...''
Trueblood asked, "Why would you be opposed to having the voters have a right to state their position on this again? I'm confused on that.''
Kreader said, "Expense.''
Trueblood said, "We may have other issues on the ballot this November ...''
"If we do, we do,'' Kreader said, adding that it just didn't make sense to vote on the same thing twice.
Breeding said, "I'll vote 'no' for this, but I will tell you if you've been at these meetings for the last three years, he (True-blood) does make a valid moral issue. The moral issue is we sold a bill of goods to the residents saying here's what we'd do.
"You're correct, maybe it wasn't in the ballot language, but everyone who campaigned for Proposition S will tell you what was behind that. So it's really a moral issue whether you say: OK, here's what we sold you. Now we're not doing that. Mor-ally speaking, do we offer you the reason to vote again ...'' Breeding added.
Ward 2 Alderman Jim Kelleher made a motion to table Trueblood's proposal and Ward 4 Alderman Joe O'Keefe seconded Kelleher's motion.
Aldermen deadlocked 3-3 with Kelleher, O'Keefe and Ward 4 Alderman Pat Duwe voting to table Trueblood's motion. True-blood, Breeding and Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel were opposed. Mayor Roy Robinson cast the deciding vote in favor of tabling the motion.
Another resident, Jerry Friedeck, later questioned Trueblood about his proposal.
Trueblood replied that he promised his constituents that if the board decided to defease the bond-like certificates, he would seek to place the extension on the ballot again.
"... I felt I had a moral obligation to ask the voters to re-approve that and I'm standing by that promise. It's nothing more than that, a simple promise that I kept,'' he said. "And if that's a problem, I'm sorry. I don't think I have to explain a promise ...''