Alderman gives Crestwood a black eye with his actions

By Mike Anthony

Chances are good if Crestwood Ward 4 Alderman Mike Vincent disagrees with a public speaker at a Board of Aldermen meeting, he’ll claim the citizen is besmirching the good name of the city of Crestwood.

Vincent, who served as a Ward 4 alderman from 1990 to 1994, was appointed in April to fill the unexpired term of former Ward 4 Alderman Dan Tennessen, who resigned in February.

Since April, Vincent has distinguished himself as a champion of City Administrator Mark Sime, City Attorney Lisa Stump and Mayor Gregg Roby. But, on occasion, his support of the administration has come at the expense of residents, even those he represents in Ward 4.

We believe citizens have a right to express their opinions without having to endure verbal abuse from their elected officials. But given Vincent’s treatment of his own constituent, former Ward 4 Alderman Steve Nieder, it’s apparent that Vincent is not above berating a citizen if he believes it protects the good name of the city.

Nieder, an alderman from 2006 to 2009, was appointed to a four-year term on the Planning and Zoning Commission in September 2011 by former Mayor Jeff Schlink. Roby, elected in April, unsuccessfully attempted to remove Nieder from the commission.

In October, Vincent said he fully supported Roby’s effort to remove Nieder from the panel.

“… If you truly desire to serve Crestwood, Steve, I suggest that the best way to do that at this juncture is to stand down …,” Vincent said. “Your belligerent and constantly critical opinions and behavior at any number of recent meetings have dishonored your previous record, in my judgment.”

Last week, Vincent made an unsuccessful motion to remove Nieder from the commission.

“… I cannot in good faith support Mr. Nieder, as his personal credibility with me is totally diminished,” Vincent said. “… When I was unanimously endorsed by this board for this role, I pledged to my colleagues that I would defend the good name of the city.

“Since April when I came on this board, I have witnessed time and time again your behaviors and your opinions, Mr. Nieder, that do not advance the agenda of our people nor do they lift up the spirit of Crestwood or this board’s sincere efforts …”

By repeatedly berating his constituent in a quest to protect the good name of Crestwood, we believe Vincent is the one giving the city a black eye.