Call the Tune: Mayor’s town-hall events prove to be entertaining

By Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

We fielded more than a few telephone calls last week from people who raised their eyebrows over comments made by Crestwood Mayor Roy Robinson during his recent town-hall meeting.

While Crestwood aldermen were scheduled to decide this week — after the Call’s press time — whether to abandon the city’s animal control division for county-provided service to reduce annual expenses, Roy told those present at his Sept. 10 town-hall meeting he wasn’t willing to let go of local animal control. During his remarks, he claimed that Kirkwood and Webster Groves offer a considerably less-humane animal control solution.

“When they pick up an animal, and it’s got a problem and they can’t handle it or whatever, they shoot it,” Roy said. “I mean, you don’t hear anything about this, but it’s done. There’s a report made, and they shoot the animal. And that’s how they take care of your pets that get out …”

Roy’s comments came as a complete surprise to police officials in both Kirkwood and Webster Groves, who told the Call’s Evan Young their officers would shoot an animal only if it were dangerous and all other efforts to control it had failed.

While some may have found Roy’s comments outlandish, we weren’t surprised based on pronouncements from previous town-hall meetings.

In October 2005, he declared Crestwood was “cooking” and announced the Westfield Shoppingtown Crestwood mall would be “significantly changed to benefit” the city — far beyond plans previously announced by then-owner Westfield Corp. to revitalize the aging shopping center.

At that town-hall meeting, Roy also expressed his support for former City Administrator Kent Leichliter, saying, “… If I thought he was a thief or a liar or anything, I would not, I would not be in his corner …”

At that time, the city was suing Mr. Leichliter. Crestwood aldermen later approved a settlement agreement in which Mr. Leichliter and his attorney were paid a combined $250,000 and the litigation was dropped.

But when the settlement agreement was announced, Roy denied ever making any statement “about being in his (Leichliter’s) corner.” However, a tape recording of the town-hall meeting verified the accuracy of the quote.

We encourage Crestwood residents to attend Roy’s town-hall meetings in the future. While they likely won’t obtain a great deal of factual information about the city from Roy, we guarantee they’ll find the evening entertaining.