Charter proposals merit voter OK in Crestwood

By MIKE ANTHONY

When Crestwood voters go to the polls next week, they will consider five propositions containing proposed amendments to the City Charter.

The vote on these proposals, quite frankly, is long overdue. Members of the Charter Review Commission first began meeting in February 2005 and essentially concluded their work in June 2005.

We never really understood — unless there was some behind-the-scenes politicking by someone — why these charter proposals weren’t on the November 2005 ballot.

Much more clear is why they didn’t appear on the April ballot. Residents can thank a group of obstructionists who clearly perverted a provision in the City Charter for their own political purposes.

After having attended nearly every meeting of the Charter Review Commission, we can only applaud its members for the excellent job they did. Commission members took their responsibilities seriously and worked diligently for several months to propose charter amendments they believed were in the best interest of the city and its residents.

The proposals include eliminating term limits for aldermen, adding a censure provision for elected officials who violate the charter as opposed to removing them from office, updating and clarifying the charter’s language and reducing the number of signatures needed for initiative, referendum and recall petitions. A detailed story about the five propositions by the Call’s Burke Wasson begins on Page 1A.

Not all commission members agreed with every proposal that was brought forth, but at least believed residents should have the opportunity to vote on the proposals. In our opinion, no member of the commission had any political ax to grind.

The same, however, can’t be said of some of those who are opposing the charter propositions. Indeed, some of the most vehement critics who have questioned the appointment process to the commission were appointed in the same fashion to other city panels.

It’s ironic that critics who “blame” former Mayor Tom Fagan for the appointments seem to forget the original round of appointments actually was made by Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding when he was acting mayor in April 2004.

As we’ve said, we believe the proposals brought forth by the Charter Review Commission are in the best interest of the city and its residents, and we wholeheartedly urge residents to vote for each and every one of them.