Crestwood mayor again playing the blame game

Burke Wasson

Burke Wasson

By BURKE WASSON

Crestwood Mayor Roy Robinson is a good guy. That said, it’s a real disappointment he’s not been good to former city employees when he’s faced with problems.

Robinson has worked for a voter-approved property-tax hike to pay off debt, a more friendly animal-control code and new businesses. For these, he deserves credit from fans, foes and media.

That’s why it was so disheartening last week to hear him once again engage in the blame game he tends to play whenever trouble surfaces.

His obvious political disagreements with past officials have now turned into tired overkill. For a man who often says the city is moving forward, blaming the past has become a worn-out excuse.

In response to a closed vote last week to pay the rest of a lease for now-unsuccessful financial software, Robinson said: “Once again, I was lied to” by previous officials.

Replying to criticism of an April decision to partially reimburse THF Realty for its purchase of former Swim Club property, Robinson said former officials made a “mess” and that if he had been mayor, things would have been done differently.

While that may or may not be true, it’s awfully self-serving and convenient to shift blame from those currently in power to people not even in the room to hear such accusations.

One such person, former City Clerk Kimberly Cottle, also was a target of Robinson’s last week.

He noted Crestwood has a new city clerk and “the one that started this is gone” when discussing problems with a license-fee hike for service businesses. Even though he had more than a year to fix any issues he has with the code, Robinson instead chose to further delay final action and blame a former employee charged last year with revising that business code.

And after the city received only one bid last year for a note to refinance its debt, Robinson put the blame on the Call’s coverage and citizens who criticized the note at a public board meeting. With that kind of attitude to anyone who publicly disagrees with him, it’s no wonder attendance at board meetings is noticeably lower.

But this is constructive criticism. Not a personal attack. We still believe Robinson is a good man working for a better Crestwood.

But we worry who else he might blame the next time the city has a problem. If he really wants to improve the city’s future, start with to-day and stop blaming the past.