Crestwood regressing because of lack of leadership, resident says

To the editor:

After attending the recent Crestwood mayoral candidate forum, I was so taken back with Mayor Jeff Schlink’s repeated claims of providing leadership during his term that I felt compelled to write this letter.

In the past three years, our city has regressed, primarily because there has been no vision, no plan and certainly no leadership. Leadership requires taking a stand and making controversial or unpopular decisions when needed. Yet on critical votes, the mayor refused to cast a tie-breaker. I can appreciate his reluctance in delicate matters, but the job requires him to act in just these types of situations.

Three years ago, he asked for our votes and we, the residents of Crestwood, complied. It seems reasonable that we should expect the same from him when called upon. He can try to justify his inaction any way he wishes, but the fact remains that he failed to fulfill one of the fundamental obligations of the job, leadership.

Leadership also requires consensus-building, yet Crestwood continues to suffer from a board that will not work together. The mayor bears the responsibility to work with all members of the board.

Not long ago, one alderman admonished Mr. Schlink for his poor communication. We cannot expect to have consensus without open communication and, clearly, this has been an ongoing problem with this administration.

Leaders build teams that utilize the strengths of every team member, all focused on a common goal. Make no mistake, we all make up the team in Crestwood. However, under Mr. Schlink’s leadership the board is split, citizens are discouraged, business owners are frustrated and employee morale has never been lower. Ours is a team in disarray.

Mr. Schlink believes he has had some accomplishments in the last three years, but to claim that he has exhibited leadership is, frankly, an insult.