Crestwood resident ‘disappointed’ by recent actions of superintendent

To the editor:

Like many other Lindbergh Schools parents and residents, I read the opinion piece in the May 7 Call written by Superintendent Jim Simpson about the Crestwood mall redevelopment proposal.

I strongly support public education. I am glad to pay taxes to Lindbergh Schools, as I believe strong public school systems benefit not only our children but also the community and society as a whole.

I praise the man for his work since 2008, as well as our wonderful, dedicated and hard-working teachers and staff, making Lindbergh No. 1 in the state. However, the superintendent’s concerns would have been more credible and valid if he didn’t try them first in the court of public opinion in an early stage of the project.

The project time line has 23 points with a time span of over a year. On April 28, the Board of Aldermen discussed the third point and approved the developer of the mall site. The current proposal is the first one and we can expect to see many changes and public input to it.

The TIF Commission will have two Lindbergh Schools members. They will be able to voice their concerns, even able to reject the TIF option should such direction be considered on a residential property. It is also my understanding that funding to go to the school district is possible within a TIF.

The superintendent has stirred up an outcry, a lot of negativity and made a lot of people anxious. He didn’t reach out to any Crestwood elected officials to talk about the proposal and the probable consequences of a TIF before starting his scare campaign. On May 5, for the first time, Dr. Simpson met the developer, one week after emailing the Lindbergh community about the matter.

The recent actions of Superintendent Simpson are disappointing. I hope Dr. Simpson will recognize that his actions were a mistake and that they spurred unnecessary concerns at a time where the Crestwood community needs to be united.