Crestwood Ward 3 alderman urges voters to OK Proposition S

To the editor:

On April 4, Crestwood voters will decide whether to approve a tax-rate increase of 20 cents per $100 of the adjusted assessed value of their homes and personal property.

For most homeowners, this means a cost of less than $100 per year for the seven-year sunset period of the tax. The purpose of Proposition S is to pay off a debt of $3.5 million resulting from deficits over the past seven years.

For years, Crestwood mall provided more sales-tax revenue than the city needed.

This changed with new retail developments around us. Crestwood’s sales-tax revenue dropped, as shoppers were attracted to the new shopping centers. Past city administrations and the board were slow to recognize and react to these changes, resulting in major deficits each year.

The good news is that under your new mayor, things have begun to change. Under Mayor Roy Robinson, action has been taken to bring our expenses under control. These actions include: a reorganization of our departments, reducing full-time staff from 123 in 2001 to 102 budgeted for 2006; freezing hiring and staff raises so that we now have four open positions and 98 full-time staff today; eliminating the police building reconstruction project, thereby reducing our long-term debt from $20.7 million to $7.7 million; and adoption of a balanced budget with conservative estimates of income and quarterly reviews to assure no deficit operation for 2006.

I urge our voters to vote yes on Prop S to get Crestwood back to a solid financial basis.

Don Maddox

Crestwood

Ward 3 alderman