Crestwood’s new mayor off to disappointing start

By Mike Anthony

Disappointing. That’s how we’d characterize Gregg Roby’s performance so far as Crestwood mayor.

Roby, a former one-term Ward 3 alderman, was elected mayor April 8 and took the oath of office April 22.

Roby kicked off his mayoral campaign last summer, addressing the Board of Aldermen on numerous occasions and contending he had the answers to solve the city’s problems.

For example, Roby suggested last November that aldermen could take action to rescind their pay and the mayor’s pay, saying it would send a message to city employees that elected officials also are participating in cutbacks. That same month, Roby cited the city’s low tax rate and wondered why the board had not placed some type of measure before voters to bolster the city’s financial situation.

However, we’ve seen very little leadership from Roby since he assumed office. What happened to all those ideas he had?

Contrast that to former Mayor Roy Robinson, who contributed to Roby’s campaign.

Within a month of taking office in 2005, Robinson reinstalled a mayor-only parking sign at City Hall, asked every member of every city board and commission to resign and proposed placing a 15-cent tax-rate increase before voters that aldermen rejected.

While Robinson’s ideas weren’t necessarily good ones, at least he hit the ground running upon taking office.

The night he was sworn in as mayor, Roby said, “We all realize that we’re not all going to agree on every single issue, but we hope as individuals we can come together and work for the betterment of Crestwood.”

Yet at last week’s board meeting, he recommended a divisive appointment to the Economic Development Commission — Anne Milford.

Milford’s primary qualifications for the commission would seem to be the fact that she contributed $100 to Roby’s mayoral campaign and manages a Facebook page, Let’s Grow Crestwood, that helped promote Roby’s candidacy.

Cronyism apparently is one lesson Roby did learn from Robinson’s tenure as mayor.

Milford’s selection was so divisive that aldermen deadlocked 4-4, and Roby cast his first tie-breaking vote as mayor to approve her appointment.

Roby made many promises during his mayoral campaign that he would provide the leadership he contended the city was lacking. We believe it’s disappointing that he has yet to fulfill any of them.