Foote urges Crestwood residents to understand the issues, vote

To the editor:

Crestwood Mayor Jeff Schlink will run for re-election in April against former Alderman Gregg Roby.

The coming election is generating letters to the editor as readers voice opinions on city leadership to redevelop the Crestwood mall and slowly declining city revenues and staff cuts.

Mayor Schlink took office in April 2011. On Aug. 14, 2012, the city issued a request for proposals to redevelop Crestwood Court. At the Oct. 9, 2012, Board of Aldermen meeting, acting City Administrator Karl Kestler introduced a resolution approving Centrum Partners LLC as the preferred developer — the only response received.

Then-City Attorney Robert “Golterman explained the resolution is the logical next step in the process,” according to the meeting minutes. He stated the city has met the time line submitted by the developer, but the time line is tentative and the next steps in the evaluation process lay in the decision of the Board of Aldermen on the resolution.

“Mayor Schlink invited anyone wishing to speak on this agenda to approach the podium,” the minutes stated. The resolution was discussed as aldermen, residents and the developer expressed varied opinions for almost two hours. When the board voted on the first reading of the resolution, it failed 5-3.

Since then, a local publication reported as one of its top 10 stories of 2013 that Centrum and its chief investor, Angelo, Gordon & Co., were pulling out of the project and placing the mall up for sale. The Call’s Mike Anthony on Dec. 19 offered another perspective to Centrum’s withdrawal and the sale of the mall.

Residents would sure like to know where our city is headed, so residents are encouraged to understand the issues and vote.