Former Crestwood alderman urges voters to approve tax-rate hike

I take issue with claims that reserves produced in Crestwood the last few years have been spent on a wild spending spree.

The budget has steadily decreased each year due to declining revenues.

Surpluses are because of a reduction in spending and balanced budgets required by the City Charter.

It takes money for good parks, police, fire protection, street repairs and snow removal — services that Crestwood residents get at a bargain compared to nearby cities. Why are they such a bargain? Because the mall has picked up the tab for the last 50 years. Anyone been through the mall lately?

If you want to know where Crestwood is headed, deferred maintenance includes tennis courts, parks, sidewalks, stormwater projects and buildings.

The city had 130 employees in 2002 and is now down to 103. Does this sound like a city that overspends?

I also take issue with claims that the city is “mining senior citizens for the gold in their golden years.”

What about the rest of us who would like our city to be what it was when we moved here to raise our children?

I don’t think it’s fair to us to watch the city be run into the ground by people who took advantage of Crestwood in its glory days and now choose to deny it for the rest of us.

Now the rest of us are supposed to give up all these amenities because some think it’s unfair that the government asks us to keep the city afloat until the mall is profitable again.

I’m not buying it. It’s time for citizens who want to keep Crestwood the special place that drew us here to step up. The tax increase has a sunset. If the mall is successful, the Board of Alderman can end the tax sooner. I, for one, don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Steve Knarr

Crestwood

Editor’s note: Mr. Knarr served as a Crestwood alderman from 2007 to 2008.