Former Crestwood alderman urges voters to reject Proposition C

To the editor:

The purpose of Crestwood’s Ways and Means Committee is to review the annual budget submitted by the city administrator.

One of the most important responsibilities of an alderman is to serve residents and business owners in a fiscally responsible manner. During my terms serving on Ways and Means, we reviewed, amended and approved budgets which most appropriately allocated funds within the framework of a balanced budget.

For the past three years, instead of submitting balanced budgets, the city administrator and the Ways and Means Committee approved budgets which have been substantially out of balance, with Mayor Gregg Roby describing the process as a “crap shoot” and “guesswork.” Based on deliberations at Board of Aldermen meetings, this “guesswork” approach is precisely how the city came up with Prop C’s incredibly audacious 181-percent increase in your residential property tax rate, 162-percent increase in your personal property tax rate and 109-percent increase in our business property tax rate.

Besides the unique “guesswork” approach, what else does the city cite as reasons for a tax increase? How about two admittedly unscientific polls, where a whopping two-tenths of a percent — 0.2 percent — of residents “voted” in favor of a tax increase. With this questionable endorsement, aldermen decided to place a 45-cent property tax increase on the ballot, not because 45 cents was exactly what the city needed to balance the budget, but because it was an amount they thought would get approval on Election Day.

On April 4, we have an opportunity to provide them with the only scientific survey that matters: our vote.

Please join me in voting “no” on Prop C.

Paul Duchild