Lack of revenue, employee cuts threaten safety of city, Foote says

To the editor:

On Feb. 19, 2009, the Call published my letter, headlined “Time for Crestwood residents to voice their opinions on service cuts.”

In 2009, Crestwood’s revenue continued to decline as costs for services increased. The city used $600,000 from cash reserves — a revenue shortfall — when Macy’s closed that April. The letter compared Crestwood’s property-tax rates with those of sister cities, pointing out our low tax rates. City Hall continued cutting Crestwood costs.

Residents were asked to get involved because less than one-third of registered voters cast votes in August 2008 when a tax-rate increase was on the ballot. The letter asked residents to get involved in city affairs and closed by saying, “We hope you like the choices they will make.”

History review — in 2003, Crestwood residents requested a state audit when city officials could not close Crestwood’s books and the city ran up millions of dollars in debt for a government building under design and costs to build a new Aquatic Center while the city paid its bills with a bank letter of credit.

In 2006, residents approved Proposition 2, a 20-cent tax-rate increase, to pay off $3.5 million covered by liens on city property as the city cleaned up its finances and tightened financial controls, planning for Crestwood to be debt free in 2012.

At the end of 2012, although the city was debt free, a review of audited annual city finances from 2009 to 2012 from data using year-end Statements of Revenues, Expenses and changes in net position shows that over those fiscal years, city revenue decreased by $2,153,378 and costs increased by $915,388.

In 2012, the city’s net position decreased by $407,678.

Unfortunately, nothing has been done over the last three years to increase city revenue, and employee cuts bring into question the safety of our city.