Mayor puts political agenda over citizens’ best interests


When Roy Robinson opposed a proposed general-obligation bond issue placed on the April 2005 ballot by the Crestwood Board of Aldermen, he said he had a plan.

The proposal, Proposition 1, sought voter approval of a general-obligation bond issue in an amount not to exceed $6 million that would allow the city to retire its line of credit with Southwest Bank, establish reserves sufficient to meet the city’s cash-flow needs and reconcile debts the general fund owes other city funds. Then-City Administrator Don Greer said at the time that issuing $4.732 million in bonds would accomplish those goals. A 24-cent tax-rate increase for 10 years would be required to retire the bonds.

But Mr. Robinson, who was seeking the mayoral post in the same election, wrote on his campaign Web site that he would not support the bond issue.

“I have a better idea. My plan will eliminate the $6 million lump sum and the $1.2 million in interest payments on the bonds over the 10-year life of the bonds. My plan will provide funding to maintain services each year …,” he wrote.

But within weeks, he changed his tune, saying publicly he was taking “a neutral stance” on the bond issue.

Voters rejected Proposition 1 and elected Mr. Robinson mayor. Under Mr. Robinson’s leadership, Crestwood last year borrowed $3.5 million — a $1.5 million line of credit and a $2 million promissory note that will expire Oct. 31. As collateral for the $3.5 million from Southwest Bank, the titles to City Hall and the city garage on Pardee Lane were pledged.

Next Tuesday, the Board of Aldermen is scheduled to consider borrowing $2.86 million in the form of an “annual-appropriation note” that would be repaid over the next seven years with revenue generated by Proposition S, a 20-cent tax-rate increase approved by voters last spring.

The Call advocated the passage of both Proposition 1 and Proposition S.

Quite frankly, Proposition 1 was a far superior proposal with lower interest rates. City officials, including Mr. Robinson, can call the current plan an “annual-appropriation note,” but it bears a remarkable resemblance to a bond issue and uses a constitutional loophole in which it’s not considered long-term debt, which would require voter approval. Furthermore, it certainly will carry a higher interest rate.

While we’re not opposed to the current plan, Mr. Robinson should stop hiding behind semantics and put the best interests of residents over his own political agenda.