Petition drive for state audit launched by Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance

By Mike Anthony

The Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance has launched a petition drive to seek a state audit of Crestwood’s finances.

However, Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance Chairman Kelley Isherwood on Oct. 21 declined to discuss his organization’s reasons for seeking a state audit. Isherwood also declined to provide a copy of the petition to the Call.

However, in a statement faxed Oct. 24 to Call General Manager Bill Milligan, Isherwood wrote, “… I have been busy obtaining signatures for an audit of Crestwood by the state auditor.”

Isherwood’s statement also outlined why the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance is seeking a state audit of Crestwood.

“The city should not select its own auditor! Let’s protect our elected officials and administration by insisting on a truly objective Missouri state audit,” the statement reads. “Crestwood citizens need to know, want to know, deserve to know. Can an auditor, chosen and paid for by those being audited, be as objective as Missouri’s state auditor?”

Under state law, the cost of a state audit of the city’s finances would be borne by the city of Crestwood.

A flier distributed throughout Crestwood neighborhoods by the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance states, “The Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance was formed as a result of how worried citizens of Crest-wood are about their city’s plans to use taxpayer subsidies/abatements and ‘MIS-use’ the power of eminent domain. A huge segment of CSGA’s members are interested and concerned about many issues including the legal, ethical and economic actions of the current administration.

“In response to the urging of CSGA members, our immediate focus is helping those members with a petition drive asking for an official state audit,” the flier continues. “The audit would be accomplished by an independent team under the supervision of the state auditor, Claire Mc-Caskill. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain in having a truly unbiased state audit done NOW! CSGA is confident in the commitment expressed by its members, and encourages everyone to sign one of the many petitions.”

The Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance “is a citizen-based organization concerned about the path that Crestwood’s appointed officials are choosing,” according to a flier the group has distributed to solicit members.

But Isherwood, an Oakville resident, on several occasions has declined to provide the Call with a membership list for the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance.

Isherwood has told city officials that the Crestwood Smart Growth Alliance has hundreds of members, and at the Sept. 9 Crestwood Board of Aldermen meeting, a representative of the group unveiled a partial membership list on a placard.

The Call requested a copy of the partial membership list, but Isherwood declined to provide one. “I don’t have a list for you,” he said in response to the request. “I will not give the names out at this time.”

During a Sept. 12 interview with the Call, Isherwood said he is being compensated for his work with the organization.

“I’m getting compensated — not really much … I’m compensated, but we’re talking at a much-reduced rate,” he said.

Isherwood has registered the business name of the Crestwood Smart Growth Al-liance with the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, according to his Registration of a Fictitious Name with the state.

Under the name of “owners, individual or business entity,” Isherwood is the only person listed.

The address of the alliance, according to the filing, is Private Mail Box No. 166-9051 Watson Road, Crestwood, MO 63126.