Recalling some promises made before April election

By Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

A Crestwood resident in a recent letter praised Mayor Roy Robinson and the mayor’s plan, specifically referring to promises Mayor Robin-son made during the campaign leading up to the April election.

Certainly it’s just a coincidence that the letter writer, Thomas C. Ford, is listed as a member of the Crestwood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility in a handout distributed at the July 12 Crestwood Board of Aldermen meeting by the citizens’ group. Some-times it’s difficult to distinguish who is leading the city — Mayor Robin-son or the Crestwood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility.

Since being elected mayor April 5, it’s no secret that Mayor Robinson on more than several occasions has been reluctant to discuss the promises and pledges he made during the campaign. Perhaps that’s because one of the things Mayor Robinson didn’t mention during his campaign to “Bring Crestwood Back” was that he also planned to return cronyism to City Hall.

One of the highlights of Mr. Ford’s letter came when he proclaimed “… it would appear there have been several significant ‘promises made, promises kept’ and Mayor Robinson has competently and prudently begun to make these changes needed to handle problems inherited from the previous borrow, tax and spend administration.”

Just consider some of the promises Mayor Robinson made before he was elected:

• “I will return civility to the Board of Aldermen’s chambers. I will not tolerate disrespect for citizens that come to speak to the mayor and the board.”

As we previously wrote, that’s one promise we believed Mayor Robin-son would be able to keep. But that promise was broken May 24 when he was disrespectful toward one of the residents addressing the board.

Perhaps returning “civility” to the aldermanic chambers also includes turning off an alderman’s microphone as Mayor Robinson did to Ward 2 Al-derman Jim Kelleher during the Aug. 23 board meeting.

Maybe Mr. Robinson is one of those who believes in freedom of speech as long as he agrees with the speaker.

• “I will separate the duties and powers of city administrator and police chief! I will do this at no additional cost to the city. The current arrangement bestows too much power on one individual. And I will put an end (to) $350 per month auto allowances!”

Given the recent vote by the Board of Aldermen to approve Don Greer’s returning to his full-time duties as police chief and discontinuing his city administrator duties when a new city administrator is hired and begins work, Mayor Robinson indeed has kept that promise.

But what about the other promises he made? Mr. Greer currently receives an $830 per month car allowance and will continue to do so under the terms of the approved motion, which states, “Mr. Greer’s compensation and benefits to remain the same except that his car allowance will continue only until three months after the new city administrator begins work or July 1, 2006, whichever is later.”

We’re also curious about how Mayor Robinson plans to hire a new city administrator “at no additional cost to the city” given the fact that the city’s advertisement for the job states, “Salary range for this position is $75,000-$90,000.”

It’s no secret that Mr. Greer was performing two jobs and being paid one salary. We sure hope the new city administrator doesn’t want a car or other perks.

At a time when city officials are discussing making $536,000 in personnel cuts — or already have made them, according to Mayor Robinson — including eliminating seven full-time positions, we hope that no hard-working, dedicated em-ployees of the city of Crestwood will lose their jobs just so Mayor Robinson can fulfill campaign promises.

One promise Mayor Robinson didn’t make — at least publicly — was that he would return cronyism to City Hall. But that’s certainly the case as he has stacked the city’s standing boards, committees and commissions with his supporters.

Certainly it’s just a coincidence that Mr. Ford, the resident who wrote the letter to the editor praising the mayor and his plan, recently was appointed to the city’s Plan-ning and Zoning Commission by Mayor Robinson. Besides Mr. Ford, three other people identified as members of the Crest-wood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility have been reappointed or appointed to boards and commissions by Mayor Rob-inson. They are:

• Jacque Stock — reappointed to the Neighborhood Watch Committee May 24.

• Steve Neider — appointed to the Economic Development Commission June 28.

• Darryl Wallach — appointed chairman of the Public Works Board June 28.

Mayor Robinson certainly didn’t make a public promise to return cronyism to City Hall. But given the preferential treatment he’s given to the Crestwood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, there’s no doubt he has. While we wouldn’t be surprised to see more members of the citizens’ group appointed to city committees, we can’t help but wonder what other deals and promises Mayor Robinson has made behind closed doors and with whom.