Robinson appoints, reappoints about 50 to volunteer boards

By MIKE ANTHONY

Since assuming Crestwood’s mayoral post in late April, Roy Robinson has appointed or reappointed nearly 50 residents to volunteer boards and commissions.

Robinson, who defeated incumbent Tom Fagan in the April 5 election, was sworn in as mayor April 26. One of his first official acts as mayor was to request the resignations of about 65 volunteers serving on city boards and commissions in an April 27 letter signed by City Administrator Don Greer.

The letter noted that Robinson was sworn in as mayor on April 26 and stated: “Mayor Roy Robinson has asked me to communicate his wishes to have the chair and members of each standing board and committee submit resignations to his office as soon as practical. The mayor indicates that members will continue to serve until such time as they are either reappointed or replaced.”

Though the letter was dated April 27, most people didn’t receive them until the first week of May because of a delay in mailing them.

At the time, Robinson told the Call he was requesting the resignations because he believed “new blood” was needed on some of the city’s boards and commissions, but he did not intend to replace everyone.

In his review of the membership of the boards and commissions, Robinson said he learned that in many cases, volunteers were continuing to serve even though their terms had expired. In one instance, he discovered one person serving on three different panels. By ordinance, however, that person was prohibited from serving on more than one panel, Robinson said.

At the May 10 Board of Aldermen meeting, Robinson explained that “he thought it was the proper protocol to ask for everyone’s resignation and then reappoint members,” according to minutes of the meeting.

When he served on the Police Board and Jim Robertson was elected mayor in 2002, Robinson said his resignation was requested and he submitted it.

“… When I was on the Police Board and Mayor Robertson was elected, they asked for my resignation. I gave it to them,” Rob-inson said May 10. “He (Robertson) sent me a letter and said would like you to stay on the Police Board? So that’s the reason why, I mean I took that as probably the proper protocol in doing that instead of just picking certain people out and saying I don’t want you on the board any more.

“Everybody resigns and then we’re going to keep continuity on every board, but we’re going to have less of the same faces on each board,” he added.

But Robertson told the Call he did not request the resignation of any resident serving on a board or commission after he became mayor and city records do not appear to include any written communications from the former mayor requesting such resignations.

In response to a request made by the Call under the provisions of the Missouri Open Meetings and Records Law, also called the Sunshine Law, City Clerk Kimberly Cottle wrote, “After searching electronic and hard-copy files, we have been unable to locate any written communications from former Mayor James Robertson to members of the city boards, commissions, committees, etc., requesting their resignations.”

Furthermore, no city records appear to exist in response to such a request by Rob-ertson.

“After searching electronic and hard-copy files, we have been unable to locate any written correspondence submitting resignations in response to such a request from former Mayor James Robertson,” Cottle wrote. “Though we have located some resignations submitted to him during his time in office, they appear to be voluntarily submitted and not in response to a request — written or otherwise — from the former mayor.”

On Monday, Robinson said he could not address whether resignations were sought from other boards when Robertson be-came mayor, but reiterated his previous statements that his resignation and the resignation of all members of the Police Board were requested and submitted.

After Robertson was sworn in as mayor on April 23, 2002, he did not make any appointments or reappointments to boards and commissions until June 11, 2002, when he made one new appointment and 15 reappointments, including reappointing Robinson and four other residents to the Police Board. No further appointments or reappointments were made by Robertson until Sept. 24, 2002, when he made two appointments to fill vacancies on the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Park Board, according to city records.

Robinson so far has appointed 13 residents to boards and commissions, while reappointing 34, according to city records.

Robinson’s appointments and reappointments include four people identified as members of the Crestwood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility in a handout distributed by members of the citizens’ group at the July 12 board meeting. They are:

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

• Steve Neider — appointed to the Eco-nomic Development Commission June 28.

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

• Tom Ford — appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission July 12.

Robinson acknowledged that some of his supporters are members of the Crestwood Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility, but said he has no ties to the group. Whether residents have supported him or not supported him is not a consideration when making appointments or reappointments to city boards and commissions, he said.

Among Robinson’s new appointments are those made to leadership positions on city boards and commissions. On May 24, the mayor reappointed Pat Kapsar to the Planning and Zoning Commission, but made her chairman, replacing former Chairman Matt Green, who had served more than 30 years on the panel.

That same night, Robinson appointed Tom Tench to the newly created post of co-chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and named Gregg Roby chairman of the Police Board.

Besides naming Wallach chairman of the Public Works Board on June 28, Robinson appointed Catherine Barnes chairman of the Civil Service Board.

Under the City Charter, the mayor appoints members of committees, boards and commissions “with the advice and consent of a majority of the Board of Al-dermen present.” Of the nearly 50 people Robinson has asked aldermen to appoint or reappoint, aldermen have rejected one.

Aldermen voted 4-3 July 26 to reject Robinson’s appointment of Martha Du-child to the Civil Service Board.

Opposed to the appointment were board President Tim Trueblood of Ward 2, Ward 2 Alderman Jim Kelleher, Ward 4 Alder-man Joe O’Keefe and Ward 4 Alderman Pat Duwe. Voting in favor of the appointment were Ward 1 Alderman Richard Breeding, Ward 3 Alderman Don Maddox and Ward 3 Alderman Jerry Miguel. Ward 1 Alderman Richard LaBore was absent.