Roby says city officials will continue to follow Stump’s legal advice

To the editor:

After reading Executive Editor Mike Anthony’s “Call the Tune” column wherein he cites the release of Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen closed-session votes on a lawsuit as good transparency, I feel it is important to set the Crestwood record on such matters straight.

Crestwood has a city attorney (Lisa Stump of Lashly & Baer) whose job is to guide the city in its legal responsibilities to protect sensitive information.

When the Crestwood Board of Aldermen meets in closed session it is on matters specifically designated by the Missouri Sunshine Law to be closed and usually involves one of three subjects: personnel, real-estate or legal matters, all protected from disclosure by the Missouri Sunshine Law for various reasons.

Redacting closed-session minutes is authorized by the Sunshine Law and is done by the city attorney to protect the disclosure of information the Legislature has determined that, if released, could damage the city.

I am sorry that Mr. Anthony feels we are not being transparent. However, he is well-educated in the Missouri Sunshine Law statutes and knows full well that what we don’t release is well within the law. It has been the policy of this mayor and Board of Aldermen to provide all information to the press when appropriate.

I can’t speak to the reasons Sunset Hills released its information.

But the fact remains that Crestwood will continue to follow the legal advice provided by our city attorney while continuing to practice good transparency.

The city has implemented several practices to improve transparency such as social media and polling, starting an e-newsletter, making our minutes/agendas/audio easily accessible to anyone online, created a Transparency Portal that collects critical city operational information, including police crime data, and we published a budget that was nationally recognized.

In addition, the state of Missouri recognized Crestwood as one of only a few cities that responded fully to a randomly conducted state audit on Sunshine Law requests.

Gregg Roby

Crestwood mayor