Schlink best candidate for mayor, Miguel says

To the editor:

On Tuesday, April 5, I am voting for Jeff Schlink for mayor of Crestwood because I believe he is the best candidate to restore civility, integrity and fiscal responsibility to Crestwood.

Crestwood will be better served by a mayor who understands finance and the need to plan ahead, as opposed to a mayor who continually balks at the suggestion of developing a Plan B. We taxpayers supported Prop S, a 20-cent — $540,000 — seven-year property tax increase in 2006, which doubled our property-tax rate, to get the city out of debt and on a sound financial track.

Then, in 2008, with no clear plan, Mayor Robinson asked for another 35-cent — $1.1 million — per year property-tax increase, which taxpayers wisely and soundly defeated, 72 percent to 28 percent. This year, with the Prop S loan paid off, and with Prop S revenues still coming in, there is no reason for a $250,000 budget deficit.

As for civility and integrity, two items immediately come to mind. First, Mayor Robinson telling the Board of Aldermen during a budget work session that he does not need to follow Robert’s Rules of Order; he has Robinson’s Rules of Order.

Second, stating in all seriousness, both at a town-hall meeting and a Board of Aldermen meeting, that Kirkwood and Webster Groves police officers shoot pets that get loose. According to an internal memorandum from our own Police Department, dated May 14, 2009, nothing is further from the truth. On the other hand, Mr. Schlink has always been very respectful of others in the seven years I’ve known him, even when under considerable pressure.

I also believe that Mr. Schlink, through his professional work experience with Edward Jones and his understanding of corporate finance, is better qualified to lead the city through a long-term major mall redevelopment effort.

Despite Mayor Robinson’s repeated assertions over the past several years that redevelopment is right around the corner, it is very unlikely that mall redevelopment will begin before 2013, at the earliest.

When redevelopment does begin, it will be crucial for our elected officials to get it right from the outset. So it is crucial that we elect a mayor who understands finance and who will not sign off on one unnecessary tax break after another. We cannot afford another underperforming project like Sappington Square, which is performing at 12 percent of what the developer promised in order to get a $2.5 million tax break.

In conclusion, I believe Jeff Schlink is the best mayoral candidate to lead Crestwood forward. I hope you do, too.

Jerry Miguel

Crestwood Ward 3 alderman