Trueblood should resign his TIF Commission seat

‘Call the Tune’ by Mike Anthony

By Mike Anthony

For most people, an overwhelming election defeat would be a humbling experience.

But that apparently isn’t the case for former Crestwood Ward 2 Alderman Tim Trueblood. Trueblood served as an alderman from 1993 to 2006, when he was unable to seek re-election because of term limits. He again was elected to a three-year term in 2012.

But in his re-election bid in April, Trueblood was unseated by Justin Charboneau, who received 270 votes to Trueblood’s 141.

Mayor Gregg Roby last week appointed Trueblood to the city’s Tax-Increment Financing, or TIF, Commission that will be convened for UrbanStreet Group of Chicago’s proposal to redevelop the former Crestwood Plaza. The developer is requesting nearly $28 million in tax incentives, including TIF, for a roughly $99.5 million mixed-use project.

Almost immediately after his appointment, Trueblood demonstrated that he’s incapable of rendering a fair and impartial decision on any redevelopment proposal that would impact Lindbergh Schools.

Lindbergh officials have said they will oppose UrbanStreet’s proposal as long as the plan contains tax incentives for 225 apartments.

But in what can only be characterized as a lecture, Trueblood had the audacity to inform aldermen about their responsibilities as elected officials, saying, “…You have to please the citizens and do the right thing for the city of Crestwood first. So that’s what you’re elected for.”

As for the school district, he said, “You’re not tied at the hips.”

What a misguided view. While Crestwood is a fine city, what is attracting people to move there? Lindbergh Schools and its No. 1 ranking in Missouri for academic achievement five years running is the driving force.

That appears to be a non-factor for Trueblood, as he made some wild accusations about Lindbergh, including questioning how officials arrived at the district’s 2014-2015 tuition rate of $10,067 per student.

Trueblood apparently couldn’t be bothered to do any research before speaking. Otherwise, he would have learned the school board annually establishes the tuition rate. But why let the facts get in the way of a good rant? His other remarks about Lindbergh were equally inane.

Given Trueblood’s bias against Lindbergh and his disregard for school officials’ concerns about residential tax incentives, we believe he should resign his TIF Commission seat.