Crisler Fundraiser Appropriate?

24 Sep

At the risk of being a tad insensitive, I am going to posit a question about the propriety of the decision to allot the proceeds of the Arnold Days Police Department Car Show, held on September 21, to the family of deceased council member Randy Crisler.

This fundraiser, in its 11th year, is held at Arnold City Park during Arnold Days each year. Normally, proceeds go to the police department’s K-9 program and to equipment purchases. But this year, Chief Bob Shockey announced at the city council meeting on September 5, the day after Crisler’s death, that the proceeds would instead go to his family. Crisler is survived by his wife, Nancy, and three children – a 21-year-old daughter, a 19-year-old stepson and a 13-year-old daughter.

It is not clear to me who made the decision to change the fundraiser, other than show “organizers.” Shockey did not ask about changing the beneficiary of the car show at the meeting; he announced that the decision had been made. One has to assume he was involved. Councilman Butch Cooley is listed on flyers as the point of contact for the show. In the realm of city politics, Crisler, Cooley, and Shockey were allies with each other and with mayor Ron Counts.

The car show is a high-profile event with plenty of free publicity and a prominent location that occupies a significant portion of Arnold Park, where Arnold Days takes place. Is it right that this fundraiser, which previously provided ostensible benefits to the city as a whole, be redirected to the family of one politically connected individual? While his death is quite unfortunate, there are plenty of unfortunate cases in the area that could benefit from this fundraiser, if we’re going to direct the proceeds to individuals. If so, who else would make the cut?

For example, councilwoman Cricky Lang died in February. She is survived by a husband and two children – both minors – ages 15 and 7. The city did not hold any fundraisers for her. In the last part of her time in office, she tended to vote against the Counts-Shockey regime. Similarly, while the city sprang for $77 worth of flowers for the Crisler family (bottom of p. 7 here), I find no such purchase in the city’s general warrants for the Lang family in February (here and here). I could have missed it, I suppose. ($75 was donated to the Christine Lang Memorial Fund). I hope these decisions are not made on the basis of politics. Judging by the number of fundraisers for Crisler being held by various entities (four), there is probably some financial need. But I don’t think that’s a justification in this instance.

Furthermore, how will the police department make up for the loss of the money it normally receives from this car show? Will a supplemental request be made for city (taxpayer) funds?

The car show is, for all intents and purposes, a city-sponsored event. If the proceeds from the show are going to be directed to non-public beneficiaries, such a decision should be made publicly after sufficient consideration. I maintain that this particular decision was not appropriate.

If you think this makes me an old meanie, let me know in the comments.

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8 Responses to “Crisler Fundraiser Appropriate?”

  1. wrongonred September 24, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    I would one up your thoughts, and say not only was it inappropriate, but using public funds for private benefit is illegal in Missouri. I spent a whole weekend at an MML conference where this was the topic du jour. Not to mention, the Crisler family will be getting a $40k death benefit courtesy of the Arnold tax payers due to the fact Randy died while holding office. Perhaps it is insensitive, but I have to believe that Ron Counts knew Mr. Crisler’s situation was terminal when he was appointed to the Council, and that wanting to make this payment was part of his calculus in making the appointment.

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  2. Anonymous September 24, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Wow well stated and I have to add, we all know for a fact this is not the first nor will it be the last time that the RAT PACK will use there power to misappropriate the funds of the people of the city of Arnold. I would also wonder if then, all of those that agree that this is a misappropriation of funds would then in turn spread the word to the people and encourage them boycott the event sending a clear message that the people will not continue to stand by and watch there families being raped and sheared like sheep

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    • JC Penknife September 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      Well, the event already occurred. Sorry, I was slow.

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      • Anonymous September 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

        You people are nuts!

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  3. Anonymous September 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    You people are sad. Many of the benefits are being held by private people not affiliated with the city. Seems Mr. Crisler has a lot of friends. Maybe you are jealous of that.

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    • wrongonred September 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      I am rather sure no one is against anyone having a private benefit for the man’s family. I think that is the proper thing to do. I think what folks are opposed to is the improper and illegal use of tax payer dollars and and City resources to hold a public benefit for him. You are tilting at a strawman in an attempt to demagogue.

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  4. The Chisler September 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Randy was a likable person, but a poor citizen. He was a miser when it came to paying taxes and pulling his share of the load. He long and hard bragged to me about how he lied/cheated on his income taxes. Missouri DOR had to place an embarrassing lien during his tenure on the council to get him to pay up what he owed in back taxes, which he coughed off as a mistake (casenet 10JE-MC00348). At one point he was even forced to close his DJ business for not complying with the law. His brothers speak of him as if he were an angel, but Randy told me that one of them was a die-hard criminal who broke into cars and stole radios. There was no scam beneath Randy if he thought he could make a buck off of it, including having his family sue himself when he ran over his own daughter; Yes, his 21 year-old daughter is self-sufficient due to Randy’s ability to make everybody else pay for his own mis-deeds to the tune of $250k. Randy cheated his way through life, and God gave him 38 years. Nuff said.

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    • Anonymous September 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      God have mercy on your soul for dragging his name through the mud like that. You are a real piece of trash. You must have been pretty close to him if you knew enough to bring up his daughters accident. Seems like one of the biggest mistakes Randy made was confiding in you. Let them grieve and keep your mouth shut. His life may have been fodder for the public record. Their lives were not.

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