Last week, in an editorial penned by Kim Krostue of the Camden County Republican Club, an accusation of impropriety and unethical behavior was leveled against Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber. This allegation, based on the fact that both Luber and Lake area developer Gary Prewitt used the same public relations firm, is contradicted by fact and blatantly ignores a potential conflict of interest regarding the current Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken. Krostue seeks to create a ‘conspiracy’ that simply does not exist.
Franken took campaign contributions from Mr. Prewitt and his business. Mr. Luber did not, recognizing the potential for conflict of interest should he take a contribution. While Franken has stated through local media that he offered to recuse himself as a result, his history with regards to being honest and operating ethically and according to state statutes immediately calls into question any such claim. It seeks to create a ‘conspiracy’ that simply does not exist.
Prewitt’s ongoing battles with Camden County Planning and Zoning and residents on Horseshoe Bend have been well documented.
Krostue used his ‘Wal-Mart’ logic to attempt to tie Prewitt to Luber. This ‘Great Value’ argument asks the reader to believe that because both Luber and Prewitt ‘shopped’ at the same PR firm, a conflict of interest exists. Krostue referenced, in his false presentation of events, a conversation between the president of the PR firm and Luber. At this meeting, it was indicated that Prewitt wanted to settle his legal proceedings against the county. Instead of working under cover of darkness, Luber stated that he would take the possibility of a settlement to the Camden County Commission. He followed through on that promise, taking the possibility for settling to both Franken and ‘The Invisible Woman’, Bev Thomas.
It is through this conversation with Luber and the Commission, that Krostue learned of the potential for a settlement. This transparency and refusal to cut deals under the table represents the kind of integrity that Krostue would to see eliminated from county government.
Krostrue’s invention and false presentation has served as a launching point for the Lake Area Elite’s new PAC (Political Action Committee), Citizens for Better Government. This groundless, selective finger-pointing falls in line with the PAC’s recent history.
Krostue and his Komrades stood in support of recently suspended P&Z administrator, Don Hathaway. Hathaway, whose time as P&Z administrator has been pocked by scandals, is currently at the heart of a review of Camden County Planning and Zoning by Missouri State Attorney General, Chris Koster.
While reasons for the suspension are unclear, it is a matter of fact Hathaway’s ignorance of the ULC has cost the taxpayers of Camden County tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and improper use of this department. It is also a matter of fact that, during Hathaway’s tenure, a hostile work environment has been fostered within the courthouse. His screaming at and berating county employees has been documented by multiple former employees. The behavior displayed in both the Sugarloaf Winery and Gidgets and Gadgets cases shows that this brutish behavior has bled into our community. Because of these and other actions taken during his time as administrator, Hathaway should be terminated. This view however, is not shared by interests represented by Krostue and his PAC.
By their own admission and through their ‘rally’ to support Hathaway’s reinstatement after suspension, Krostue and his Komrades have shown they do not only support this course for Camden County P&Z, they champion it. The bullish behavior displayed by Hathaway has been mirrored by Krostue’s PAC. This group of usual suspects has followed Commissioner Luber around the county in order to disrupt and impugne him during a series of town hall meetings with the residents of the Second District of Camden County. They have been cheerleaders, shaking their pom-poms in favor of continuing the illegal behavior of planning and zoning.
The Lake Area Elite would prefer to maintain the selective enforcement of planning and zoning. They applaud conducting business in the shadows and would seek to discredit anyone who would bring transparency and accountability in our courthouse.
It is no surprise they stand in support of Hathaway and Franken.