Petree Eastman Resigns As City Administrator

Petree Eastman (click for larger version)
03/23/2012 - Crestwood City Administrator Petree Eastman resigned Friday, March 16, following a late-afternoon closed session of the Crestwood Board of Aldermen.

The board voted to appoint Fire Chief Karl Kestler to serve as acting city administrator until a permanent replacement can be found, Mayor Jeff Schlink said.

"This is still an open personnel issue, so I can't discuss much," said Schlink in confirming Eastman's departure.

Eastman, who served for just six months, did not appear at the regular board of aldermen meeting March 13 with no explanation offered. She was also given instructions not to speak to the press on city-related matters. Public communications would come from the mayor, she reported.

Some citizens had been calling for her resignation after a "misstep" involving the Crestwood Court redevelopment and a conflict with the board over sharing the city's checkbook register with the aldermen.

In November, Eastman issued a Request for Proposals for bond counsel for the then-unannounced Crestwood Court redevelopment. Some aldermen complained that they were not properly consulted in advance. At the time, Schlink declared it a "misstep" by a new administrator. In February, Eastman rubbed some citizens the wrong way by allowing gay couples to participate in the Crestwood Valentine's Day Run.

Eastman was hired in October to replace Jim Eckrich, who had resigned to return to his old position as director of public services. An attorney, Eastman was previously assistant city manager of University City.

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