When did the Chamber of Commerce quit being concerned about our community and the future of the diverse array of people who live here? They used to care about the quality of life. They used to care about small independent businesses. They used to care that people had good jobs. They used to care about neighborhood schools. They used to care about parks where families could enjoy time together. They used to be willing to make a civic contribution and pay their fair share for making ours a more livable city.
Not anymore. It seems all they care about now is helping a few rich people become richer while everyone else carries a higher tax burden to subsidize the corporate class of welfare bums. Looking at the list of fine people who pay dues to the Chamber, I can’t believe they support what’s happening, but here are three examples, just within the last month.
First, the future of
Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Ramsey said the Chamber heavily favors and recently passed a resolution endorsing the idea that the board build one new school at a new site. However, when asked about an essential factor in the decision, Ramsey said the maximum size of the school hasn’t really come up. “I don’t know what the magic number is,” he said. That would be something those concerned about the best learning environment for our children might consider. It might also be wise to ask if the Chamber members are ready to pay the taxes to build a new school opposed by the majority of patrons.
Second, water rates charged in
Finally, special treatment for big developers with lots of money. When Mayor Coody floated the idea of letting big developers pay an additional fee to move their projects faster through the approval process, Alderman Kyle Cook said, “That’s like buying influence to me.” Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce CEO Bill Ramsey said he believes the development community would be willing to pay more and that raising the fees might even help the economy. “We just have a reputation, and it isn’t all just perception, of being a little more difficult of a community for developers,” Ramsey said. “If we shorten the process and change that perception, we’ll get developers looking a little more friendly at
That’s the Chamber today—they want construction of a new school regardless of the data about optimum size for quality education, they want special low water rates for big industry subsidized by homeowners, and they want special treatment for quick approval of projects for big developers with money to pay for it. Take their word for it.