Monday, July 2, 2007

Pounding Sand down a Rat Hole

Fayetteville Downtown Partners was formed in 2005 as a nonprofit organization to help implement the Downtown Master Plan. It has been funded by the City with $280,000 cash from Mayor Coody’s ill-advised sell-off of the fragile ecosystem at Wilson Springs Park to developers. It now looks like one bad deal has led to another.

I’m all about the Downtown Master Plan, but I cannot figure what we got for the $280,000 in public funds pounded down this particular rat hole. Besides getting involved in local politics surrounding the impact fee election, what has this nonprofit group done that could not have been done by our tax paid city employees or the tax-funded Advertising and Promotion Commission? No one seems to have a good answer to that question, and I am glad that Aldermen Bobby Ferrell and Kyle Cook seem to be pressing the issue. It better be more than the “banner” program for our $280,000 in public funds.

It is time to pull the plug on this particular waste of our tax dollars. Then we should take a hard look at how much tax money the A&P Commission is wasting on buying commercial real estate or supporting such things as the energy-sucking Lights of the Ozarks fiasco sold to Fayetteville by some newspaper editor several years ago.

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