Friday, July 27, 2007

Your Tax Dollars at Work -- for Someone

After spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on multicolored lights last year as the City of Fayetteville’s Christmas decorations, city employees with the Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department, who should have been spending their time on city parks but instead were ordered to get involved in the suspect spectacle, have junked the newly purchased lights and decided to go back to the traditional all-white light display.

Jeff Coles, maintenance superintendent for Parks and Recreation, said the colored lights did receive rave reviews, mostly from out-of-towners who came to Fayetteville to spend their money with local businesses, but that ultimately he and his staff believed the white lights were a better scheme. “Our local folks were accustomed to that signature scheme, kind of like a winter wonderland,” he said to a reporter for the Northwest Arkansas Times.

Coles did not say, and the reporter did not dare ask, what will happen to all of those multicolored lights that the city wasted tax dollars on last year and how much will they blow on the new replacement lights. The Lights of the Ozarks festival was the idea of a Northwest Arkansas Times editor who had a financial connection with the company that sold the lights. The Chamber of Commerce bought the lights and sold them at a markup. The City Council needs to audit this program, reign in the spendthrifts, and put an end to the frivolous waste of our tax dollars.

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