Friday, October 26, 2007

Shell Game with the City Budget

Mayor Dan Coody and his department heads are playing a shell game with the City Council and the citizens of Fayetteville. They want a tax increase for funding services and their salaries, but they have not made the hard decisions nor presented a detailed budget for various levels of funding. That's what they are paid to do, and they have failed to do their jobs.

They had a little meeting yesterday where department heads threw out a few hot button scare tactics, but Mayor Coody didn't even care enough to show up, much less present a proposed budget. Chief of Police Greg Tabor said if his budget was cut, calls to 911 would not be answered as quickly. Maybe he thinks citizens don't know that they pay for 911 service with a charge on their monthly phone bills, not a proposed increase in property taxes that most police employees, who live outside the city limits, would not have to pay. That's the kind of faux information this administration provides, when the people deserve the truth.

Finally, Parks and Recreation Director Connie Edmonston suggested that the Lights of the Ozarks spectacle might be cut back to save money. That's something the city's new Sustainability Coordinator should have suggested long ago. We're still waiting on a recommendation from Mayor Coody on this or any other proposal to cut expenses, including the lavish amounts spent on outside consultants. That's something else the people deserve and should demand before they have their taxes raised yet again.

The City Council is having a special meeting to consider the tax increase on Tuesday, October 30. Ask your Aldermen to tell you exactly why you should pay more taxes and why there is no fat to be cut.

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