The Springdale City Council finished its budget review this week. They are projecting revenue of $27.06 million and expenses of $27.57 million, leaving a $510,000 deficit for 2008, even after transferring $2 million from the city's Capital Improvement Program.
The Council has scheduled another work session for next Monday, and some think that cutting positions and laying off employees is the only solution for a balanced budget. Be of good cheer, my feathered friends to the north, for here are two suggestions to make that less painful.
First, be glad that Kathy O'Kelley, your fine chief of police, has already determined that the department has five more positions than it really needs to serve and protect. She allocated at least one excess supervisor and four surplus officers from the service and patrol divisions to the federal government's 287g program, picking up the slack so the feds don't have to do their job. Forget that. Let the feds take care of their own responsibilities, and eliminate those positions that you've already shown weren't needed for local law enforcement.
Next, you are currently giving $177,000 a year to the Springdale Chamber of Commerce. Stop that. Let the members of the Chamber increase their dues to fund whatever it is they do. It is not the responsibility of Springdale taxpayers to pick up the tab for the Chamber, even though they threw that nice three-day party for you at fabulous Mount Magazine Lodge.
There. You've just cut more than a quarter million dollars of fat from the existing budget and reduced your deficit by more than half. No charge for the advice. You're welcome.