Thursday, October 18, 2007

Taking the Lap Dog to Obedience School

The Springdale Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a three-day obedience school designed to help their city officials set appropriate goals. Springdale elected officials, school administrators, and city department heads are a captive audience for the so-called business leaders, who are holed up away from public view at beautiful Mount Magazine State Park Lodge in Logan County to get together on what the business community expects and how the city can deliver.

The three-day gala event is being "facilitated" by 9 g Enterprises, a consulting firm brought in by the Chamber from Texas. Looking forward to three days of instruction on infrastructure and retail job growth by the Chamber and the consultants away from any opportunity for citizen input, Mayor Jerry Van Hoose said,
"I hope we understand what our highest needs are and set a course to meet those needs." No doubt they will.

Richard Massey's article does not reveal who is paying the tab for the city officials and employees at the resort, but
the three-day retreat for more than 100 VIPs is sponsored by undisclosed construction companies, banks, food processors, engineers, and architects. The Chamber's last Five-Year-Plan from 2002 led to a $105-million bond program for the trucking industry and contractors and the idea that Springdale voters should raise their taxes to pay for building a baseball stadium named Arvest. Even with declining revenues, the City has also appropriated $177,000 to the Chamber this year.

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