Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mayor Tells Council to Buck Off

Springdale Mayor Jerry Van Hoose told the City Council that he could not or would not make the necessary cuts to present a balanced budget for next year. Abdicating his responsibility and trying to shift the political heat for reductions in services or personnel, he responded to their request for spending cuts by returning his original proposal that would transfer $2 million from the capital improvement program and still leave the city $400,000 in the hole.

Buck up and be responsible, Mr. Mayor. Either you do your job, or you lose control of the executive budget. Someone will do it, even if by default, and that Chicken Little routine about cutting 60 employees or entire departments is nonsense. You can cut $400,000 without breaking a sweat. Return your police force to local service and patrol duties instead of being substitute ICE agents for the feds, and that saves six positions by attrition. Ask the cops to forfeit that money they scammed from citizens and put that in the general fund. Stop public subsidies for private business interests and let the Chamber of Commerce survive in the free market they always praise. Take a look at how much money the city is losing on that local airport to serve a few big shots with private planes and try telling the voters that is a wise use of their tax dollars that can't be cut.

The Fayetteville City Council agenda for November 20 has scheduled approval of the 2008 Budget and Work Plan. Citizens and Aldermen are looking forward to seeing Mayor Dan Coody's proposed balanced budget, hopefully in time to give it some study and consideration before being asked to rubber stamp whatever is laid before them. About right now would be a good time.

No word yet from Tontitown Mayor Joe Edgmon on that town's proposed budget, but at least the City Council has a remedy for a mayor who fails or refuses to do the job for which they were elected.

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