While city officials in Fayetteville, Arkansas are constantly striving to
“Keep Fayetteville Funky”, I believe they are keeping it more flunky than funky.
In recent months our officials have revamped Block Street, the connector street between the historic square and the entertainment district along Dickson Street with back-in, angled parking spots (no, seriously), odd, jutting concrete islands and a maze of other fun and sundry driving obstacles only to discover mid-project that there might be a serious issue with the clearance of some emergency vehicles.
So now they go back to the drawing board to “re-revamp” the street project.
Even with remarkable Googling skills I have yet to locate a finite
number of what this has - and will - cost we the taxpayers.
Then we turn to the dreaded paid parking issue in the entertainment district. The powers that be decided in their wisdom to install parking kiosks downtown to increase city revenues. Or, in the words of Alderman Matthew Petty who
represents Ward 2, “We need to do this; it’s the only way to keep Dickson Street growing.” Oh really?? Take an already tax laden community and further tax the down time where folks go to relax.
However, many residents of the majestic town have said “Good bye Dickson Street” because they don’t feel it is worth the extra money and hassle to deal with these new parking restrictions, especially when there are so many other choices with free parking.
In an effort to raise revenues, the City Fathers have actually helped curb potential commerce for local business owners, in effect lowering tax revenues. They have spent taxpayer money implementing a plan to take more of that money from said taxpayers. Then, as a kicker, a few days ago we learn Fayettevillians will be hit yet again with an additional $15,000 in repair bills to the parking machines from vandalism in the initial weeks. Arggggg!
It is important to note before we proceed that Fayetteville is
running in a budget deficit situation of an estimated $1.2 million in the General Fund. In light of that Mayor Jordan and his crew developed a plan “to reduce target expenditures, freeze wages, forego the
replacement of certain open positions, and extend the replacement plan
for General Fund vehicles,” all of which I applaud. But to re-revamp a road that actually did not need revamping in the first place then further tax citizens with the hassle of parking fees so that potential customers may head elsewhere with free parking and easy access doesn’t seem like good city planning to me.
Now the Coup de grace; the $93 million high school I continue to shudder over. That’s NINTY THREE MILLION DOLLARS! The rapidly growing Springdale School District is seeking less than $70 million to build a new junior high and a middle school holding 2,000 students, new athletic fields and stadium for Har-ber High School and refurbish the existing Springdale High School stadium. The interesting fact of this matter is not only has Fayetteville school not grown, but according to a former school board member, the population at FHS continues to dwindle.
Now I understand the city management does not make decisions for the school district, which might even play more into one of my points, that the
right hand and the left hand of the public’s business never know what the other is doing.
Beware friends. Government on every level is spending and taxing to the point of non-recognition, in my opinion, to get all they can before
the heavy hand of the federal government comes down and lands a mighty and crippling final blow to families across the nation.
Has anyone else noticed how many unemployed there are in our corner of the state? How many foreclosures are published in the paper each day? How many empty storefronts have appeared?
So one little town (less than 70 thousand residents) in one little state is spending millions of dollars on superfluous stuff and we just keep going along living our clearly unsustainable “Life of Riley.”