Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Laughingstock material: Jonesboro City Council rejects Bloomberg money

Posted By on Wed, Dec 3, 2014 at 7:06 AM

click to enlarge JONESBORO DECLINES: 200 cities participate in Cities of Service. Not Jonesboro. No dirty Bloomberg money for them.
  • JONESBORO DECLINES: 200 cities participate in Cities of Service. Not Jonesboro. No dirty Bloomberg money for them.

Talk Business reports
that the Jonesboro City Council voted 10-2 to refuse $30,000 from Cities of Service, a volunteer community betterment program, because Michael Bloomberg is the major financial contributor to the organization.

Members of the City Council don't want to take money that originates with someone who supports abortion rights or gun safety measures. To which I repeat my earlier request that Jonesboro disclaim about half of the state tax turn back, coming as it does from supporters of abortion and sensible gun regulation.

The two exceptions:

Council member Ann Williams, who voted yes on the resolution, said the city would not have been required to go along with any of the views of the group.

Williams said she was more concerned with how the city would be viewed by so-called Millennials.

“I am more concerned with the Millennials, who might think we are a city of stodgy, old people, a city of ‘no,'” Williams said, noting she believes the grant would have provided a good opportunity for the city.

Voting yes with Williams was council member Charles Frierson.

Not that it matters in Jonesboro any longer, but here's a rundown on Cities of Service work nationwide. In Pierre, S.D., for example, volunteers backed by the organization planted trees and did drainage work in a central part of town. In Austin, Texas, the money supported efforts to provide health services and employment for returning military veterans.  In Richmond, Calif., volunteers coached high school students in writing. In Little Rock, elementary students planted raised bed gardens to provide healthy food used in seven school cafeterias. Flint, Mich., produced a tornado preparedness plan.

You can see why Councilman Gene Vance said he just doesn't feel comfortable with taking the money. It would be selling his soul. Sure. You can see that.  Can't you?

You wonder if Vance's construction company would build a a building for Bloomberg or someone with his political views. Would the chamber of commerce Vance led welcome a company producing computer terminals for Bloomberg's media company? I hope not. It would be selling the town's soul to do business with a liberal.

It is the next logical development I guess from something I've seen in a lot of comment by both politicians and their supporters since the Nov. 4 Republican tide swept Arkansas. It can be summarized: "You lost. Shut up." Opposing views are no longer tolerated, as if the 1st Amendment covers only those on the prevailing side of an election. In Jonesboro, they now don't even want to do business with people they disagree with.

I'm guessing Michael Bloomberg will manage even if he is unwelcome in Jonesboro, Ark.

This is laughingstock material for economic development dreams.


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