Quentin Freeman | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Quentin Freeman 
Member since Sep 4, 2011

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Re: “John Walker opposes Little Rock sales tax

Re: “John Walker opposes Little Rock sales tax”
People, what are we talking about here? We all have opinions, but please, let us all base them off of something that is tangible! Are we talking about why we should or should not have a tax increase or Are we talking about your opinions of how city officials are running the City of Little Rock? I work for the City of Little Rock, and I am not here to try to convince you of the need for more money! But, since there is a conversation going, here is my "Two Cents." The City of Little Rock has the lowest local tax in the state of Arkansas. Any of us that has a brain knows that it takes money to operate infrastructure. How many of us operate our households on nothing? I'll go on record as saying none of Us! What I am getting at is this, I may not agree with everything the City of LR endorses, just like I probably won't agree with every financial decision that is being made in the households of the people in this conversation. Bottom line is that the City of Little Rock has outgrown itself! Over 670,000 people come into the City of Little Rock during a normal work day, and you can go ahead an anticipate this number to grow even larger in the coming years. Other major cities in this country have gone through similar growing pains. Little Rock has a posted population of around 193,000 people (so you do the math). I won't get into the residency issue because this is a whole other Animal. Urban sprawl has continued to be a challenge for many of the metropolitan areas in the United States. These areas have had to adapt to their ever changing financial environments due to the fact that their tax base has been depleted (urban sprawl). Bottom line, our current tax base is just not enough to handle this type of invasion of People on a daily basis. This is why our resources are being tapped out! Something has to give! I don't know about you guys, but I would like the fact that we could have more police officers and firefighters on the streets (that wouldn't hurt right?). How about filling more positions in the city that are vacate? We need more jobs, right? Aren't we in a recession? Some of those aforementioned disadvantaged people would have more opportunities around here. Believe me, the positions at the top are already filled, the majority of the vacant positions are service-related. How about our street department having more resources to maintain these very same streets that everyone's driving on? How many of you have experienced a flat tire because of a pothole? Well, I have, and it's no fun spending $300 plus dollars on a fairly new tire! I could go on and on, but what good will it do? "It is, what it is!" The fact of the matter is we're operating in the red, and the reason why is because there has not been a tax initiative in the City of Little Rock since 1994. You guys tell me how much has changed since then! You guys please tell me how many of us could survive in today's financial climate with the same salary you made in 1994! Let us all be realistic! Now if your issue is in trusting the city officials in how the money will be spent, then say that!

On to Mr. John Walker, to whom I know, and I respect! John is giving his opinion, and he has a right to that opinion, just like everyone else in this conversation. I just want to emphasize that the lower income areas will not go unnoticed in this tax initiative. To be honest with you, I believe that they would be the ones to benefit the most. The last I noticed, there aren't any police substations in west Little Rock off of Chenal Parkway. What I am getting at is that this initiative will make the streets safer in those less affluent areas by putting more police officers and firefighters on the street. This is on top of the Police Substations and Fire Stations. Police and Fire response is less out west than it is out east. Now if you believe the rich will steal the money, then just say that! This is not just a tax for the rich or affluent areas. As far as the jail situation, there have been criminals who have been let out of jail due to no space that have gone out to commit more heinous crimes. One person in this conversation mentioned a motion picture theater in the lower income area. Would that make sense? Why would you put a theater in an area where the people would be less apt to patronize it due to their financial constraints. Let's use some common financial sense. "If it don't make dollars, then it don't make cents." Now, if you don't trust your city officials, then just say that! There is a financial need in the City of Little Rock! Trust me, I work here!

At the end of the day, we all have to look at things in an objective way. Now, am I saying that I will agree with every decision that the City of Little Rock will make in the future. The answer to that question is a resounding No! But I do know from my work history here in the City of LR (around 17 years) that we are in desperate need of additional funding to support those 670,000 or so people that travel into Little Rock everyday during a typical business day!

Well there's my "2 Cents," just another opinion!

Posted by Quentin Freeman on 09/04/2011 at 4:51 PM
  • Re: Anybody around?

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