What’s Left?

Aug 27th, 2014 | By | Category: Opinion

Last night I attended the monthly City Council meeting. During the meeting I was thinking how much public government is like your household management. You have to balance things that you need with things that you want and every once in awhile you get an “emergency/disaster” thrown in the mix. At last night’s meeting they discussed the cat over population problem with a beginning of a solution. I think it is a good start that will show evidence of fewer stray cats/kittens in the future. The city will sponsor a spay/neuter mobile unit which will be in Beebe Oct. 30th. They will take up to 40 cats for spay/neuter. I don’t have all the details/requirements for people to be eligible to bring cats in yet but I’ll publish it several times before the date of the event. The city is hoping they can arrange 3 of these events per year. We will well publicize these as they are set. Well – that was one of the wants/emergencies that a city has to deal with. On the other side is a situation which has brought about the seemingly necessary action of asking the voters to approve a 1/4 of 1-cent sales tax for the purchase of equipment for fire protection. With the recent Act 833  monies distribution decision and the possibility of it changing each year the cities of Beebe and Searcy are to receive much less money which they formerly used to purchase equipment. Now, they can’t enter into a contract to purchase equipment and earmark those payments be made by Act 833 money because they are not getting enough to pay off large purchases in five years. And now the county is going to have a sales tax issue on the ballot for a 1/4 of 1-cent sales tax for the county and the money collected will be distributed evenly between all the cities. That sounds fair but when you see that Beebe and Searcy are the biggest cities and they would only get $95,000 per year – as would McRae, Garner, Griffithville, etc. It just doesn’t help the larger cities who have more needs for more people.  If it would be distributed by population – it would be equitable. But that is not the case. So, the council and mayor have approved placing this matter on the Nov. 4th ballot. If the city’s sales tax proposal and the county’s sales tax proposal are both approved, the mayor says the city will drop ours so as not to double tax the citizens. But, if the city’s tax proposal passes and the county’s fails – that would give our fire dept. around $300,000 per year to deal with purchasing the equipment they need.  I hope you will give this some thought as you think about the upcoming election Nov. 4th. It would mean that money being spent in Beebe would help the Beebe Fire Dept. and not being distributed county-wide. It is not to slight these small rural fire departments – many of whom we help when they have a large fire and they help us when we have a large fire – but those smaller fire departments have smaller needs because they serve fewer people and some of them – many of them- are able to get grants because they are small departments. Just something to think about.

Go to your happy place.

See you next week.