by Max Brantley
ACORN has weighed in on the hamburger tax, in light of recent Democrat-Gazette articles about handling of the money. Why not dedicate a portion of it to paying for city parks, which state law allows, thus freeing up city budget money for policing and other neighborhood needs?
This is an idea that could get some traction.
News release on the jump.
ACORN NEWS RELEASE
Today members of Pulaski County ACORN sent a letter to in-coming Mayor Mark Stodola and members of the Little Rock City Board of Directors to urge them to take steps to dedicate a significant part of Little Rock’s Hamburger Tax for city parks. The organization cited recent articles in the Democrat-Gazette detailing unethical practices by the Commission and comparing the size of the Little Rock Commission’s budget to other cities. ACORN members said that they are tired of hearing city officials say that there is not enough money in the budget to address the needs of neighborhoods.
“We have read with interest the articles in the newspaper about the Advertising and Promotion Commission. Not only do we need to put more control on how they spend the taxpayer’s money, we need to consider whether our money is being used to address the real needs of our city, “said Donna Massey, chair of the ACORN Oak Forest Community Organization.
“State law allows money collected from the Hamburger Tax to be used for city parks. North Little Rock does this. It’s time for our elected officials to take a long hard look at our city’s priorities,” added Ms. Massey.
“We think that a significant part of the tax collected from restaurants and hotels should be redirected towards the city’s parks department. The Hamburger Tax could free up money in the general budget for other needs in our community such as community policing and transit and could fund needed park projects such as a community center in John Barrow Addition and improvements to War Memorial Park,” said Ms. Massey.
“It’s time to change Little Rock’s priorities. Public safety and improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods should come first, and the wants of special interests should be placed at the bottom of the list,” said Ms. Massey.