Richard Morehead, president of the Little Rock Firefighters Local 34, will launch the union's campaign in support of the city's proposed penny sales tax at a press conference at noon at the Central Fire Station.
The 3/8 cent tax for capital projects would produce an estimated $4 million for a new fire station in Southwest Little Rock and $800,000 for a West Little Rock station. The 5/8 cent tax for operations would produce nearly $4 million for hiring 36 new firefighters and keeping 18 positions now filled by stimulus money.
Since the taxes can be voted on separately, that means you could vote for new firefighters but not for a building to put them in. Alternatively, you could vote to build a fire station, but not hire the staff it needs to run. Vote for both, and the LRFD will get a total of $8.9 million to build and hire; another portion of the capital side of the sales tax would pay for new firetrucks. PRESS RELEASE ON JUMP.
UPDATE: More pro-tax revelry today. The Campaign for Little Rock's Future will hold a rally for "young professionals" from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. tonight on the upper level of Juanita's, 614 President Clinton. Mayor Stodola will introduce speaker Yana-Janell Scott.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Contact: Richard Morehead
LITTLE ROCK FIREFIGHTERS LOCAL #34
Launches “WORTH EVERY PENNY”
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS — Little Rock Firefighters, after careful consideration of the city’s sales tax proposal, will formally launch our Campaign for Little Rock’s Future- “WORTH EVERY PENNY.” The campaign will include talking to voters and encouraging them to cast two votes FOR the City of Little Rock’s proposed 1-cent sales tax which will increase our ability to provide safety for the citizens of Little Rock and our Firefighters.
The campaign will focus on educating voters across the entire city about the need for increased fire protection and how this need is being addressed by the city in its sales tax proposal. Richard Morehead, President of Little Rock Firefighters Union, said, “The city has not been able to add any fire stations since 1992, so just think about how much development has happened since then. Well that’s how much strain is on our department to provide the necessary services to the citizens of Little Rock. An investment in public safety will assist the firefighters in keeping your family safe- It's a smart investment and ‘Worth every Penny.’"
We’re asking the citizens to help the firefighters by giving us the resources to provide an aggressive interior assault on fires, and successfully accomplish victim rescue, fire control, and property preservation. We don’t want to take a defensive position and concede to preventable loss of both life and property. This proposal will give us the resources needed to improve our response times and provide the necessary fire protection to areas of our city that do not have adequate fire protection. We believe the sales tax is “Worth Every Penny.”
There will be two votes on the September 13 ballot:
• 3/8 of a cent capital investment which will provide for two new fire stations, fire equipment, and a new radio system.
• 5/8 of a cent operational investment which will provide for hiring 36 new firefighters, retaining another 18 grant position firefighters, and enhancing our daily staffing which will provide increased safety to all citizens of Little Rock.
The campaign has plans to reach out to voters across the entire city throughout the campaign to encourage them to Vote FOR Little Rock’s Future on September 13.