Dear Editor,

It is misleading to advertise this tax election as a renewal. Renewal infers an expiration date; this tax will be forever more if passed. To add insult to injury, the tax proceeds will be classified general revenue and the City Council gets to decide whether to keep it separate. When this then-“temporary” tax was passed in 2014 we at least had the promise of a swimming pool, new police cars, an IT building, new trash collection equipment and several other expectations. This time: no expectations — just throw it into the pot forevermore!

Another foreboding sign: Searcy officials have not been totally forthcoming in that the American Rescue Plan Act funds have not been mentioned until Tuesday’s Daily Citizen. This news has been out there for months — notably in Arkansas Business (June, 7, 2021). According to NLC.org, Searcy gets $4,889,106 — half this year and half next year. Granted, this is one-time money but when I receive some unexpected funds as in the stimulus checks, I do not just throw it in the pot. I plan a special use for it so that I reap a specific benefit from the extra funds.

Yes, as the last Tuesday article mentioned, there are parameters to be met, but I’ve seen several examples of special uses gleaned from NLC.org: drainage; replacing remaining cast-iron water mains, Visa cards for getting COVID shots. The Beebe City Council voted to use $75,000 for three storm warning sirens. The Associated Press (Oct. 2, 2021) reported Starkville, Miss., plans to use most of their ARPA funds for parks and rec. The parameters are not quite as strict as Searcy officials would have you believe.

Searcy should try being less deceitful and more transparent in its financial dealings in the future.

Martha Blount

Searcy

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