Passionate comments at Monday's money meeting

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - "We don't want you to give yourself raises, we don't want any additional programs right now," said one Jonesboro resident.

"What I like to call commuter crime, if you reduce the police force by 40 or 50, folks you create an invitation to that sort of thing," said audience member, Jim Burton.

There were passionate comments Monday night from residents at the City of Jonesboro's second money meeting.

"The people in this city and most of the country were hit pretty hard by an economic downturn,  and if anything we're making less money than we did last year," said audience member, Bill Sloan.

Because of that, Bill Sloan says he wants to know where the city's money has been spent and where it will be spent  if the proposed sales tax increase gets the voters ok.  Sloan says it's all about getting informed.

"I didn't just go out the other day and vote.  I found out a little bit about who I was voting for or against.   We need to know these things," said Sloan.

"The idea of being forced to reduce the police force by 40 or 50 officers is in my own opinion frightening," said audience member, Jim Burton.

Burton says he's seen the city grow into a booming commercial hub for Northeast Arkansas--positive growth that he says speaks to the caliber of the city's public safety divisions.

"I've seen Jonesboro grow so quickly it outstripped it's city services and it's just now beginning to catch up.  It's no time to go backwards," said Burton.

After a brief overview of the budget, the meeting opened for public comments.  Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says he's happy not only to answer those questions,  he's glad they're being asked.

"We are doing everything that we possibly can to be good stewards of those funds and we're going to continue to do that.   If there's more savings that we can cut, we're going to do that also," said Jonesboro Mayor, Harold Perrin.

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