Pierre Trudeau once said: "The essential ingredient in politics is timing."
That became evident this week when a couple of days after filing for reelection, Mayor Harold Perrin and the city of Jonesboro sent out a press release saying that the Mayor and city leaders will soon visit regional cities to look at their aquatic centers.
In the release, Perrin stated that he'd attended swim meets at the Jonesboro City pool and "it is very apparent we need a new aquatic center, and we need it today."
I am into a sparkly new aquatic center as much as the next person, but the Mayor has been in office for 8 years – Why now?
Since we found some money in the budget, I think it could be better spent on safety…meaning we finally fix the police pay situation.
Region 8 News recently ran a story that the Jonesboro Police Department was now fully-staffed with sworn officers.
While I'm thankful, if you want to keep them at full-staff, the police pay issues have to get solved once and for all.
Earlier this summer, Mitch Johnson, the chairperson of the Police Officer Compensation Committee and the Public Safety Council Committee, brought forth a plan to bring police pay back in line with an upfront price tag of $827,000.
Then in true political fashion, the plan was walked back because it needed more details hammered out. Three months before the election, we have no pay increase for the police, yet all of a sudden we're willing to go shopping for a new aquatic center?
This sounds like a case of political timing.
I think getting our priorities straight and solving the issue that impacts ALL of us makes this A Better Region 8.
- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager
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