We’ve discussed it for months. Some of the discourse has been intelligent and constructive while some has been juvenile and spiteful, but we are at the point we must make a decision to vote for or against the proposed sales taxes on March 13.
Two of the three proposals could help reinvent the Maumelle we live in. How? We must expand what and where Maumelle is in order to grow beyond what is a now stagnant revenue base.
First, it’s a no-brainer to vote for a one-half cent tax to upgrade the sewer system north of town near Morgan. There are about 100 acres of land behind the McDonald’s that are undeveloped and won’t be until the property has sewer service. Once the bond is paid off, the tax will end. Hopefully, the area will attract a major retail offering.
Second, we need the new interchange to alleviate some of the city’s traffic issues. It won’t “fix it,” as the tax proponents have chosen to use as their battle cry. But we have a substantial population near the proposed interchange and it will grow with the completion of an interchange. The land around the interchange will be annexed and create another side of town hopefully with shopping, restaurants and entertainment and jobs. That tax too will go away after the bond is paid off.
Finally, the other one-half cent, the “public safety tax,” will replace the Community Service Fee and will be a permanent tax. It will fund our police and fire departments and provide a cushion to pay for other city services if needed. We must remain competitive with police and fire salaries to keep experienced, trained officers. If you haven’t heard, there is a shortage. And finally, the city can get out of the collection business of trying to coerce scofflaws to pay their fees.
There are two compelling reasons to vote for all three ballot issues: 1) 70 percent of the people who work in Maumelle do not live in Maumelle. They will help shoulder the burden of the tax increase. 2) We must increase our taxable revenue base and the only way to do that is to increase revenue.
Everyone always thinks taxes are too high, but it’s the price we must pay for city services and expansion — progress if you will. Many are bent out of shape because those who own the land affected at Morgan and the proposed interchange will profit from the passage. Of course they will! That’s the way it works. Those who had the foresight to purchase land and develop it make money, just as you would if you fix up your house, sell it and make a profit.
Enough talk. It’s time to make a move and take matters into our own hands. If not now, when?
Over 30 years ago, the advertising slogan for Maumelle beckoned families and businesses to come to a “new Hometown coming soon.” It then evolved to “a new Hometown coming true.” Maybe now it should be “a new Hometown? Up to you.”
Vote yes on all three proposals. It’s time to reinvent Maumelle.
Voting is underway
Voting on the tax proposals began Tuesday at the Pulaski County Regional Building in Little Rock and continues through Monday, March 12, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays. You can also vote in Maumelle at the Jess Odom Community Center through Friday, March 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Regular voting is March 13, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., at your regular polling place.
It should take about 45 seconds to vote, so cast your ballot and make your voice heard.
Politicians jump in races
Things got interesting at the state filing deadline for several races involving Maumelle candidates. Republican State Sen. David Sanders has decided not to run for reelection for State Senate District 15 but Dean Elliot of Maumelle has jumped into the race against Mark Johnson of Little Rock. Both are Republicans and the primary will determine the winner because there is no Democratic candidate.
Josh Price of Maumelle has filed to run against Monica Ball, also of Maumelle, in the State House District 39 Democratic primary. The position is currently held by Republican Mark Lowrey, who will face the winner in the fall.
A last-minute filing was also made by Leticia Sanders of Maumelle to run for governor in the Democratic primary. She will face Democrat Jared Henderson.
We also have JaNan Arnold Davis running for State District Court 31 in a non- partisan judicial race.
And finally, there is talk of a few folks who are interested in running for Maumelle City Council but none have made official announcements. We’ll get more into all of this as we learn more and get closer to the election.
See you on the Boulevard.
Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, Maumelle news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.