Letter To The Editor:
“In a few weeks the citizens of Searcy will finally have the opportunity to vote on whether or not they will be charged an Advertising and Promotion tax on prepared food and hotel services they purchase within the city limits. Proponents of the tax claim these funds will be used to improve the city of Searcy, mainly through the renovation of Parks and Recreation facilities, promotion of local fairs and festivals, and increased tourism from special city events. Opponents of the tax point out that the economic timing is poor for a new tax of any kind, especially one whose funds are not earmarked for such improvements and are managed by members of an unelected commission who are not answerable to the people as to how the funds are spent. Although I’m sure most of you reading this have already made up your minds on this issue, I urge all Searcy voters to CAREFULLY consider these two positions before voting in April.
I will be voting AGAINST the A&P Tax on April 13, and I’d like to explain why.
I love my city. I was not born in Searcy, but I was raised here. Apart from several years in my childhood my family spent on the mission field, I attended Searcy Public Schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. As a child I played Searcy city league baseball and basketball and was a member of the Searcy Sharks Swim Team. During my childhood my Dad always told me that Searcy was different from other places. He said that the people here sincerely cared about each other, prizing honesty and integrity above personal gain. Business deals in Searcy, sealed with a simple handshake, could still be made with merchants who had been practicing free enterprise in Searcy for generations. Taxes were low, and city government was conducted by men and women who were open and willing to serve by putting their citizens’ interests above their own. All in all, Searcy was a great place to live, a place where any kid could be proud to grow up.
And grow up I did. I got married, graduated from college and graduate school, and had 3 great kids of my own. When the time was right, I decided to move my family back to Searcy, hoping that my hometown would be a place where they could be proud to live and grow up themselves. In many ways, Searcy is still very similar to the city of my childhood. Searcy is bigger today, but many of the same people still live here, raising their children and grandchildren, and working in their family businesses. In other ways, sadly, Searcy has changed. I do not see the same openness and integrity in all members of our city government today. I do not see individual freedom and free enterprise encouraged the way they once were. In many ways, it seems that Searcy is catching up to the rest of America on her mad tailspin away from liberty.
Today, as I write these words, politicians in Washington D.C. are celebrating the passage of a bill that will forcibly remove your ability to control your family’s healthcare choices. The age old Washington shenanigans of meeting behind closed doors, discussing procedural loopholes and making secret deals figured prominently in the successful passage of “healthcare reform”. Searcy may seem a world away from Washington, but to a careful observer, the healthcare reform issue and the A&P Tax issue share several important similarities. The most fundamental of these deals with the issue of ACCOUNTABILITY. Our “representatives” in Washington no longer feel that they are accountable to us. Why else would they work so hard to pass a terrible healthcare bill that most Americans oppose?
The Mayor of Searcy and several members of the City Council have a similar attitude. Why else would they mandate a tax upon our city without our approval, and then use taxpayer funds to attempt to prevent us from voting on the issue? Why do they plan to turn over hundreds of thousands of dollars of YOUR money to an unelected A&P commission, several members of which are not even residents of Searcy? Why do they refuse to earmark this money for specific city improvements, instead dumping it into an ambiguous slush fund? Why do they turn a blind eye to the corruption and shenanigans that have plagued A&P commissions in other cities? Why do they wish to prevent you from finding out about these Washington-like actions? Because they don’t really care what you and I think or want. Because they see themselves as public rulers instead of public servants. Because they no longer feel that they are accountable to us.
This is not the Searcy I know and love. It is time to restore accountability to our city government. For this reason I will vote AGAINST the A&P Tax. And for this reason I will vote to replace the Mayor and her minions on the City Council when they come up for reelection. Before you vote on April 13, please take the time to investigate the facts of this issue for yourself; because, if passed, the A&P Tax will not likely go away. It has no exit point, no sunset clause, and no expiration date. Money that you and I earn, that should stay in our pockets, will continuously flow into the coffers of an unelected commission that owes no accountability to anyone, unless we have the guts to stop it now.
Please join me in the fight to keep Washington-style politics out of our city. Please join me in the fight to restore our city government to one that serves its citizens instead of dictating to them. Please join me in the fight to restore accountability.
Vote AGAINST the A&P Tax on April 13.”
The Arkansas Patriot is a conservative organization dedicated to equipping citizens with the truth, insuring transparent government, and encouraging citizens to question their government boldly. The editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Follow The Patriot on Twitter and Facebook.