To the Editor:
Can government officials do what they want?
Well, it seems they can. I have brought to your attention (in a previous letter) about the $166,000 added to the budget from a proposed property tax to balance this year's budget. I was trying to open our officials' eyes, and make them see the error of their ways.
Looks like three council members and the mayor may have overstepped their boundaries. The City of Jonesboro might be in violation of state laws, and its own charter. City officials are clearly not working for the citizens of Jonesboro.
If you don't believe this to be the truth, trot on down to City Hall and look it up in the Code of Ordinance Book. In said section marked, Charter, sec. 6.25 in para. (A) (B) (C).
It clearly shows that the line item of the proposed budget, where they have instituted a property tax of $166,182, to balance our budget (before there is any means to support such a tax -- no referendum, not vote on cutting the homestead exemption, etc.) is clearly out of bounds.
If there is nothing in existence, yet, to justify this property tax, it cannot be impelled as revenue in this year's budget. There is no chargeable, annual appropriation of funds. There is no such tax in place, therefore, there is no set annual allotment on which you can base this revenue.
The city has no source of income on which to base this line item. It has no such property tax on file, to date.
I brought this to their attention at their recent meeting, but it was too late. The public was not allowed to speak out before the budget was voted on. The budget was approved. This was clearly a slap in the face to the citizens of Jonesboro.
Sorry, taxpayers, this is the way our government operates ... We need a changing of the guard, and someone who will listen to their bosses. You're the boss and should be respected. Yes, they are supposed to be looking over our welfare, not theirs.
Councilman Joe Compton abstained from the vote, and Councilmen Clarence Mann and Roger Grider voted against this absurdity. I say hats off to you councilmen for trying to do the right thing. The citizens thank you for your hard work in trying to do the right thing. I assure you this won't go away lightly. To you three councilmen, thanks again ... For you others -- "The fat lady has sung."