Well, they did it again. The Jonesboro City Council in its infinite wisdom voted to raise taxes without consulting the people who will be affected and who they supposedly represent.

This is about as wise as the decision to build curvy sidewalks on Phillips Drive, narrow East Washington and widen the sidewalk enough to drive an automobile on, grant all alcohol permits requested in Jonesboro basically without any consideration, buy property to make an easy route for ASU students to get downtown to get alcohol, because I see no other reason for such a plan, and refuse to pass a nonbinding ordinance to declare Jonesboro a pro-life city.

On the alcohol issue the council had opportunity to require that certain criteria be met when Councilman Bobby Long tried to introduce such an ordinance. Did he even got a second? Now, all permit requests are granted without any method to stop them. Once these are passed by the council they are guaranteed to be granted by the ABC in Little Rock regardless of opposition arguments presented to them. So, Jonesboro is doomed to be filled to the brim with alcohol outlets because of the indifference of the council.

The Arkansas Legislature passed Act 392 which allowed cities and municipalities to designate themselves as Pro-Life Cities. Councilman Long introduced a non binding resolution that simply stated that Jonesboro wishes to affirm and dedicate itself as a “Pro-Life City.” Nothing more, nothing less. Something that even Washington County, nine other counties, and three cities have done. His resolution never got out of committee.

As far as this “hamburger tax,” I have trouble understanding why this was not presented to the public for a vote if it is so wonderful. Does the council not trust the people to know what they want and what is best for them? Maybe it is because they remember the people voted down the last tax the council wanted to raise. I suppose anyone as wise as the Jonesboro City Council shouldn’t be challenged.

Isn’t it time the residents of Jonesboro had a council with aldermen who represent the people?

Bobby L. Hester

Jonesboro