UPDATE NOV 15, 2011: Both of the taxes were defeated, by a very close margin.
First and foremost, we want the citizens of NLR to rest assured that the NLR Firefighters totally respect the outcome of the vote and the opinion of the voters. As always, we will continue to provide the best possible service and support to our community that was can. We've become very very skilled at "making do with what we've got" and will continue to do so!
We would also like to take the time to thank the citizens who came out to vote; it is privilege as well as a right to do so, and voting is the most effective way for each citizen to have a say in how his community is managed.
We have heard quite a few reasons as to why voters would select NO on these initiatives, and all of them are very strong and valid reasons. Local #35 is satisfied that no one ever voted NO because they felt like public safety didn't deserve the funds.
Citizens of North Little Rock:
The International Association of Fire Fighters Local #35, North Little Rock, by vote of it's membership, endorses and supports the upcoming tax initiatives.
Resolution 7926 proposes a permanent 1/2 cent sales tax that will be used to fund critically needed public safety shortfalls, including the purchase of a new fire station with equipment and 13 additional firefighters; the hiring of 10 police officers to fill positions that have been left vacant; a replacement program for the aging police car fleet; and funding a necessary upgrade to the current emergency services radio system.
Resolution 7927 proposes a temporary 1/2 cent sales tax that will last five years and will fund bridge and road replacements, Ward improvements, upgrades to our parks, and economic/business improvements that will include a business park area which will potentially be used to host the State Fair.
Local #35 sees the first resolution as an immediate solution to needed public safety issues that have been on a steady decline in the past decade. We also feel that the second resolution will provide the City with more revenue-producing economic opportunities which, when brought to fruition, can be used to further improve services provided to the City and it's citizens.
We are certain that the City Administration would agree that there have been many issues and differences between the City and Local #35. However, at this time, Local #35 believes that the passage of these two resolutions will ultimately provide the citizens with a better served and brigher North Little Rock.
Officers of Local #35 will be at the public forum at the Willow St Police/Fire Training Facility on Thursday, November 3rd at 5:30 PM and will be happy to answer any questions anyone might have for us regarding the tax initiative.