Friday, February 26, 2010

White Lie or Webb Lie?

In the October 20, 2009 Springdale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors Minutes, President/CEO Perry Webb reported after reviewing the July, August and September financial statements he had to transfer $50,000 from the Chamber's reserve account to the operating account.

Webb goes on to say that this is the first time in fifteen years this had been necessary.

That being the case, I wonder what this $100,000 transfer from the reserve account to the operating account made much less than fifteen years ago (June 2008) was for.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Legal Expense

The Springdale Chamber of Commerce reported on their IRS Form 990 that they spent ZERO dollars for legal expenses in calendar year 2008. If that is the case, what or who was the $7,306.25 in payments to Little Rock Law Firm Friday, Eldredge & Clark for?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

US Chamber

A few days ago we talked about Mayor Sprouse being featured in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce magazine, Free Enterprise.

With all the negative publicity the U.S. Chamber has received lately, I'm not sure this is an organization the Mayor should be proud to be associated with.

Then again, apparently he is proud to be a member of Springdale's Chamber Board of Directors who openly support the US Chamber on their facebook page and in their newsletter The Business Intelligence Report.

By the way, between 2006 and 2008 the Springdale Chamber handed over to the U.S. Chamber a whopping $23,581.00. This does not include the $17,883.33 paid to "Your Chamber Connection" which may or may not be connected.

Lindsey Files Chapter 7

Everyone seems to be talking about John David Lindsey's recently filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition.

The multi-million dollar filing included three Springdale banks, the Chamber of Commerce and many other businesses and individuals.

The Iconoclast

Rogers Arkansas Blog

The following are listed as creditors from Springdale:

B&M Lawncare
Bolt & Screw Supply
Bub's, Inc.
Bumper to Bumper
Digital Printing Solutions
E&E Parts & Equipment
Farris Insurance
First Federal Bank
Fuel & Supplies, Inc.
G&C Family, LLC
Heritage Hills, POA
Kiewit Southern
Layman's General Hardware
Liberty Bank
Marks Supply
Moore's Retread & Tire
National Home Center
Neil Johnson
Northwest Tire Service
Offset Press Ink
Ozark Laser Systems
Peaks Homes 2
Precision Service & Sales
Ruby Lawson
Springdale Chamber of Commerce
Springdale Water Utilities
The Peaks at Pinnacle Hills
Today's Office
Tuscaney LLC
United Bank
Word's Electric

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Truth Hurts

Just a few weeks ago, the Springdale Chamber of Commerce reported to the city council that unemployment is down, new business is up and everything looks rosy for the future (especially the ballpark district).

Then I read the Arkansas Watch blog. Moderator Mike Moore steers us to a nationwide interactive map of unemployment from January 2007 to December 2009. Click play and witness the frightning unemployment statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Economic Report - January 2010

The Springdale Chamber of Commerce is required to submit to the city council, documentation of where taxpayer money given to the chamber by the city is spent.

Perry Webb was quoted in December, "the reports will include invoices to show the money spent from public funds."

Well, the January 2010 economic report doesn't exactly say anything like that. The report consists of vague notations like a meeting here, a visit there, and maybe a discussion. The chamber doesn't name names and I didn't see any invoices.

Basically jobs are up, unemployment down, and the chamber is consulting about the ballpark region.

What question about money?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Chamber Board

Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse is featured in the February issue of the U.S. Chamber's magazine, Free Enterprise. The article entitled, "Dreamers and Doers -Running a City Like His Business" brings national focus upon our mayor, the city of Springdale and Springdale's business community according to Perry Webb.

Mayor Sprouse being on the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce is a serious conflict of interest since the mayor is directly involved in the decision to hand over taxpayer's money to the chamber.

The business of politics and the politics of business should be separate. Maybe this explains the slogan: Leading Business Leading Springdale. Can you do both at the same time? Should you?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trash Talking

Was Mayor Sprouse bought off to rush the city council to pass the extension of the current contract with Waste Management another five years?

The Morning News quoted Sprouse as saying "if we wait and go to bid...we may lose our bulky waste program." Was that a threat?

Alderman Mike Overton and a few residents were on hand and requested the contract be put up for bid.

Sprouse is quoted as saying, "I think this is the best deal we can get for Springdale." How can he think such a thing if he didn't give anyone the opportunity to bid?

Maybe they will have a celebration party in the baseball suite.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Superintendent Looks at Property Tax Increase

We have a new blogger on the block, Wazup NWA who reported today that Springdale School Superintendent Jim Rollins is putting together a committee of 50 residents to determine whether or not to seek a property tax increase via special election in September to build a new middle school and junior high.

The Morning News article link here.

This reminded me that Rollins was also in the news recently when his contract was renewed through the end of 2012.

Rollins receives $206,698 plus $30,000 every three years, plus a paid vehicle (including all fuel, insurance and maintenance). Board President, Danny Dotson reported Rollins will be receiving a new ride this year to replace the Tahoe that has too many miles on it.

With that being said, a tax increase wouldn't hurt Rollins' pocketbook too bad.

I hope the committee doesn't fall for this special election nonsense. Special elections are nothing more than a way for the politicians to get their special interest groups to pass their pet projects.

Does buying a baseball stadium ring a bell to anyone?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Same Rules Apply

As I was driving up Huntsville Avenue yesterday, I pulled up beside a Springdale police car. I did a double take because the car had no license plate. I was too scared to hang my head out the window (plus it would have messed up my hair) to try and take a picture of it with my phone.

I wonder how long I could drive around town without a license plate before Number 0315 noticed me?

Friday, February 5, 2010

IRS Form 990 - Year 2008

We recently obtained a copy of the most current IRS Form 990 filing for the Chamber of Commerce of Springdale, Arkansas for the year 2008.

The return was signed by Perry Webb on October 13, 2009 after requesting an extension back in July.

It is certainly disheartening filers are not required to separate their actual income from the perks. I'm not a CPA or tax guru, but as an Average Joe I found a few interesting tidbits.

For example, Page 4, 28b asks: During the tax year, did any person who is a current or former officer, director or trustee, or key employee have a family member who had a direct or indirect business relationship with the organization. They answered no. The form lists Webb as an officer and we already know not only was his daughter a paid employee, but she and her husband were also being paid for landscaping. Is that not a business relationship?

Page 10 lists total travel expenses for the year as $14,631. [cough]

Page 10 also lists $0 spent for conferences, conventions and meetings. If it wasn't travel and it wasn't a meeting, conference or convention what exactly was Webb's purpose in Florida and Colorado in 2008?

Maybe his trips were included in the $563,969.00 listed as "activities" or the $282,647 for "other".

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Taxable Fringe Benefits Guide

January 2010 Taxable Fringe Benefits Guide.

Just a friendly reminder to report those fringe benefits to the IRS!

Definition of Employee: All of the following are considered employees for purposes of working condition fringe benefits:

Reg. §1.132-1(b)

  • Current employees
  • Partners
  • Board of directors of the employer
  • Independent contractors
  • Volunteers

Monday, February 1, 2010

No Bids Allowed for Waste Contract

The City of Springdale has had the same basic waste removal contract since former Mayor Charles McKinney signed with Sun Ray Services on December 12, 1995.

An eight page addendum was approved in March 2007 by Mayor Jerre Van Hoose making the city responsible for billing and collection of residential payments.

Another two page amendment is currently to be added renewing Waste Management's contract for another five years.

At a recent city council meeting, citizen Tom Smith encouraged the city to take bids for the city's trash contract. Additionally, Randy Pounders, GM for Roll-Off Services requested the opportunity to bid on the service.

The minutes do not say exactly what the council's response was, but apparently it was no.