Thursday, April 29, 2010
In October 2009, the Board of Directors Meeting Minutes state that the chamber will provide monthly invoices for money - taxpayer money - put into a holding account and used by the chamber.
In November 2009 as the city passed the budget without even considering whether the money handed over to the chamber is a worthwhile expenditure the newspaper said "the chamber will segregate the city funds from its other funds, Webb said, using invoices to make payments from city funds.
Also in November 2009, the Executive Committee Meeting Minutes refer to Webb invoicing an economic development account.
And as previously noted, in December 2009 "The chamber plans to continue quarterly reports to the City Council said Perry Webb, chamber chief executive officer and president. The reports will include invoices to show the money spent from public funds. Webb said."
Where are the invoices???!!!
According to Haydar Al-Shukri, director of the Arkansas Earthquake Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, a previously unknown fault in eastern Arkansas could trigger a magnitude 7 earthquake with an epicenter near a major natural gas pipeline. This fault, likely created in the last 5,000 years, has sparked at least one magnitude 7 earthquake in its history.
The fault is separate from the New Madrid fault responsible for a series of quakes in 1811-12 that caused the Mississippi River to flow backward.
Al-Shukri predicts this fault "...is going to be a major disaster."
The fact that the school didn't finish processing the paperwork doesn't negate the fact that he was put in a position of authority over the students he was given access to.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
This slick little newsletter or flier or whatever you want to call it - and you can call it anything but a report - is a pretty little fluff piece and virtually useless.
The local newspaper reported, "The chamber plans to continue quarterly reports to the city council, said Perry Webb, chamber chief executive officer and president. The reports will include invoices to show the money spent from public funds, Webb said."
I want to see the promised invoices and the City Council should demand to see them too. Especially the ones from their annual trip to Washington DC April 13-15 to pay off, I mean update John Boozman, Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln of the future plans for the Don Tyson Parkway.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Even though we requested copies of all travel itineraries and travel agent statements from the Chamber of Commerce (which I cannot say were entirely provided) we are still unable to name names other than Rhonda Hughes, who signed the tab for the cocktail party.
Hughes turned in a reimbursement request form that Perry Webb approved. On this form it states the reason for travel is "TRC - San Francisco". But just how did she get to San Francisco without any airfare, lodging or car rental receipts? Is it even possible we just haven't found them yet?
I find it interesting that under the TRC codes of the CoC general ledger, the Hughes reimbursement is not listed, but I find it coded under 60200 (General Reimbursements). Relevant GL pages here.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Morning News quotes Alderman Jeff Watson as saying at this meeting, "I don't think the city has any business telling me if I can breed my animal."
Is he kidding? First of all, they aren't telling you not to breed your animal. They're telling you there is a fee for doing so. This ordinance was intended to protect legitimate, ethical breeders while deterring unqualified individuals from breeding animals that could ultimately end up being euthanized at the shelter.
So is the city telling him what to do really the issue or is Watson just being a crybaby and a tightwad?
Compared to other cities with similar ordinances, $50 is a very reasonable fee for a litter license and the money would have gone into a fund for the spay and neuter program potentially deterring people that are tossing animals out their car windows or putting them in a dumpster.
This is a much more worthwhile cause than shall we say Watson's health insurance premiums that are conveniently (for him anyway) paid by the taxpayer's.
Secs. 14-38. Litter License; Dog Breeders License
(a) Litter license. Any person who resides in the city limits who owns, keeps or harbors a dog or cat that gives birth to a litter is hereby required to obtain a litter license for the litter from the Springdale Animal Shelter no later than seven days after the puppies or kittens are born. The cost of a litter license shall be $50.00 per litter. Any person who does not obtain a litter license as required by this section shall be issued a citation for failure to obtain a litter license.
(1) All funds generated from the city's dog breeder and litter licenses pursuant to section 14-38 shall be deposited into a fund established for the city's low cost spay and neuter efforts.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I went to the city's website to learn more, but all I really found out is that four of the five board members' terms are expired.
It appears to be yet another group much like the Advertising and Promotion Commission that just hands over taxpayer money to the Chamber of Commerce. As a matter of fact, the meetings that were once held at City Hall, are now held at the Chamber's office. And to prove my point, just try to contact them yourself.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Sprouse blames the economy for the lack of any new businesses three years after the ballpark opened and states he is confident the area will be fully developed in five to twenty years. He is jetting off to Sin City in a few days in another attempt to lure new business our way.
Be patient for another twenty years?
PETA has planned a similar demonstration today in downtown Springdale on Emma Avenue in near the Hirsch Law Office.
PETA caused quite a media buzz recently for a billboard referencing well-known Springdale residents JimBob and Michelle Duggar. The Duggar family stars in the TLC reality television show, 19 Kids and Counting.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
The Democrat Gazette decided to question nearly forty other cities to compare how they spend money on economic development.
Perry Webb, president of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce admits he pats himself on the back for everything in the community because he really doesn't know what business, if any, the chamber actually brought to town.
Webb also defended the practice of awarding exotic trips in exchange for fundraising. Webb changed the chamber's accounting system in 2010 to avoid having their future spending habits become public knowledge under the Freedom of Information Act.
Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is quoted as saying it is unlawful under Arkansas Constitution Article 12, Section 5, for funds of a “county, city, town or other municipal corporation” to be given to a private, nonprofit entity. It bars public money from being donated to a chamber of commerce, McDaniel said.
If the Attorney General believes it is unlawful to give taxpayer money to the chamber then why do we continue to do so?
UPDATE: Apparently Webb called in all the favors he saved up at the newspaper for running those full page ads about the Chamber's trips to China. We have been ordered to remove the newspaper article that put them in the unfavorable light they deserved. It's okay. Most of the town has already read it and those who didn't, feel free to email me and I'll let you look at the copy we paid for. Or better yet, maybe we'll just start passing out copies in parking lots.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
A.C.A. 26-75-605 and Ordinance No. 3293 provides that appointments for these positions will be made by the remaining members of the A&P Commission, subject to approval of the City Council.
Perry Webb submitted a letter to Mayor Doug Sprouse in the capacity of Director of the A&P Commission stating they had unanimously voted to recommend Henry, owner of Catering Unlimited.
The problem isn't with Henry, although he seems to have benefited nicely from the CoC's love of fine dining, but rather the continuing conflicts of interest in Springdale.
The Director of the Advertising and Promotion Commission is in fact the same person as the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce (CoC). Why in the world would we need both since the A&P gives taxpayer money to the CoC on an annual basis and the CoC decides who gets what's left of A&P money? Confused yet? If you want to request funding from the A&P, you have to contact the CoC.
This is a similar conflict of interest as our Mayor sitting on the chamber's board of directors while he is directly involved in giving them taxpayer's money.
We have a handful of people with handfuls of taxpayer money, but it all seems to get shuffled to the same pot?
Monday, April 5, 2010
According to KNWA, Gray failed three sobriety checks and blew .12 on the breathalyzer test.
Friday, April 2, 2010
Only about 49% of the cost of each meal is paid by government sources. The remaining 51% must be raised locally.
This is a very worthwhile program so please try and donate $5 to the center if you can so they can start accepting new seniors again.
Gars are most common in a warm, sluggish economy and feed primarily on other fish.
Gars are generally considered a nuisance and their eggs (roe) and gonads are extremely toxic if eaten.
In September 2009, the apparently recession-immune Springdale Chamber of Commerce treated a select few to dinner and drinks in San Francisco.
The evening began at the Top of the Mark Intercontinental Hotel. This bar is famous for its amazing views of the city below. The total bill for nine cocktails was a lofty $156.07.
The following day the group headed over to Fisherman's Wharf for a fabulous seafood meal and of course more cocktails. The final tab for this development of Springdale's economy? A mere $791.54.
Oh, and just in case someone tries to say this was for the Regional Government Affairs Conference the US Chamber of Commerce sponsored...that was in November.