Confusing the issue

Copy­right 2005 Ben S. Pollock

Wednes­day, May 11, 2005: Morn­ing after a local mill­age elec­tion. The Fayet­teville Pub­lic Schools lost its request for a prop­erty tax increase of 43 mills.

This is one Arkansas town that doesn’t hate tax increases. What was wrong with this one? The things this one would fund were thor­oughly dis­cussed in all the local news­pa­pers, and agin­ners had a chance to speak. One ele­men­tary school might get a new gym inde­pen­dently funded after passage.

Nei­ther side, inter­est­ingly, did much advertising.

Vot­ers even in this enlight­ened blue city are not stu­pid. You, gov­ern­ment, want money, then tell us why.

Fayet­teville School Dis­trict admin­is­tra­tion: You guys blew it. You did not pro­mote this.

At the cheap­est, you all obvi­ously did not orga­nize “talk­ing points” to reporters to show how impor­tant this was, to chil­dren, teach­ers and com­mu­nity wide. The arti­cles com­prised dry lists of ben­e­fits from this increase in income: Cor­re­spon­dents used what you gave them. This is called free pub­lic­ity. Get your act together.

If you want money, you should have spent some (or got­ten money from out­side, non-profits like PTA or some­thing) to adver­tise how needed this mill­age was. Insufficient.

Maybe the lit­tle elec­tion was a for­mal­ity, and the money isn’t badly needed. That was the mes­sage that came across. –30–

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