Pine Bluff letter


What's the rush?

Editor, The Commercial:

With the recent debate on the proposed re-issuance of the 5/8-cent tax and the imposition of a new 3/8-cent public safety tax, I felt the need to weigh in. For those who have not made a decision on the taxes, maybe I can give you some insight from a "former insider." When tapped to lead the Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency, I had the experience of working both in the private and public sectors. It wasn't until leaving the public sector that I was able to set aside my biases and adequately assess if the plan was something I could support in a subsequent tax.

My personal opinion is that less governmental intrusion and less taxes are better for the community. However, I am not so naive that I don't understand that a municipality needs financial resources. But if a tax is necessary, those supporting it should not give the impression that it's being jammed down the throats of the taxpayer. The political maneuvering I've witnessed suggests that my inclinations are accurate.

How do I know this to be true? I was once a gear in the engine of "the machine," which, according to some accurate opinions, is the driving force behind all major decisions in Pine Bluff. Trust me, I understand the machine better than most! The machine is well-oiled, well-financed and well-built.

Seemingly, this has become all too common. Is this really a public-private partnership? Hell, any successful partnership is based on respect, inclusiveness and trustworthiness. I suggest that those decision-makers take a step back and ask themselves, "Are we moving too fast?" I digress ... stay tuned.

Maurice Taggart

Former executive director of the Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency