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Text The Times.

Text The Times.

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Here’s what everyone is talking about this week:

Well, it’s Thursday morning and the Wednesday paper is finally here. Right on time. [Editor’s Note: Do you live in the county? (and by “in the county” I mean outside West Memphis or Marion) I ask because that’s how we’re handling our delivery now. If not, could you please include your address next time there’s a problem so we’ll be able to address the issue directly. Sorry about the issue!]

*** Yes, there’s a new place to eat in Marion. But let’s remember that there is a business next door to it and the parking lot is not just for the restaurant.

[Editor’s Note: You don’t specify, but I’ll assume you’re referring to the new Waffle and Pancake House where Funkee’s used to be.

There are actually multiple businesses that make use of that parking lot, including two other eating establishments (three if you count Pizza Pro, which in almost exclusively pick-up orders).

Also included in the mix is the Revenue Office, which sees its share of traffic. And there are only “x” number of parking places available.

I guess what I’m saying is that parking is on a firstcome, first-served basis, and there’s no designated parking for any one establishment. So, this will probably come off as rude, which I don’t intend, but if I’m going to one of those businesses and there’s an empty parking spot, I’m not thinking, “Gee, I shouldn’t park there because someone might need to renew their tags or buy some insurance.” I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, I’m about to get my waffle on!” It sounds like you’re suggesting this isn’t how it should be, but I don’t know that there’s a realistic option other than to park where you can park and if there’s nowhere to park, either wait for a spot or go elsewhere]

*** Thank you Marion Librarian, Evening Times and yard folks! The poison ivy no longer is in the hedges at the library. [Editor’s Note: Well, good. As someone with a severe aversion to coming into contact with that wily weed, I’m sure the library’s visitors appreciate the effort]

*** On September 10, the West Memphis School Board is asking citizens to vote for a 7.5% increase in millage taxes. WHAT DO YAWL THINK?

School superintendent Jon Collins claims that “unless we raise the millage from 29 to 36.5 the school district will have to return $22.4 million which according to him is needed to build (2) new schools, and to do repairs on some of the others”. Mr. Collins says that the millage rate for West Memphis Schools has been the same since the 1950’s, and is one of the lowest in the state of Arkansas. We have heard that school district officials will be holding a community meeting at either Wonder Jr., or Wonder Elementary soon. Yawl also need to keep in mind that West Memphis Schools operates from an almost $60 million per year budget. Yawl need to ask questions.

It’s your Right…..It’s your responsibility! [Editor’s Note: Your math, or maybe your terminology, is a little off. It’s not a “7.5% increase in millage taxes.”

It’s a 7.5 mill increase in the property tax for property owners in the West Memphis School District. The increase from 29 mills to 36.5 mills is correct, but if you’re talking percentages, that’s actually a 25% increase.

In terms of actual dollars, that translates into a person who owns a $100,000 home paying about an additional $125 a year in property taxes. Other than that, I’m all about people asking questions, demanding transparency and voting their conscience. I hope the stories we’ve run in the paper the past few days have served to answer some of these questions you say need to be asked. If not, let me know. I’m a huge proponent of passing this millage, just like the one in Marion.

It’s funny, I live in Marion but don’t have kids in the schools there, so I’ll be paying the higher millage with no direct benefit to me. For this one, passing it won’t cost me a dime, but my wife is the assistant principal at East and my daughter goes to school at West, so I do have a personal interest in seeing it pass. Life is funny that way, I guess]

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