Our city's financial situation has been and still is in deplorable condition. The city must institute a committee that has expertise in financial management. We have individuals who manage large sums of money within our city for businesses and agencies who would give of their time to bring our city to solvency. We need to live within our means and be realistic to what we can do. We need a five year plan with estimated revenue to make that plan work. We need a reserve fund. We need closer supervision on our resources of people and equipment, which includes written evaluations yearly.
Our population loss comes when people feel there is not a future where they live. The future includes quality education, quality healthcare, safe neighborhoods, economic opportunities, and the feeling that those in leadership or our city care about all citizens in a fair and equitable way. City leaders must provide platforms where that happens. Increase taxing on a population that is over 10 percent unemployment and half on fixed income is not creative and responsible. We must provide ways to bring people here to spend money here, not take money out. Leaders must be committed to quality and sustainable improvement in our infrastructure.
It has been proven that poverty increases crime. When real programs to raise the quality of life are provided, crime will decrease. We need better prepared officers for the work of protecting and serving. More police cars are not the answer. Provide more opportunities for officers to prepare themselves with people skills and advancement in the field outside of chief's evaluations. Officers need to interact with the communities outside of policing. Real efforts on diversifying the department are needed. Neighborhood opportunities with funding to provide safety such as neighborhood watch, neighborhood gardening, cleaning, home repairs, and revolving loans for home rehab.
My goal to the citizens of Blytheville is to work together to fulfill the goals I have offered in the above statements. My promise to the citizens is to have a truly transparent government where I will be held accountable for carrying out the duties that you, the citizens, require. For the government is made by the people for the people, and those who have been elected must make every possible effort to fulfill that oath.