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Neighbors get answers at LR budget hearings

Little Rock is holding four public hearings this week for citizens to ask questions about the 2013 budget.
Monday night’s first budget hearing for the City of Little Rock failed to attract much interest, but among the city officials and the press sat one concerned life-long resident of the Capital City.

“It’s always discouraging that you always want us to raise taxes and vote for this and vote for that, but I’m just a little homeowner, I would like to see some of my money come back to just that little street I live on ever now and then,” says Jackie Banks.

Banks made it a point to come to the first public hearing to make a few points of her own.

“The street is narrow, and it’s not safe, and if there’s kids out there, and the cars are going by, you know, there’s a chance that someone’s going to get killed sooner or later. And, it would a good idea if they can come over to check the area and do something about the street and drainage,” says Banks. 

Banks would also like a greater police presence in her neighborhood. The proposed 2013 budget inlcudes hiring more code enforcement officers, 911 dispatchers and police officers, and building a new police substation in west Little Rock.

“I feel very confident that we’ll over the next 2 or 3 months get a site located and be able to move forward with the design and get that station up,” says Little Rock City Manager Bruce Moore.

The board is expected to pass the 2013 balanced budget by the end of the year.

While Banks may be the only neighbor who showed up to Monday night's first meeting, she is helping to make positive changes in her community and enourages everyone to do the same.

“You need to come out and voice your opinion. Nobody knows what you’re thinking or what’s going on unless you come out and let them know. We are paying them to do a job, and we just want the job done,” says Banks.

Little Rock will hold the final two budget hearings Wednesday night. The first will be at 5:00 p.m. at the Roosevelt Thompson Library and the second is at 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Community Center.
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