Actually, Mayor Stodola says tonight’s “debate” before the Downtown Neighborhood Association (6 p.m., Pettaway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st St.) won’t be anything of the kind. He says he’ll present his argument for the 3/8- and 5/8-cent sales tax we’ll vote on Sept. 13 (early voting starts Sept. 6 at the Pulaski County Regional Building, 500 W. Markham), but won’t get into it with activist Jim Lynch, who’ll argue that that the city, this year running $8 million behind expected revenues, doesn’t need the $500 million the two taxes are estimated to produce in 10 years.
This would be my question: If the city’s Public Works department does not yet have a priority list of needed street and drainage repairs — though it does have a complete list of projects, including both identified as needed and requested projects, of about $800 million — how did the city arrive at a 10-year budget from the tax of $72 million? What was it working from? Public Works says a list will be created after public hearings. There is, of course, great interest in where the money would be spent.