I was reading the Rolla Daily News a couple weeks ago, reading the article about the budget workshop that the City Manager, Mayor, and City Council attended. This workshop was not open to the public, but a reporter was allowed to relay what he saw and heard.
As I read the article, I wanted to give a shout-out, a high-five, a thank you to one of my councilmen, Ward 2’s Matthew Crowell. During this budget workshop, he questioned why the city of Rolla paid $95,000 to the RREC(Rolla Regional Economic Commission)? What is the purpose of this entity, and what does it do for the city, and what economic boons has it actually brought to the city of Rolla? I would add, when was the RREC created and has it performed as to it’s original purpose? If it hasn’t, why keep giving it that money each year?
As a taxpayer I applauded this series of questions. $95,000 is a lot of money for the city to shell out each year, especially when the administration recently gave a report that The Centre will always be needing an influx of city dollars to stay open. That $95,000, if it’s shown that the RREC isn’t actually doing a lot to bring in economic growth to Rolla, St. James, and the rest of Phelps County, could go to The Centre.
A few other councilmen also asked some pertinent questions about the city’s budget, but as I don’t live in their wards, I decided to just thank my city councilman for his good questions. The reporter went on to state that the City Administrator said that a meeting would be arranged for the RREC’s Director to give a presentation to the City Council to explain what it is that RREC does and why paying it the $95,000 is a good idea. I have been waiting to read about this meeting in the Rolla Daily News, but haven’t seen an article about it, yet.
When my 15 year old twin daughters were 5, they overheard their grandmother liken the playing of the lottery to throwing one’s money down a rat’s hole. A few weeks after hearing that phrase, one of them wisely said that wasting money on a cheap toy was like throwing money down a rat’s hole! I was tickled that the child had remembered her grandmother’s phrase and the wisdom in it. I now hope that the city of Rolla will wisely re-look at the entity that is the RREC after this presentation is made, and decide if giving it $95,000 a year is wise. As a taxpayer, I expect the city to use the money I’ve paid to them wisely.