"Our neighborhood leaders want more attention put on how they decide the spending up front," said Kathy Wells of the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods.
Tuesday, Wells, along with other neighborhood leaders demanded officials spread all new money heading into the city based on need. This, as the city decides how to fund repairs of poor street and drainage problems, many on a running list of projects estimated to cost the city over $500 million.
City Manager Bruce Moore said, "These are estimates we have never gone out and done assessments on, some of these projects we don't even have a dollar amount."
The city is preparing for a millage tax election to fund street and drainage needs and some community members are asking the money be divided based on need. Moore insisted the city is focusing on needs in every ward and a more updated, less expensive list of drainage requests sent in within the past few months. He added that what they can't pay for out of the proposed millage campaign will be funded through the city sales tax, the spending of which is being overseen by a committee of community members.
"I think sometimes there is a sense people want to know what the government is doing. They want to make sure we are doing the right things," said LR Special Projects Coordinator Frederick Gentry.
So far for 2012, the committee's website boasts 35 public works projects, new police cruisers and a million dollar upgrade the outdated 911 communications center. While the committee says the projects will benefit all, but for some, it's still not enough.
"We will persevere, this is a policy that can be changed at anytime, we will come back and keep asking," said Wells.
The special election for the millage tax is set for September 11th.
If it passes, the city may have another oversight committee to watch how that money is spent as well.