Many things have been stated during the run up to this year’s municipal election, some of which are incorrect. After the first candidate forum, the Commission asked me to address misstatements, which I did. I was prepared to do so again this Monday but with the election Tuesday, thought I should send a letter to the editor instead. It is important to the citizens of El Dorado to clear up a couple of items that were misstated Monday night. First, according to city staff and our independent auditors, the City still has over 4.1 million dollars on deposit in Intrust Bank reserved to pay off the lake debt. In addition to what’s on deposit, the Commission did loan another 3 million from the lake debt fund for the city portion of the new BG Veterans sports complex. Staff recommended that course of action to increase the interest received on the investment. State law severely restricts where we can invest city funds making it hard to earn a good rate of return. We were making less than 1% on deposits. By loaning our self a portion of this fund, it is earning over four times the interest. It was a business decision. The second item I’d like to address is that the city depends on sales tax to much to run the city. Your city government spends city collected sales taxes exactly like the citizens of El Dorado voted to allow. The vast majority is used to lower the mill levy. If the city is to dependent on sales tax, it’s because that’s what the voters wanted. I believe the voters in EL Dorado got it correct. While other cities recently had to cut services and lay off and furlough employees, El Dorado continued to do business as usual. That wasn’t an accident, it was the product of sound conservative budgeting that the Commission oversaw, a part of which is how sales tax receipts are spent. Finally, it was stated the city needs to follow the water sales policy created in 1995. It wasn’t stated what it says. In short, it says that the city should actively market excess water until sales reach 15 million gallons a day. Water sales are nowhere near that level so that’s what the City is doing. I hope this helps our citizens.
- Herbert E. Llewellyn, Jr., City Manager, City of El Dorado