In 2012, when I was an alderman, I, along with others requested that the video gaming revenue be set aside to fund additional police officers to patrol the streets.
Mayor Mark Eckert commented, “We can’t count on this money as a constant source of funding.” And, sure enough last month, Mayor Eckert was running around like Chicken Little wondering how the city will survive because one month of revenue is delayed.
After the initial start-up time, the video gaming revenue has grown steadily from about $8,000 per month to $15,000 per month, bringing in over $300,000 during the past three years.
Had this revenue been set aside, we’d have had the money to fund the start-up and salary of three new officers. Even enough of a reserve so the state delay a single payment it wouldn’t be a newsworthy event.
Here we are three years later and Mayor Eckert has nothing to show — not any idea what he’s done with the $300,000 of additional revenue.
The citizens know that we don’t have any additional officers patrolling the streets.