November 3, 2012 by wcobserver
The Risk of Voting FOR The ballot initiative being presented to West Fork voters on Tuesday is a game changer. Voting to elect a mayor or council member has a built in safety valve; if your choice turns out to be a mistake, at least, it will be rectified when the four year term ends. At the same time, if your choice works well for you, it may not be repeated with the next mayor or alderman. This ballot initiative will change city government in a fundamental way; it will change how the individual components of city government are connected to each other. To use a mechanical metaphor, the way the gears and wheels interact will determine the performance of the machine. The ballot initiative is about the structure of city government, not the individuals who occupy any position in government. Governments are the administrative equivalent of machines with interchangeable parts.Read More...
November 2, 2012 by wcobserver
Letter to the Editor, Fred Robinson here. I have entered my name in the election for Alderman, Ward 2 Position 1. In my interaction with citizens of West Fork on the issues, I have decided that my informed opinions on these issues are as follows: The issues on the ballot and where I stand on them: FOR the initiative to put control of our Water and Sewer System in our City Government AGAINST the medical marijuana proposal NON-COMMITTED on the sales tax for highways. West Fork Election Positions:Read More...
May 23, 2012 by Matthew Jones
Washington County doesn’t want to expand funding for the Ozark Regional Transit. The vote of Washington County went to the polls yesterday, May 22, and had their voices heard loud and clear. Those against the vote won out, by 64 percent, widely beating the 36 percent in favor of raising the sales tax to fund ORT route expansion. “The purpose of the tax was not very clear” explained Goshen resident, Traci, who voted NO on the new transit tax. She said that she “wanted to know what the reasons where behind the tax.” She went on to explain that her vote was not against expanding public transit in Was. Co. but more a vote against the unknown and in this time of economic uncertainty, where people have to strap down and make tough decisions, “I better be safe than sorry.Read More...
May 21, 2012 by Matthew Jones
Election day is finally here, or at least the May 22nd election day. There will be more to come. If you have already voted in early or absentee voting thanks, but for all those who have waited there is still time left to vote. I hope that everyone decides to vote, because there are not only important issues on the ballot, whether or not people in Washington Co. will be paying higher sales taxes, but also important primary races going on, and judge ships to be decided on as well. It is important that every eligible citizen of this county vote and have their voices heard. A term that I hear a lot is: The Silent Majority. This refers to when most of the people agree on one side or another of a particular issue but they are not as vocal about it or decide, for some reason or another, not to vote. There is no reason why this term should even be in existence because if someone feels that an issue is an important or wants to change or keep the government the same, there is an outlet in our way of governance to show that. Just vote. I …Read More...
May 8, 2012 by Mike Landry
Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit. Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not. By Mike Landry Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) wants you to give them $7 million a year to build another government empire. The Empire of the Magic Buses. ORT wants a full-blown urban bus system for Washington County. And it’s all speculative. There’s no current demand for the service ORT proposes. Rather, it’s all based on the Field of Dreams concept of mass transit: “If you build it, they will come.” It’s magic. ORT says annual ridership will increase tenfold from its current 200,000 to 2 million by 2022. There we’ll be, lugging around our laptops, sales presentations, groceries, and infants. And we’ll be smiling as we whisk through Washington County on the magic buses because…because… Well, if they build it, we will come. And it gets better. With all the planned increased services and capital goodies of this empire (including getting rid of most of their little $70 thousand vehicles for full-sized $400 thousand buses), ORT has no plans to …Read More...
May 8, 2012 by Richard Drake
Question: Washington County voters, on May 22, will decide whether or not to establish a quarter cent sales tax that would provide $7.5 million annually for Ozark Regional Transit. Do you support passing this measure? Why or why not. By Richard Drake As I write this, I am sitting in western Oklahoma, which, on a clear day, is sort of like seeing Northwest Arkansas in a funhouse mirror. This city does not encourage recycling, and sidewalks – oh, I still haven’t seen one of those yet, and I have been here a little over a week. There is no public access television, no volunteer citizen committees to advise local governments and no public transportation. It may be a city, but it doesn’t appear to be a community. It is Social Darwinism at its finest, and I can’t wait to come home. It is, however, the perfect place to ponder this question. I wouldn’t want to live in a city which lacks any of the above. To find oneself in such a place, which seemingly feels no need for any of them, boggles the mind. To paraphrase a quote from those great musical philosophers, The Animals, “I gotta get out of …Read More...
May 3, 2012 by Matthew Jones
One of the most widely talked about ballot proposals on the ballot this May, is the 1/4 percent sales tax increase to raise funds for public transportation in Washington County. The tax increase comes from the Washington Quorum court to the voters. This incentive to raise funds for public transit began with a cooperation with Benton County, but Benton County later pulled out and Washington County decided to move forward with the project. Reasons to vote for the tax increase: The main purpose of the tax increase is to raise funds. As voters we want to receive services from the government, but we do not want our government to go into debt and to be fiscally responsible and to pay for what they spend. Proponents would say that public transit is a much needed service for NWA and that it helps the handicapped and elderly, mostly of Washington County, who cannot drive or get around other ways. Reasons to vote against the tax increase: It is a tax increase. No one really wants to pay more money to the government. People are budgeting anyways and why give more money away to the government. Also, the tax increase they propose would …Read More...