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‘Politics’ Category

  1. Council Blinks, Veto Stands

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    A showdown was averted over Mayor Hime’s veto of last month’s council vote that reversed the planning commission’s denial to establish a commercial zone in a residential neighborhood. A motion by Alderman Rodney Drymon to override the mayor’s veto and grant the rezoning request failed to get a second. Game over. Mike Landa who serves as Planning Commission Chair sought and was denied approval by the commission for his property on McKnight Ave to be rezoned to commercial. He appealed that decision to the City Council who at the February meeting reversed the Commission and granted his request. The mayor vetoed the council’s decision citing a need to take a closer look at possible legal ques- tions. The council listened to Darrell Giddy, Landa’s attorney, argue that the mayor had a conflict of interest because Hime is the subject of a law suit by Landa. Alderman Charlie Rossetti asked City At- torney Tom Kieklak if there was a conflict of interest. Kieklak said he saw “no legal conflict at all.” He also advised the council that they should “be careful about going outside the [regional] plan.” Giddy reminded the council that last month they had deliberated over an hour. He …

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  2. Democrat JPs To Square Off in Primary

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    March 15, 2012 by wcobserver

    WASHINGTON COUNTY – Local Democratic candidates are going to be busy this election season. Candidates for county, state and national positions were required to file their intent to run by March 1 and Justice of the Peace races will see several Democrats go head-to- head in the primaries.

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  3. Water Commission Vacancy Lingers

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    March 15, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    The commission added two new members, Andy Baughman and Joe Toher in July. One volunteer, Joe DeSoto was rejected as a potential commissioner because he is related to the chairman. Another, Tony Alvarado was rejected because he is a member of the Police Commission, according to Michael “Butch” Bartholomew, Utility Superintendent. Former City Clerk Susan Cooney whose name appears on the June 29 list said she submitted her name to Mayor Hime who gave it to the Water Commission. “I never heard anything back from them even though they said they would contact people,” wrote Cooney in an email reply to an Observer inquiry. West Fork resident Wes Eckles, who wrote a letter saying he was willing to serve on the Water Commission and whose name appears on the original list told the Observer, “They never did anything. Never called, I never talked to Virgil Blackmon. They didn’t take any action. I never heard from this commission.” Eckles has since volunteered to be considered for a vacancy on the Planning Commission. West Fork property owner Caroline Smith’s name appears on the list of individuals interested is being considered for appointment to the commission. She told the Observer that she made …

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  4. Shift in Parties?

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    March 8, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    In Arkansas politics, one could just assume that the democrats would win out. That they would be the majority in power in both chambers in Little Rock. That could all change in 2012. Filing has closed and the list of official candidates are in. There are 7 districts for the House of Representatives in Washington County, 87-89, 92-94 and 97.  In districts 87, 92, 93, and 94, there are only Republicans either running unopposed or against other Republicans. In 88 and 89 there is one Democrat facing one Republican while in 97 there are two Republicans facing off against one Democrat. In 87, Rep. Jonathan Barnett, 57,  of Siloam Springs,  who is a  general contractor, runs unopposed. In 88, Randy Alexander (R),  of Springdale,  who is a businessman will run against Edwin Sugg (D), 52, also of Springdale, who is an engineer. In 89, Micah S. Neal (R) of Springdale will run against Inez Yesenia Hernandez (D), 35, also of Springdale, who is a safety manager. In 92, Jim Parsons (R) of Bella Vista will face Rep. Mary Lou Slinkard (R), 68, of Gravette, who is a retired Benton County Clerk. There is no Democratic challenger. In 93, Jim Dotson …

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  5. Spanish Speakers Still Without Voter Registration Forms

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    February 28, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    Partisan proxy wars concerning the 2012 election process are underway. Spanish-speaking citizens in Northwest Arkansas are still without up-to-date voter registration forms, said Maria Hicks, the Vice Chair of the Third District Democrat Hispanic Caucus. The oversight is causing confusion and could be in violation of the Federal Voting Rights Act and the Arkansas Constitution. “They’re not available … they have no forms in Spanish,” said Hicks, who is running for Washington County Justice of the Peace, District 7. “I was just there today and they said they were working on getting me the Spanish one. I told them it was a violation of the state constitution and they were surprised by that.” When Hicks had the same problem on Feb. 27, she said she called the Secretary of State’s office and was told that they were working on translating a new version. “They are going to be made available,” said Alex Reed, a spokesman for the Secretary of State. “What the issue was was they made some changes with the voter registration application, and so we’re working on getting them translated. But we are going to make them available and going to make them available shortly.” Though there are …

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  6. Democrats Preparing for Another Tea Party Uprising

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    February 28, 2012 by Jack Suntrup

    While the Tea Party seemed like a surprise guest during the 2010 election, this time around, local Democrats are ready for a fight. “We had no clue the tidal wave of GOP and Tea Party that would take us out,” said Tyler Clark, Washington County Democratic Committee chairman. With help from local and national Tea Party groups, Republicans made historic gains from the County level to the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2010 election. But, as the 2012 election draws near, the question is whether or not the Tea Party can duplicate the successes it had two years ago. Issue after issue, the uncompromising Tea Party is what will drive the Democratic base in 2012, Clark said. Clark believes that a “number of people are pissed off, so we are coming back with a vengeance. We spent the last couple of years getting really organized.” Part of the county party’s strategy is preparing earlier this year. Typically, the election office headquarters does not open until July; this year it will open next month. Event fundraising, too, is starting earlier, he said. Clark also wants to be more efficient in explaining his party’s platform. Coordinating closer with the state party …

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  7. Madison seeks reelection

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    February 27, 2012 by Matthew Jones

    Justice of the Peace Eva Madison of the Washington County Quorum Court. She was first elected in November 2010 and took office in January 2011. Madison said “it has been a privilege to represent the people of my district.” Madison also remains concerned about animal concerns and budgets for the upcoming years if reelected. “The Quorum Court worked hard on the 2012 budget, but I think we can do better for the taxpayers of Washington County,” said Madison in a recent press announcement. Madison goes on to explain on future goals for the budget of 2013, of reelected. “I will push for a closer look at actual expenditures, as well as a budget that provides the citizens of Washington County with a more accurate depiction of how we are spending their tax dollars.” Justice Madison lives in Fayetteville. She is a graduate of Fayetteville High School, Vanderbilt University, and University of Arkansas School of Law. She practices law in Fayetteville and serves as a adjunct faculty member of the University of Arkansas School of Law. She has been married to David Pieper for 17 years. She has one son Sam, age 2. She also has several rescued cats and a …

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