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‘WashCo Politics 2012’ Category

  1. DEAD END: Washington County citizens vote against transit tax

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    May 23, 2012 by Matthew Jones

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    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.

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  2. Election Day

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    May 21, 2012 by Matthew Jones

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    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 …

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  3. Tax for Public Transit

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    May 3, 2012 by Matthew Jones

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    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 …

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  4. Who are OUR judges?

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    April 13, 2012 by Matthew Jones

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    If most of you are like me, you know who is running for president. You most likely know who is running for the major positions in your community, but what about those people who don’t have party affiliations, officially? Who really knows who the judges that are running in your district really are? Well I hope that this little bit of information makes your job on May 22nd a little easier. Washington County is in Judicial District 4, along with Madison County. This is for the circuit court, the lowest of the of the three courts in the state court system. (The Court of Appeals and the Arkansas Supreme Court are the higher two types of courts.) There are currently two seats open on this circuit, Division 4 and Division 6. For Division 4 you have three new candidates vying for your votes, while in Division 6 you an incumbent judge versus a newcomer. In Division 6, there is incumbent Judge Mark Lindsay. According to his re-election page on Facebook, he has served on the circuit court bench since March 2000. Also, he was in private law practice for 21 years and was Judge of the West Fork Municipal Court for 15 years.  He went …

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  5. Editorial: Get Out of the Shade

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    editorial

    Political culture is a curious thing. It always begs the question, “why can’t everybody be like me.” What seems so clear, so obvious to one person can seem so incredibly wrong-headed to the other guy. Democracy breeds ideological diversity. But still, why do we need a law that insists government business take place out in the open, accessible to all. Why do we need Sunshine laws and Freedom of Information statues? Can’t everybody see the advantage of open government?

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  6. Council Blinks, Veto Stands

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    March 26, 2012 by Steve Winkler

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    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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  7. 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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