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Posts Tagged ‘West Fork City Council’

  1. ZONED-OUT: City Reverses Planning Commission Rezoning Decision

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    February 15, 2012 by wcobserver

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    WEST FORK — Long-time residential and agricultural zones in West Fork are now open to spot commercial zoning thanks to a unanimous, but spiritedly debated, decision from the city council on Tuesday, Feb. 14. The issue is the result of anl appeal made by Mike Landa, whose request to rezone his residential property to commercial was denied by the West Fork Planning Commission during its January meeting. “Why do I want to rezone?” asked Landa rhetorically, during his lengthy and animated presentation. “Because it’s my right.” Landa, near the conclusion of council’s discussion, said the “big thing is, I want a bigger deduction, too, on my taxes.” There were other reasons Landa, who is chairman of the planning commission, appealed the commission’s decision. Those reaons were presented by his Bentonville lawyer, Darrell Gibby. Gibby said the planning commission process was “tainted” because of the votes from married commissioners Bob  Staats and Robyn Wilson. Gibby called it “undo influence” and reported that Mayor Frances Hime, a neighbor of Landa’s, contacted members of the planning commission to “influence the decision.” None of this speculative evidence was corroborated by counsel at the meeting, although Hime and Landa are currently in litigation over a …

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  2. We Don’t Need No Stinking Zones

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    February 15, 2012 by Steve Winkler

    Applause broke out at the West Fork Council Meeting Feb. 14 when Mike Landa received a unanimous “yes” vote on his appeal of a Planning Commission denial for a rezoning of his property on McKnight Ave. from residential to commercial. Not everybody was thrilled. His next door neighbor who thought he had made his home in a quiet neighborhood of estate homes was now living next to a commercial property complete with trailer truck traffic, swimming lessons, a playground and the ultimate noise maker, a front-yard heliport. Some council members seemed confused by the complexity of the issue and big words being used. The city attorney mentioned “arbitrary and capricious” without explaining the meaning. He did, however, point out the can of worms they would open if they created a commercial island-zone in the residential area. The council, however, liked the other argument that there was already commercial activity on the street. Never mind that it was there because the city hasn’t been vigilant in enforcing zoning and land use regulations. The point that was driven home by Landa and his attorney throughout the presentation and the one that resonated with the council was that Landa “Had a Right.” Plus, …

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  3. Neglecting Enforcement Breeds Trouble

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    February 13, 2012 by wcobserver

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    As far as we are aware, none of the eight West Fork council members has ever publicly expressed any interest — much less support — for the idea of having an independent Code Enforcement Officer. They seem content with “doing it the way they’ve always done it.” That is, they’re content to relying on the police to enforce the non-traffic and non-criminal violations of city law, even though the chief has stated his dissatisfaction with that arrangement. It seems curious that a group of eight elected officials could be so harmonious in their disregard for the municipal code. Appointing an enforcement officer hasn’t been a serious consideration for the council even though problems arising from lack of enforcement keep begging for attention. In the past weeks and months, code violations involving neglected property have twice come before the city council. The planning commission has been dealing with issues resulting from lack of enforcement regarding zoning, conditional use and businesses licenses. Failure to enforce the code uniformly and consistently will undoubtedly lead to more citizen discontent, neighbor-versus-neighbor-ill-will and possibly legal action. Why the council refuses to address this glaring issue is anybody’s guess. From the cynical perspective (we like to think …

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  4. We’ve Always Done It That Way (Part 10)

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    February 8, 2012 by wcobserver

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    West Fork news item: Mayor Hime informed the Council that by moving a full- time employee from the Water Department the Street Department without prior approval of the Water Commission or City Council, Michael “Butch” Bartholomew has broken the law and the budgets will need to be corrected. Wearing a lot of hats may draw praise from some people, it but can sometimes lead to what social psychologists call “role conflict.” We’ve all experienced it to some ex- tent when we find ourselves trying to occupy two incompatible roles at the same time. It often takes the form of a conflict between the expectations of performing one’s family role and the expectations of a career role; demands of work vs. demands of the job, for example. Role conflict may lead to situations of social awkwardness and frustration causing heightened anxiety. Or it can take on a more ominous character and drift into situations that can lead to ethical and even legal problems. Job-related role conflict is not uncommon. Many people have experienced conflicting demands of their job resulting from hazy job descriptions, blurred lines of authority or “too many bosses.” Welcome to West Fork. The city’s organizational structure resembles a …

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  5. Let’s Explore All Revenue Options

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    November 10, 2011 by Steve Winkler

    West Fork’s councilmember Rodney Drymon might have been onto something at a budget workshop a couple weeks ago when he suggested that the only city department capable of increasing its revenue was the Police Department. What he might have overlooked is that not only does the city get a portion of traffic fines, but because the police are the city code enforcers they can generate revenue from ordinance violators as well as speeders. There’s some real money there.

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