The Arkansas state and local primary election began May 3rd with the early voting period that runs until May 17th. The primary itself will be on May 18th. As you work to inform yourself as a voter, I recommend the following resources for researching candidates running for state or local (White County) offices.
- The White County Clerk, Tanya Burleson, has some primary election notes (http://www.whitecountyar.org/docs/2010_PRIMARY_ELECTION.pdf) including dates, times, and locations for voting in the primary in White County.
- The White County Clerk also has a list of county candidates that have filed for the primary (http://www.whitecountyar.org/docs/2010_Primary_Candidates.pdf).
- For a sample ballot specific to the candidates you may vote on in this primary, visit the Arkansas Secretary of State Web site www.voterview.org. Continue reading
Letter to the Editor
The people spoke. The Searcy Friends of the Voters are pleased that so many of our fellow citizens exercised their right to vote (a right we fought hard to protect when the city tried to deny it). The results are in, and now the mayor wants to investigate to determine whether “misinformation” played any role in the outcome.
Let me save the mayor the trouble: misinformation played a HUGE role in the outcome – if the pro-tax crowd had spoken the truth the tax would have gone down in a landslide.
For the last week or two leading up to the election, the pro-tax folks kept claiming that our statements were lies. We acquired a document they were circulating (I received this from a citizen who received it from alderman Mary Ann Arnett – one of the pro-tax people) which alleges to refute our claims. I will now list the pro-tax claims of our “untruths” and cite the facts in our final word on the topic.
Pro-tax folks said “Nothing that has been done [by the city] has been or was illegal.”
- Judge Tom Hughes ruled on September 30th that for the previous 3 months the city had been enforcing an ordinance that didn’t exist. This means that they were violating several state laws pertaining to public referendum. It also means they were violating Section 1-7 of Searcy’s code of ordinances which says the following: “It shall be unlawful for any person to change or amend by additions or deletions, any part or portion of this Code, or to insert or delete pages, or portions thereof, or to alter or tamper with such Code in any manner whatsoever except by Ordinance of the City Council, which shall cause the law of the City of Searcy, Arkansas, to be misrepresented thereby.”
- Arkansas code 7-9-111 states the following: “The date of any special election shall be set in accordance with § 7-5-103(b) but in no event more than one hundred twenty (120) calendar days after the date of certification of sufficiency by the municipal clerk.” Our petitions were certified as sufficient on July 10, 2009 which meant that this law (combined with Arkansas code 7-5-103 which required the election to be held on the second Tuesday of a month) required that the election be held no later than October 13, 2009.
- The city council voted on June 9th, 2009 to take specific actions with regards to the A&P commission after being provided an Attorney General opinion which specifically stated that taking such actions would violate the state constitution.
- The city council started collecting the tax 50 days after the passage of the ordinance. Arkansas code 14-55-203 states “The effective dates for ordinances of a general or permanent nature and other local measures of a general or permanent nature of cities of the first class, cities of the second class, and incorporated towns shall be upon publication or posting as is otherwise required by law, but not before ninety-one (91) days after passage by the governing body of the city or town.”
- The city council refused to hold the ordinance “in abeyance” as required by Article 5 of the state constitution which states “[a]ny measure referred to the people by referendum petition shall remain in abeyance until such vote is taken.” Continue reading
While the debate will rage on, the election on the Searcy A&P Tax is over.
Results of the Searcy A&P Tax election are as follows:
- 1,574 Against
- 1,331 For
FOX-16 was in town to cover the events. See their coverage here.
There is much to be said about the events of the last 15 months. But we will withhold analysis until the dust settles.
What is important to remember from today is that The People spoke.
Regardless of the outcome, The People won because their rights were restored and their judgment prevailed. The People would have won if the tax and they win now that the tax failed. Their wishes are what the Searcy Friends of the Voters and others fought to defend. City Hall did everything within their power (and even outside their authority) to keep the voters from being heard, but ultimately, the people prevailed.
The People win because The People were heard.
Many thanks to all of the freedom-lovers who fought hard for The People’s right to vote on this issue.
The Arkansas Patriot is a conservative organization dedicated to equipping citizens with the truth, insuring transparent government, and encouraging citizens to question their government boldly. The editor can be reached at email@example.com Follow The Patriot on Twitter and Facebook.
Early this morning, many concerned citizens alerted The Patriot that their “Vote Against the A&P Tax Signs” had been stolen out of their yards during the night.
Around 11:30 a.m., 27 anti-A&P Tax signs were unearthed at a local Searcy park. The signs were buried in a mud volleyball pit that is maintained by the city. Searcy Police Chief Kyle Osborne was alerted and came to the scene. Attorney for the Searcy Friends of the Voters Greg Niblock was also present.
View the police report here.
Letter to the Editor
“Dear Editor of The Arkansas Patriot,
We do not need an A&P tax to promote Searcy. We already pay city property and sales taxes, a portion of which are used to promote Searcy and attract visitors, new business, and new residents. Our Chamber of Commerce fulfills a similar role, and although it isn’t primarily taxpayer funded, it has “nearly 650 businesses working to accomplish what is best for Searcy,” according to the city website.
In addition, we pay 2% sales tax on tourist-related goods and services to the state to help fund the AR Department of Parks and Tourism and its twelve regional tourism associations including the Greers Ferry Lake & Little Red River Association (http://www.greersferrylake.org/content) which oversees the region in which we live. The Arkansas Hospitality Association, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to help promote Arkansas and its communities. Their “Welcome to Arkansas” program could address some of our promotion needs with little to no cost (http://www.arhospitality.org/welcome-to-arkansas).
Furthermore, Mayor Belinda LaForce has pointed out that our tax burden in Searcy has been relatively low for many years. That is an excellent selling point for attracting not only travelers and shoppers but also new business and new residents. A tax increase damages that promotion point. Continue reading