Tonight, many good citizens were denied the right to address the Searcy City Council. Being the defenders of liberty that they are, two citizens would not take no for an answer. After the meeting was adjourned in the middle of Alderman Nutter’s comments, the people booed and mockingly clapped as the aldermen rose from their seats and made their way out of the room. Steve Sterling, Jim Dixon, Dale English, and Belinda Laforce huffed and puffed their way out the door, some yelling at the people, while the people yelled “You cowards!”
They settled just outside the window when they saw Mr. Niblock take to the podium. He asked the people if they would like to hear “the case for liberty.” The people cheered and remained seated for his remarks:
After Mr. Niblock finished speaking, Mr. Garret Myhan took to the podium (full text posted below):
These men deserve the respect of every Searcy citizen for their courage and their devotion to the cause of American liberty. Tonight’s events were a huge step towards the reclamation of The People’s rights, but this is just the beginning. Continue to fight the good fight.
Thank you, Madame Mayor and members of the City Council for allowing me the opportunity to address you tonight. I would especially like to thank Alderman Arnett, who represents the ward in which I and my family live, and Alderman Nutter, who went the extra mile to make sure that I was given the chance to speak to you this evening. I would also like to thank Alderman Brewer and Alderman Chalenburg for their kind responses to my emails during the last week.
I stand before you, not as the representative of any political party or special interest group, but as a concerned private citizen of the city of Searcy. With the exception of short absences for educational purposes, I have been a resident of Searcy since 1978. I am a graduate of Searcy High School and Harding University. Up until this year I believed that our city government existed to willingly serve the best interests of the citizens of Searcy. I truly believed that Searcy was a place where “thousands lived like millions wish they could.” I believed that our government, unlike many others out there, was comprised of honorable public servants who were willing to abide by the law and admit their mistakes. The events of this year have revealed both the naiveté of these beliefs and the true colors of our current city government.
On three separate occasions 5 of you voted to levy an Advertising and Promotion tax on the citizens of Searcy without their consent, and you have since begun collecting this tax. Some of you have attempted to justify this action by citing the type of tax, its small size, and the productive ways in which the tax funds will be spent. In truth, the type of tax and the purposes of the funds are completely irrelevant. The glaring and important fact is that you have denied your constituents any say in the issue. You have assumed you know better how to spend our money than we do. You have also claimed that we do not want to vote on this issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds of us signed petitions requesting that you allow us to vote on whether or not we would be taxed. These petitions were submitted to you in full compliance with Arkansas state law. Yet, even now, after a judge has confirmed these petitions to be valid and proper, you still refuse to adhere to the law and call an election in order to allow Searcians’ voices to be heard. You insist on continuing to waste our money in frivolous court action while claiming that it is “inappropriate” for you to discuss the issue.
My question for you this evening is simple. Why? Why are you afraid and unwilling to let the voice of the people be heard? Why do you insist on pretending that you are on the right side of the law? Why Mrs. Arnett? Why Mr. Dixon? Why Mr. Sterling? Why Mr. English? Why Mr. Chalenberg? Why Mayor Laforce? Why won’t you swallow your pride, follow the law, and do what is right?
Tonight, I urge each of you to carefully consider where you stand on this issue. I urge you to remember that the people of Searcy have elected you to not only to represent them, but to be willing to listen to them and consider carefully what is in their best interest. The eyes of our community are on each of you tonight, watching to see if you will do the right thing. You have the power to correct your mistake and restore our community to one that we can be proud of. I call on you, this very evening, before this meeting is adjourned, to set a date for a special election in which the will of the people regarding the A&P tax can be determined once and for all. Thank you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers can also follow The Patriot on Twitter and Facebook.