Tagged: White County Quorum Court

Searcy Paper FINALLY Kinda-Sorta Reports on OEM Building Appraisal Questions

The Searcy paper has finally picked up on a story that I have been reporting on here for about a month:  the potential legal violations of the appraiser who was hired by White County to appraise our shiny new OEM building in November.  (And, of course, they did not credit The Patriot for their information.  Surprise!)

This story ran in yesterday’s paper, but it strikingly misses the point of what I have been saying for weeks, and the point of the investigation that has been initiated by 2 White County JPs.  At best, it is poor journalism.  At worst, it is intellectually dishonest.

If you read the article in the paper–and the comments from the county judge–you would think that the JPs are just upset because they didn’t get their way, they didn’t like the outcome of the appraisal, they don’t like the judge, or they’re just ‘troublemakers.’  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The paper failed to make a crucially important distinction:

The investigation is a direct request from elected members of the county government to make a ruling on whether or not Mr. Davis was licensed to conduct the appraisal.

The investigation is not a request for a ruling on the accuracy of the appraisal itself. Continue reading

FAA Chief Babbitt Resigned Last Week for Drunk Driving

There are some who have taken issue with my calls for White County Justice of the Peace Bud Osborn to resign after he was charged with drunk driving on Thanksgiving Day.

As we learned yesterday, most of the quorum court also does not think it is appropriate for Osborn to resign at this time.

However, a reader on our Facebook Page has pointed out that last week Federal Aviation Administration Chief Randy Babbitt resigned after he was also charged with drunk driving.

From Fox News:

Federal Aviation Administrator Randy Babbitt announced Tuesday that he has resigned following his arrest in Virginia on drunken-driving charges. Babbitt said he did not want to “let anything cast a shadow on the outstanding work done 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by my colleagues at the FAA.” He said he submitted his resignation Tuesday, “and it has been accepted.”

The announcement comes after Babbitt, 65, was arrested Saturday night in Fairfax City, Va., by a patrolman who said the FAA administrator was driving on the wrong side of the road. He was charged with driving while intoxicated.

Now, before someone goes wild, let me say: I do not know all of the details of Mr. Babbitt’s situation and do not intend to say these cases are identical.

However, there are obviously some parallels & Mr. Osborn should follow Mr. Babbitt’s example.

Nic Horton

White County Tax Defeated by 14-Point Margin

It has been a very long few weeks & a very long day, but I did want to post the results of the election tonight in White County:

  • 3,248 Against (57%)
  • 2,477 For (43%)

There will be much said about this issue in the coming weeks–and I may even weigh in myself.  But for tonight, I think it is important to remind everyone that the people of White County spoke.  Despite facing a special election, during fair week (on free night), on the night of some parent-teacher conferences in the county, during harvest–the people spoke.

This was their choice to make, and despite having the deck stacked against them, they made their voice heard.

Many thanks to all who donated, made phone calls, put up signs, & helped equip your neighbors with the facts.  You made this happen & the people of White County owe you a great deal of gratitude.

Nicholas Horton, Chairman, Citizens for Responsible Taxation

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. Contact The Patriot at arkansaspatriot@gmail.com

Next Week in White County: Polling, Voting, & Radioing

Before we enter the long weekend, I just wanted to let everyone know about a few things coming up next week with Citizens for Responsible Taxation.

  • On Monday evening, we will be conducting another scientific opinion poll on the bypass tax proposal.
  • Tuesday morning, early voting begins at the county clerk’s office (315 N. Spruce in Searcy)
  • Tuesday afternoon I will be back on The Dave Elswick program on KARN in Little Rock.  You can tune in at 102.9 FM, 920 AM or KARNNewsRadio.com.  I’m not sure exactly what time I’ll be going on air yet, but I will post it on my Twitter feed as soon as I confirm.

In case you missed my interview on News Talk 99 yesterday, let me just say:  our opposition, grassroots movement against the tax has a lot of momentum going into early voting next week.  We had nearly 10 callers, all but one against the tax.  The county judge himself even called in.  With your help, CRT is creating a dialog.  Our message is getting out.

So a big thank you goes out to all of you who are reposting our articles, sending out emails, distributing fliers, putting up signs, etc.  I could never accomplish anything without your constant encouragement & support.

Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, but come back ready to keep up the good fight.  We cannot relent.

Nicholas Horton, Citizens for Responsible Taxation

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.  Contact The Patriot at arkansaspatriot@gmail.com 

Citizens Group Calls on White County Quorum Court to Freeze “Economic Development” Spending

Calls Promotion of Tax Increase with Taxpayer Money “Immoral” 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 1, 2011

CONTACT:

Nicholas Horton

BypassTaxes@Gmail.com

(501)-827-2184

Searcy, AR – Citizens for Responsible Taxation, a watchdog group in White County that formed to oppose the Searcy Bypass Tax hike, is denouncing the misuse of taxpayer funds regarding the county’s new “Economic Development Liaison.”

“Quite simply, the county judge’s office is using taxpayer money to promote the tax increase proposal.  Voters want it to stop,” CRT Chairman Nicholas Horton said.

“Taxpayers are having their own money used against them and, quite frankly, wasted. These actions to promote the tax increase are unethical & wasteful.  The decision about this tax is up to the people.

Today, we are calling on the White County Quorum Court to intervene & freeze the county judge’s discretionary spending account until after the special election on September 13th.  Voters on both sides of the tax issue agree:  our money should not be spent promoting a political agenda,” said Horton.

For more information, visit BypassTheBypassTax.com or ArkansasPatriot.us

About CRT

Citizens for Responsible Taxation is a watchdog group that formed on July 22nd, 2011 to oppose the White County tax increase proposal set for a vote on September 13th.   For more information about CRT, visit us at BypassTheBypassTax.com, on Twitter @BypassTaxes or on Facebook at “Bypass Taxes on September 13th.”

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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.  Contact The Patriot at arkansaspatriot@gmail.com 

Reader: “We Are Taxed to Death”

Letter to The Patriot

Quite frankly, I am not a tax guy.  As a businessman, I can tell you:  we are taxed to death.  Most of the overbearing taxes come from the federal government & the state, but if we are not careful, we will soon be overloaded at the local level too.   I can also tell you that when times are tough, we all have to tighten our belts.  The government should too, especially in this economy.

I’ve kept a close ear to the talk about the White County bypass tax that is coming up for a vote on September 13th.  I’ve followed the comments from public officials in the paper & read local websites that have voiced opposition.  I see some benefits to the bypass itself, but not if it requires a tax.  The secret is that it doesn’t: the county has plenty of money.

The county has more than enough money to pay for the bypass project, with nearly $12 million in the bank and close to $2 million that will come in this year from property taxes, according to the July County Treasurer’s report.

I also have a problem with the county asking for $18 million in new taxes when the cost of the project is only $6 million.  Instead of just taking what they need, they are using the extra $12 million to string the mayors of this county along with carrots on sticks, promising them kickbacks from the tax in exchange for their support.  This is no way to run a county & no way to spend The People’s money.

At the end of the day, we have plenty of taxes and plenty of money in the county reserves.  What we need is more leadership.

Bill Haynie

Searcy

Trust Deficit: Terms of Contract to Promote Tax Exposed

Terms Show Deceit From Public Officials

I filed a Freedom Of Information request with the county government on Friday.  I requested the terms of Mr. Jim House’s contract with the county, including his salary, job description, and the length of the agreement.  As of 2:30 p.m. today, my request had still not been filled.  So I decided to go down to the county clerk’s office and ask again.  Low and behold, I was able to obtain a copy—and it only cost me $1.00.  50 cents a page…that’s a nice profit!

You can view the document here: Page 1 & Page 2.

Here is what we have learned:

  • Despite public comments to the contrary from House & Judge Lincoln (at a local TEA Party meeting, on local radio, etc.), Mr. House is in fact being paid to promote the tax increase.  The terms of his contract expressly state that this is one of his duties: 

Mr. House will work with the county judge in any tax promotion that affects economic development in the county…

  • As reported earlier, we can now confirm Mr. House’s monthly check from the taxpayers is $2,000, plus “clients meals or group meeting expenses.”
  • Mr. House has actually been on contract with the county since April 1, 2011.  So what has he been doing for the last 4 months?  And why did we (the taxpayers) pay him $8,000 to do it? 
  • House is only required to work approximately 36 hours per month.  That is $55.50 an hour.  Not bad work in this economy.
  • You are also paying for these snazzy little fliers that are being circulated, talking about “what could be” in our county if we only had the bypass tax—they might actually pave a road!   You also paid for this snazzy video featured on the proponents’ Facebook page.  The terms of the contract state that “all clerical help such as letters or promotional materials will be handled through the County Judge’s Office.”

So our county judge & economic development liaison have spent weeks deceiving the voters about their stated purpose and their use of our money.  This raises an extremely important question:  Can we trust these people to spend the $18,000,000 in bypass tax revenue appropriately?

So far they have spent/wasted:

  • $10,000 on Mr. House’s pay
  • An estimated $15,000 on the special election (per Election Commission estimates)
  • An unreported amount on promotional materials including a video & flier

How much of that $18,000,000 will be wasted?  And why should we trust them?

Nicholas Horton, Chairman, Citizens for Responsible Taxation 

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.  Contact The Patriot at arkansaspatriot@gmail.com