In the neighborhood | Arkansas Blog

In the neighborhood

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E-mail from the Downtown Neighborhood Association indicates the politically active group:

1) Supports the petition circulating to go to seven ward-only city board seats and to give the mayor veto power. I favor ward elections. I'm not sure about the number on the board that would be optimum. I also need to know more about the mayoral power. I favor a strong mayor. But does the mayor have a tie-breaking vote, or only a veto? It's a shame that the petition reveals so little about what the proposal would accomplish. (I'm informed the petition does say the mayor only has veto power and a tie-breaking vote, but no vote otherwise.) Said a letter from DNA president Sharon Welch-Blair:

Residents support more equitable distribution of policy-making power among neighborhoods, and the DNA Board sees a major imbalance in the at-large positions. Ward directors will have incentive to work together to achieve citywide goals if they do not face automatic defeat when the at-large votes are part of the tally. Our mayor will check one-sided policies or budget decisions with a veto, assuring oversight to benefit the community as a whole.

2) Opposes the widening of I-630 to 10 lanes. Again from a Welch-Blair letter:

Our Board members urge support the for robust arterial plan already in the hands of Metroplan, which would expand transit by rail and bus, as well as parallel east-west roads and support roads, rather than concentrate traffic along I-630. A close look at the longstanding proposed North-south freeway was suggested. This would convey vehicles from I-30 near Baseline north to Cantrell. Let’s look closer at our railroad tracks and passenger cars to move commuters into the central business district.

Residents have heeded the cautions about global warming, and the harm that comes with unrestrained highway-building, unrestrained vehicle traffic, and unrestrained automobile exhaust venting into the air. Here and now, Little Rock can provide part of the protection our planet needs to survive.


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