Self-dealing | Arkansas Blog

Self-dealing

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Readers are already grumpy this morning about the first of a two-part series in the Democrat-Gazette by C.S. Murphy that details LR Advertising and Promotion Commission expenditures, without bids, with commission members. Whether new procedures are going to provide more transparency -- not to mention more compliance wth state bid laws -- is an ongoing story. The larger issue is organic -- A&P is a largely independent agency with an enormous cash flow that doesn't answer directly to voters or a mostly toothless City Board. Here's the link to copy and paste:

http://www.nwanews.com/story.php?paper=adg§ion=news&storyid=175974

Also grump-inducing was the city-sponsored meeting in Granite Mountain over the coming vote on a resolution to swap parkland with the nearby quarry company, a move that neighbors fear will worsen the impact of blasting on their homes. Audubon Arkansas has signed onto this deal. One of my correpondents, no friend of the mining community, argues that this is the best deal possible and the key to an Audubon nature center in the area. The phrase "best deal possible" still troubles me wth the suggestion that the other side has a loaded gun pointed at the city in the form of the threat of still more damaging practices. If this land is so critical to the miner, who apparently will save significant sums and trouble in machinery deployment with the new property, is the city getting enough in return? And what are the assurances that the miner won't be back for more parkland when this section is played out? Neighbors were urged to ask for everything they could think to ask for. I'd ask for a vote by the city board after Jan. 1, not by the lame duck board.

 

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