by Max Brantley
Silly question. It ain't the people.
Here's a tale of a meeting set tomorrow in which attorneys for major landowners in the Lake Maumelle watershed -- Deltic Timber and Waterview Estates -- were to sit down with County Attorney Karla Burnett and Central Arkansas Water about a county land use ordinance covering the part of the watershed in the county. The private attorneys have already had huge and mostly secret influence on the writing of the proposasl.
A citizens group established to protect the watershed said it wanted to attend the meeting and watch the process. It doesn't want to be blindsided by an ordinance overly protective of one group of landowners. That did it. Karla Burnett sent an e-mail this afternoon saying the meeting was cancelled. Allow the public to watch development of an ordinance affecting every water drinker in the county? You might as well ask Karla Burnett to see Ron Quillin's e-mail.
For later: Does a state environmental commissioner who participated in discussion of a CAW proposal to limit sewage discharges into streams feeding Lake Maumelle have an interest in property affected by the proposal? It would be par for the course.