by Max Brantley
A group trying to oust City Director Erma Hendrix has announced it will submit a petition asking a recall election to City Hall at 3:30 p.m. today. The group, the Ward One We Care Citizens for Progress Committee, says it has 2,400 voter signatures, several hundred in excess of the number need.
Public questioning about whether Hendrix' performance started last August. The committee, co-chaired by Ojima Robinson and Kathy Wells, list several complaints in their media release: Hendrix interrupted a constituent during public comment time at the City Board, demanding cameras be turned off so broadcast viewers couldn't see or hear the speaker, her attempt to remove a traffic light, her early departure from a meeting of the board and more.
The full press release is on the jump.
Media Advisory - Thursday, March 20, 2008
The Ward One We Care Citizens for Progress Committee will submit more than 2,400 signatures of voters seeking an election on the recall of Dir. Erma Hendrix of Ward One at 3:30 p.m. today to City Clerk Nancy Wood at City Hall.
This exceeds the required number of 1,963.
The campaign began last August, when actions of Dir. Hendrix were unacceptable to voters in Ward One. Later actions only intensified the concerns of voters about her ability to perform her duties properly.
Committee concerns include:
* the attempt to remove the traffic signal at Roosevelt and Battery St., which had been supported by hundreds on signed petitions. Our protest prevented the removal; the light remains in service today.
* her early departure from the July 31st, 2007 session of the LR Board of Directors, as they discussed the public health issues of clean drinking water from Lake Maumelle, and lakeside development pressure on the water utility. Dir. Hendrix, with the others, appoints water commissioners responsible for protecting the water - or not. Dir. Hendrix left halfway through the two-hour discussion, at a time when a commissioner's appointment was pending.
* the proposal to impose a city income tax to raise revenues, without any consultation with Ward One voters in advance, which she presented at the December 21, 2007 session of the LR Board, in the budget approval meeting.
* Dir. Hendrix tried to silence a Ward One voter speaking at citizen time at the Board meeting of November 6, 2007 by interrupting the speaker, demanding the speaker not be allowed to speak, and demanding cameras be turned off so broadcast viewers could not hear what the speaker said. City officials rejected her demands.
* Dir. Hendrix has refused mail from constituents, returning it to sender; she has refused to take phone calls on civic concerns; and she has rejected requests to attend night meetings of civic groups in Ward One.
Citizens for Progress supports accountable service, basic democracy and progressive and representative leadership.