Hot doggies! I know the people in Weiner love their schools. But, brother, this is a little bit, well, nutty ....
Stop consolidation of one tiny school district in the name of national security? (Confidential to a Republican political candidate: Jumping in with any group that comes along is not always the right idea if you want to demonstrate sound judgment.)
NEWS RELEASE FROM FRIENDS OF WEINER SCHOOLS
Subject: Friends of Weiner School District's Draft of Executive Order to assist Governor Beebe, following his response to our request for action.
Contact: Michelle Cadle Greta Greeno
Within an hour of our press conference ending, the Governor authorized a spokesman to say that he doubted there was a legal course of action for him to take, and to express his fear of inviting court challenges to the state’s method of funding our public schools. When we asked the Governor to act, we did not want to limit the Governor or those who assist him in structuring a resolution. However, we offer the following proposed Executive Order Proclamation to address the situation. We believe it is consistent with other Executive Orders issued by the Governor this last year.
In 2009, the Governor issued four Executive Orders appropriating $2,352,520.72 from the Hazardous Mitigation Fund to mitigate the effects of future disasters. (EO-09-04, EO-09-11, EO-09-12, EO-09-14). The Governor also issued an executive order to encourage the reduction of energy consumption by state agencies and the environmental impact of state agency operations, and specifically stated that this action “can lead to significant cost savings to taxpayers, while promoting the national interest….” EO-09-07. In addition, our legislators created the Arkansas Homeland Security Advisory Group, Section 12-75-132 of the Arkansas Code, composed of both state and federal entities. This Advisory Group's reports “shall include recommendations with regard to correcting any deficiencies identified by the advisory group in the statewide mutual aid system.”
The following is our draft of an executive order. We hope the Governor will use it as a start to protect our constitution, pursuant to his oath of office and promote the welfare of the citizens of the State of Arkansas:
EXECUTIVE ORDER TO PLACE A MORATORIUM OF NO LESS THAN ONE YEAR ON CONSOLIDATION, ANNEXATION OR CLOSING OF SCHOOLS IN AGRICULTURAL AREAS OF THE STATE TO ALLOW FOR AN EVALUATION OF THE ROLES THESE SCHOOLS HAVE IN THE CURRENT STATE AND NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGIES AND PRIORITIES.
WHEREAS: Critical infrastructure includes those assets, systems, networks, and functions—physical or virtual—so vital to the State that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating impact on security, national economic security, public health or safety, or any combination of those matters, and key resources are publicly or privately controlled resources essential to minimal operation of the economy and the government; and
WHEREAS: Our agriculture, food, and water sectors, along with the public health and emergency services sectors, provide the essential goods and services Americans and Arkansans need to survive; and
WHEREAS: The strategic plan for years 2010-2015 of the United States Department of Agriculture has identified schools as one of the “critical community facilities” necessary to assist rural communities, and states that the “country’s farmers help ensure that all of America and many other parts of the world have nutritious and safe food, adequate energy sources, and fiber products sufficient to meet the needs of our rapidly growing population"; and
WHEREAS: An evaluation of consolidation, annexation or closing of schools in agricultural areas of the state, and an evaluation of the effect that such closing has on protecting our critical infrastructures, can lead to significantly enhanced protection of our critical infrastructures of agriculture, food, and water sectors and to mitigation of future threats to these critical infrastructures;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, MIKE BEEBE, acting under the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Arkansas, do hereby order the following:
A moratorium of no less than one year shall be placed on consolidation or annexation or closing of schools in agricultural areas of the state, to allow for an evaluation of the roles these schools have in current state and national security strategies and priorities.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 24th day of June, in the year of our Lord, 2010.
We hope this draft will assist our Governor in taking appropriate action to correct the problems Rural Arkansans are faced with, due to the consolidation of schools. We would once again like to remind him of his 2006 campaign promises of 'no more consolidation' and that he was elected to protect the best interests of our great state. We are in hopes he will choose to do the right thing; and correct this bad law, which infringes on our rights. We do not wish to take legal action, but are prepared to immediately do so, should he fail to uphold his duty TO THE PEOPLE, as our Governor. In his duties, as our Attorney General, he was well aware of the potential effects that Act 60 would cause; yet he still ran on the promise of 'no more consolidation'. He has had 3 1/2 years to correct this problem, and we demand he do so now, for the sake of our securities and the irreparable harm it will cause.