by Max Brantley
That's trouble with a capital T, which rhymes with P, which stands for ....
* PETITIONS: I've confirmed with Alderman Adrian Henley that a petition drive to recall Bryant Mayor Jill "Republican" Dabbs is underway. Mayors may be recalled under Arkansas law. Organizers say they will need 2,400 or so qualifying signatures, based on the number of votes in the last election for mayor. There's no time limit for gathering them. Dabbs just completed the first year of a four-year term.
T also rhymes with B, which stands for ...
* BEER: Dabbs' attention to detail — be it pay raises, jobs and perks for herself and political colleagues or city considerations for her daughter's swim team — is being met with equal devotion by the significant opposition she's engendered. Latest example: I was referred overnight to photos on the Buzz 103.7 FM website from the Bryant Family Fest, held last July 2-4 at Bishop Park. The photo above is one of several taken from the VIP area during the festival. You will note the beer can on the table (the mayor herself seems to be sticking with water) in the city park of a dry community (except for private clubs).
Picky, picky. I don't know how you celebrate July 4 without a cold brew. But .... the mayor did provide city money and city cops to put on the fest in a city park and, my correspondent says, city ordinance prohibits alcoholic beverages in Bryant city parks. You couldn't very well complain to Police Chief Mark Kizer, my correspondent says. He's husband of Dabbs' political running mate, City Clerk Heather "Republican" Kizer, and also a fellow member of the Saline County Quorum Court with Dabbs' husband Allan. Seems to me, the only option is to relax and enjoy a cold one — if you have a VIP pass, that is.
I'm not even sure going after a little VIP beer-swilling is the best course for recallers, who might be seen as taking pettiness to Dabbs' level. Illegal pay raises, ruthless ouster of city employees and a special city legal deal with the state Republican Party Chairman, Doyle Webb, who already has a $90,000 full-time job, are weightier relevant matters. Henley has cited her push for an alcohol tax increase, too.