But Rohn Muse, an outspoken leader of the Forest Hills neighborhood group in opposition to condemnation of a swath of the neighborhood for the proposed Little Rock Technology Park, has announced that his group is disassociating itself from the We Shall Not Be Moved Coalition, a combine of several neighborhoods, Occupy Little Rock and Arkansas Community Organizations working to protect three residential neighborhoods from expropriation for the city-financed building project.
That opposition was successful in leading to City Board action that caused the independent Tech Park Authority governing board to at least delay an instant decision on a site location for a review of sites in addition to the three originally targeted. Tech Park founding father Dickson Flake had personally put the Forest Hills neighborhood — along the south side of I-630 across from UAMS — in the mix and that led to suspicion all along that it was the first among equals in the site selection process. Proposals for alternatives will be accepted all this month. Leslie Peacock wrote this week in the Times about the pros and cons of a number of other sites.
Muse has so far not returned our calls on reports from some members of the coalition that he'd entered into some unspecified negotiations relative to the Tech Park issue and coming elections for the City Board (three at-large seats covering the affected neighborhoods will be on the ballot).
But he did send a copy of the letter he's sent to others in the neighborhood. It says the neighborhood remains committed to neighborhood preservation, but wants to "alleviate any possible confusion or conflict and allow each separate organization an opportunity to act and speak according to its respective best interest."
August 3, 2012
Friends and Colleagues,
Firstly, The Forest Hills Neighborhood Association (FHNA), is taking this opportunity to thank each of you for all the hard work and time you have devoted to assisting us in our battle to save our homes and, secondly, to inform the remaining WE SHALL NOT BE REMOVED Coalition (WSNBM) membership of our decision to withdraw from participation in the WSNBM Coalition.
As we all know, time is of the essence at this crucial point in the lives of The Forest Hills Neighborhood, and, to address the needs of our residents most effectively, we believe it is best to withdraw and apply more of our time and focus on preparing for future encounters. Our intent, on taking this position of separation, is to alleviate any possible confusion or conflict and allow each separate organization an opportunity to act and speak according to its respective best interest.
We feel it is necessary to emphasize that the position of the FHNA to fight to save our homes and neighborhood remains as it began, unchanged, as we continue to support the message of neighborhood preservation. However, effective immediately, we respectfully request that the WSNBM Coalition no longer speak or act on behalf of the Forest Hills Neighborhood Association. The FHNA and its membership thereupon resume full responsibility for carrying forth our message and actions.
Again, we thank the WSNBM Coalition for continued support and respect for our decision. Please feel free to distribute this message as you see fit to anyone of interest, and we will do the same.
The Forest Hills Neighborhood Association wishes the very best for each independent organization of great people who undoubtedly will go on to accomplish remarkable things. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.
FHNA EXECUTIVE BOARD:
Rohn Muse, M. A.