It’s often difficult for those of us who might be termed “city dwellers” to understand the mind set of those elected officials who worship at the altar of Property Rights, especially since the major property rights battles in Washington County are at least 10 years in our past. But Butch Pond - farmer, philosopher, frequent guest on Johnny Tittle’s late radio show, Washington County JP (District 9) - fits that description perfectly.
In fact, one often suspects that if an issue doesn’t have some property rights aspect to it, it may go right over poor Butch’s head. But the recent limestone quarry issue gave Butch a chance to shine, and vote the way his convictions demanded.
There’s a whole line of reasoning that individuals like Butch Pond, and the late, unlamented Washington County property rights group, Take Back Arkansas - with their constant standing up for the proverbial Little Guy - are just the unwitting shock troops for darker corporate forces that they have little understanding of, and have no interest in learning more about.
But I digress. Then again, it is my blog.
Anyway, Comrade Pond recently sent an email (June 26) to Washington County JP Jack Norton, regarding the recent ordinance brought before the Washington County Services Committee to push
future limestone quarries two miles outside any city in Washington County. Pond’s comments read in part:
. . . City Ordinances require pavement of streets, sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, etc. for homes and business. Class 7 base limestone material is the main ingredient in the pavement. Limestone material is heavy, expensive to haul, and causes a lot of wear on roads. The further you have to haul the material, the more expensive a street project will become, a waste of tax money, fuel, and wear on public roads and not environmentally or economically feasible! This ordinance will push quarries out to the most undeveloped, unscarred, privately owned and protected wilderness and well kept farms in Washington County. This zoning ordinance will be only the beginning of a trend of forcing the most undesirable development, such as quarries, landfills, etc., ALL ACTIVITIES NECESSARY FOR MODERN CITIES TO FUNCTION PROPERLY, on the most rural areas, neighborhoods of rural people who didn't want our zoning to start with. I can certainly see why many of my constituents didn't feel protected by the notion of county wide zoning.
What a waste of natural resources!
Such a waste of tax money!
What a sad disgrace!
Well, disgrace and waste of tax money are two phrases that one can easily agree with here, though probably not in the way that Commissar Pond has in mind, I suspect.
Butch Pond II - Sharon Green Responds
Not content with what passes for wisdom in the world of Butch Pond, Fayetteville resident Sharon Green sent the following reply to him.
I received a copy of your letter to Mr. Norton, and frankly I am ashamed that someone who holds a public office thinks of himself and his property "better than anyone else's in Washington County". Your quote is as follows: "This ordinance will push quarries out to the most undeveloped, unscarred, privately owned and protected wilderness and well kept farms in Washington County. This zoning ordinance will be only the beginning of a trend of forcing the most undesirable development, such as quarries, landfills, etc" per Butch Pond.
So from your quote you have stated that the people on Hamstring should live with the "most undesirable development" but you should not. Let me make something very clear to you. I still live in the county, and I deserve to have my 10 acres protected as much as you do, and I too deserve to have my privately owned property and my neighbors privately owned farms protected from these " undesirable developments " as you call them. This is why Zoning was passed to protect ALL citizens in Washington County, ALL CITIZENS, Butch not just you.
If I remember when the citizens from Hamstring Road came before the Quorum Court, in an appeal by the Company owning the Quarry, you voted in favor of the Quarry.
However, a few months back when Judge Hunton was trying to buy property for a County owed Quarry,( to build roads for the county,) out in your District, you and Ms Jan Judy, were opposed to this, and yet as you state in your letter" Limestone material is heavy, expensive to haul, and causes a lot of wear on roads. The further you have to haul the material, the more expensive a street project will become, a waste of tax money, fuel, and wear on public roads and not environmentally or economically feasible!" but again you voted against having a Quarry in the eastern part of Washington County, because in your words "the most undesirable development, such as quarries, landfills, etc.,", were coming to your district.
The citizens of Washington County should know that the decisions you make while on the Quorum Court and how you vote for development in their communities or neighbors are not the same standards or rules that apply when you are considering development, or in your own words " undesirable developments" next to your property.
I am not surprised, but I am appalled and disgusted by your letter.
I for one hope the newspapers print this for all to read. Good luck in 2010, you may need it. It is past time for a change in District 9., it is time this double standard came to end.
Quote of the Day - Yes, it’s one of mine
The problem with those who deny evolution is that they prefer God be a magician, rather than a scientist. - Richard S. Drake
The Wicker Man
The true test of a movie novelization is this - can you enjoy the book without seeing the movie? The Star Trek adaptations fit pretty well into this category, as well as a handful of others. Most, however, barely qualify as novels.
The Wicker Man, by Robin Hardy and Anthony Shaffer, falls into the category of great novelizations. The story of a conflict between Pagan and Christian beliefs, it is an exciting and disturbing horror novel. It's been re-issued, so it shouldn't be too hard to find.