It was a good week for …
Little Rock School Superintendent ROY BROOKS. The well-to-do crowd that hates the teachers’ union got organized with a secretly financed ad and e-mail campaign to combat a rumored move to buy out Brooks’ contract. Did they want to wait and first hear allegations of Brooks’ mismanagement and his answers to same? They did not. It’s enough that John Walker and the Classroom Teachers Association have quarreled with the autocratic district leader.
ROGERS and SPRINGDALE TEACHERS. The former have the highest starting pay in the state ($41,000) and the latter have the highest salary step ($69,021).
PORK. Members of the House and Senate couldn’t resist. They larded the bill to spend the surplus with a number of suspect allocations aimed at finding a way around constitutional restrictions on local spending projects.
LAKE MAUMELLE. It will be spared the risk of pollution from a high-end real estate development. Central Arkansas Water struck a deal to buy 706 acres from Deltic Timber for a mind-boggling $8.1 million. This is land on which Deltic is paying pennies a year in taxes because it is, er, agricultural land.
SECRET GOVERNMENT. The governor and legislature hurried to pass a tax break for an unnamed company that promises to employ a lot of low-wage assembly line people and put new demand on water and sewer service. The company makes windmill blades, an industry suddenly prospering because of federal tax breaks — and tax breaks from states willing to give away money now and answer questions later.
It was a bad week for …
FRANK BROYLES. After as many as five trees, the UA athletic director thought he'd finally landed an acceptance to coach the Hogs' men's basketball team — from Dana Altman of Creighton. Broyles left on schedule for his annual trip to Augusta for the Masters. Hours later, Altman reneged and went home to Creighton amid rumors that Altman had found disarray in academic compliance in Arkansas, which compounded his regret at leaving his long-time home in Omaha.
ANIMALS. The might of the Farm Bureau spelled defeat for legislation to make cruelty to animals a felony.