Jack Swink's blog

Collective Versus Individual "Vision"

The word "Vision" appears to be the latest buzz word among some Fort Smith leadership.  State Sen Jake Files said Wednesday, Fort Smith is at a "critical crossroads" and challenged folks to have more vision and passion for what Fort Smith can be.  However, I must ask, was Sam Walton challenged by the city of Bentonville to have the same "collective vision" as we hear for Fort Smith, or did his community encourage and support the free competitive market environment that allowed him the individual freedom to pursue his passion, his vision and thereby ultimately bringing worldwide recognition

Why Report Only On the Convention Center's Revenue & Not the Expense Side?

A recent Times Record article by John Lovett was supposedly reporting on the yearend results for the Fort Smith Convention Center.  However, I noticed the article had failed to include the Expenses, and only reported the Revenue.  Have we grown so far from a market economy that Expenses are no longer meaningful?  True, the 2014 annual rental revenue at the convention center totaled $587,728.  True, the beverage sales helped with an additional $111,434.12, making a total 2014 revenue of $709,162.52.  However, what was missing in the article were the expenses.  The Employee compensation total

What Is Take Back The Fort?

Take Back The Fort is a grassroots effort to change our current form of city government.  Presently, we have a City Administrator form and seek the Mayor/Manager form of government.  Our current form of city government allows for less Accountability and Transparency in governing.  Presently, our City Administrator is not accountable to the voters, but to the board of directors.  A Mayor/Manager form of government, the mayor would be accountable to the voters for his decisions every 2-4 years.  The manager, being an "at will" employee is accountable to the mayor and can be terminated at any

Welcome to Coral Bay?

Can you imagine driving by and seeing the sign, "Welcome to Coral Bay!"  No, you're not in Parrot Island or Flamingo Falls, but Fort Smith.

The Pension Problem Isn't A Taxpayer Problem, It's A City Hall Problem!

Why force the hardworking taxpayer to pay additional taxation?  How much have the taxpayers been forced to donate to a supposedly private funded Marshal's Museum?  Didn't the taxpayers of Fort Smith endure 3 water and sewer rate increases within a 4 year period, only to have the city turn around and spend $2.1 million, to provide utilities to 60 acres of privately owned riverfront property?  Should utility rate increases be used to fund special projects?  The convention consistently loses between $700,000 and $1,300,000 a year, yet it has never been scaled back?  Even the salary packages at

Clarity, Access to Information & the FOIA

As the article states, "the city may have seen a victory last week with the dismissal of a AFOIA lawsuit."  However, I still feel the citizens of Fort Smith have been denied, "access to information", and "transparency in government."  Why should there even be a question of clarity when the public's trust is at stake?  State Senator Jake Files, who stated he is familiar with Fort Smith's previous lawsuits alleging FOIA violations, says, "he doesn't want to limit the citizens access to information."  This is the very reason my lawsuit was filed against the city.  Very serious allegations were

Quality of Life...........Who Determines?

You hear the term "quality of life", thrown around quite a bit today by public officials.  I was reading comments by a local police officer on Facebook and it made me think, who should determine one's quality of life?  The policeman's comments didn't only raise a question, but many questions about what is considered to be quality of life and who should determine a individual's quality of life?  The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, states that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,

City Pay Raises? City Avg $59,323 versus Private Median $35,989

I discontinued my paper subscription last November, but I have "Liked" the SWTR on my Facebook page and therefore receive headlines and articles of interest.  The latest such article of interest was about our City Administrator pushing for employee pay raises in 2015.  According to the 2014 City Budget, the city of Fort Smith has a total of 955 employees and a personnel payroll of $56,653,380.  Since the city administrator doesn't include the median income for city workers, we can only average the pay per employee, which comes to $59,323.  Now, according to city-data.com, the median househo

If All the Allegations of Overbilling, Overpaying & Lying Are True.....

If all the allegations of overbilling by the city attorney's office, the overpaying by the city and the allegations that Jerry Canfield lied about such are all proven to be true, what's next?  Will there be resignations?  Will there be prosecutions?  Will all this bring about a more transparent form of city government in Fort Smith?  Will the idea of more elected positions catch on and replace appointed positions?  Will Fort Smith then decide to follow other nearby growth cities and have an elected CEO type mayor, an elected city attorney, an elected city clerk and possibly more?  It is the

Allegations Are City Attorney Jerry Canfield Lied About Phone Calls.

http://www.bluehogreport.com/2014/06/06/on-bills-both-phone-block-a-resp...

And the question is, Is Ray

Gosack satisfied with Jerry Canfield's Responses?

Do All Board Members Support the Over billing and Overpaying As A Normal Course of Business, or Will Any Board Member Act on Behalf of the Working Folks and Demand a Real Investigation?

Incidentally, the FBI is presently investigating Corruption Allegations against West Fork City Officials.

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