Whirlpool Ying and Yang

The Ying:  The city board voted 5-2 to refrain from penalizing Whirlpool.

The Yang:  A formal request to Whirlpool to meet with a Fort Smith delegation to amicably discuss suitable restitution to the City and affected businesses and residents.

Give this blog a 5 if you agree or a 1 if you think the matter should be put to bed as is.

I, for one, am unwilling to settle for a swatch of land covered in asphalt for perpetuity. 

Five Star: 
Average: 3.2 (14 votes)

Comments

Whirlpool

The city needs to stay out of the court case because the home owners have first recourse. The current Mayor of Fort Smith worked at Whirlpool for 30 years and kept the pollution a secret so maybe he should do what he does best and that is Nothing!

Take California for instance..

..you don't want to turn this place into something businesses are afraid of. They're having a fit over a sriracha plant out there right now even though the guy nearest the smokestack says it's fine which seems to indicate people can get to where they look for things to worry about. If it's money you think we should get since this most recent suit I believe was for a settlement..how would that get rid of the asphalt? Let's let ones who lived there go first.

Its All About The Money

The city does nothing to solve the contamination problem at Whirlpool for 30 years while the homeowners suffered and now the city leader wants a payoff for doing nothing to protect the neighbors of the plant. Sounds like not much has changed at City Hall and its business as usual for the clan that just wants your money.

Arkansas honey

When ADEQ declares an incident perfectly safe but safeguards the decision by adding, "but just to be sure, we will cover the ground in asphalt," their credibility, placation and motivations become suspect. Given where our city now stands, their solution remains unchallenged and outside of civil proceedings the extent of remedy. Should we roll over and remain content with several blocks of land becoming an asphalt jungle, several questions still remain. Will this jungle resemble the plume itself? Will other homes be steam rolled to square off the plume, and if so, at what price will they be commandeered? Where is the leadership in all of this? At least two directors have expressed their anger and desire to seek punitive damages. But what about leadership at the state and federal levels? Malone, McGill, Altes, and Files have not stepped forward into the debate. The Governor seems to have kept an arms length distance. Where Asa has called Fort Smith home, he has yet to come out to help his homies and Ross has been mum. Womack, Pryor, Cotton and Boozeman have similarly stayed out of the fray. Would any of these politicians step forward to be part of a delegation to get something accomplished other than the creation of a meaningless parking lot? It wouldn't take much. Fort Smith does not have a competitive tennis arena where a center court is flanked by stadium seating. If a softball tournament could bring legions to town, why wouldn't a tennis tournament? Bentonville has such a setup. The south side does not have a skateboard park. Could this not also be part of a discussion to make the most of a bad situation? If Whirlpool will not "buy out" affected neighbors, why would they not consider providing them with a subsidized no-interest home improvement loan? Would they themselves not benefit from an urban plan that enhanced the properties from Hwy 71 to S. Zero to Jenny Lind to Cavanaugh? Class action lawsuits will help the individual victims of this calamity, but not the city itself. All I am saying is that you catch more flies with honey. With vinegar off the table, it will take more than local honey to get an amicable solution. But we do need to decide for ourselves what will make us the most whole when all is said and done.
When ADEQ declares an incident perfectly safe but safeguards the decision by adding, "but just to be sure, we will cover the ground in asphalt," their credibility, placation and motivations become suspect. Given where our city now stands, their solution remains unchallenged and outside of civil proceedings the extent of remedy. Should we roll over and remain content with several blocks of land becoming an asphalt jungle, several questions still remain. Will this jungle resemble the plume itself? Will other homes be steam rolled to square off the plume, and if so, at what price will they be commandeered? Where is the leadership in all ...>> Read the entire comment.

Some improvements near the downtown area maybe

would be my guess as to your hidden agenda here. Why in the world would anyone want to improve a home located over or near hazardous chemicals or build a competition non clay tennis court..so a cash settlement happens and the money is up for grabs since you can't use it there. I read also you say you are concerned about the people over on that side of town not having their property commandeered at too low a price? Wow.

makes perfect sense to me

Because it's OUR homes Because WE lost more than half OUR equity Because WE HOPE a major employer might move back into the area Because this town never moves forward because people like YOU always think there is a hidden agenda

You start these threads and then you agree with yourself..

..you can only post so many teary eyed grandma by the ferris wheel, rat's by the river, Ralph Irwin missing tiles, Mall of America beneath the bridge stories before people catch on. You live miles away from the affected area and it looks a lot like you're trying to figure out how you can nudge your way into their settlement money. Why not go for the busted pipeline money from Central Arkansas too while you're at it..we all live here?

to be clear

sentimental grandmothers: GOOD; Park at West End: GOOD; Tourist-attracting antique Ferris wheel: VERY GOOD; river rats: NOT GOOD; downtown vandalism: NOT GOOD; downtown memorial mall: VERY GOOD; downtown plastic splashpad: NOT GOOD; environmental Fort Smith hazard: NOT GOOD AT ALL , ESPECIALLY FOR AFFECTED RESIDENTS/BUSINESSES; and since you bring it up, busted Central Arkansas pipeline: NOT GOOD; settlement money: VERY GOOD; settlement planned solution for the future: EVEN BETTER. I attest I do not sell or construct competition-level tennis courts or skateparks or spectator seating.

Perfectly clear..a city competing within itself-Not Good

To you it's important that it's an ANTIQUE ferris wheel that may have been in the 1929 World's fair, to most people it's important that it goes round and round. How much money have the city and several individuals had to spend EXTRA over the many years now to get things the way YOU want them? Could this be part of the reason why we just a mall slip by us? As for a Bellagio style water extravaganza near the bridge, it probably could be paid for by nudging our way into somebody's settlement money...or eliminating a new school..and BTW how strange I don't see you over on that thread. I wonder why.

Homeowners First

The homeowners were damaged by the contamination while the city did nothing to help the problem for 30 years. The City needs to do the right thing and get out of the way and let the attorneys get the homeowners proper compensation for their damaged property.

we all are affected

what makes you think this is an either/or proposition? Complicit or not, do you not think that the city has also been harmed in the process?

Missing In Action

Why were all of our City Leaders so quiet on the contamination problem at Whirlpool for so many years until The City Wire exposed the menace to homeowners around the plant? Where was our Mayor who worked for Whirlpool for 30 years? Where was our City Administrator who worked for the city for almost 20 years? Where was our City Planner who worked for the city for decades? It certainly appears that they all were "missing in action" until the story could no longer be stuffed under the rug and hidden from the citizens of the city.

Can't fight City Hall?

If the city fathers want to sue Whirlpool for easy money and/or to shift the blame for the city's negligence for not protecting its citizens, then maybe the citizens of Fort Smith should now sue the city to compensate for the community's apathy.

The Hall

The first duty of any government entity is to protect the citizens from harm and the private homeowner actions against Whirlpool will probably bring many unknown facts about who knew what and when they knew it. Some city leaders may be taking a lot of heat when the facts are known and some could have some serious legal issues.

The Mayor and Gang

Buy one of the homes near Whir[pool at full market price before the word leaked out on the health hazard and then go live in the contaminated area for a few years! Live with what you forced on other people and then you may be qualified to share in the settlement booty! until then, back off and let the attorneys for the homeowners do their jobs because you did not do your job and warn people of the potential risks of living with the contamination.

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