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What Does Character, Subpoenas, Depositions & Anniversaries Have In Common?

The Prepared Food Tax.  June 6th will be the 3rd anniversary of Fort Smith's city administrator using police in big black SUVs to deliver subpoenas to 32 good, decent folks during his attempt to force a 1% Prepared Food Tax onto the people of Fort Smith without the people having a voice.  The police delivered the subpoenas to the 32 upstanding citizens in front of their families and their neighbors.  The only thing these 32 people were guilty of, was collecting names on petitions for the right to vote and overturn the forced 1% tax the city administrator was forcing onto the community.  The local media for some reason didn't cover the story, but it is a real, factual event.  These people were herded downtown like sheep by these subpoenas to city attorney's office, Jerry Canfield, for depositions about their role in the petition drive.  The board of directors sat quietly, allowing the abuse of these fine citizens, whom they supposedly represent.  There never was an apology to these 32 people, but maybe it was because they were just ordinary, hardworking, productive taxpayers?  What does this event say about character, about leadership?  Will this ever take place again?   Is it a form of bullying?  I know in our public schools bullying is not permitted at all, zero tolerance.  Personally, I would like thank these citizens for taking a stand 3 years ago for their right to be heard on taxation.

Five Star: 
Average: 4.5 (37 votes)

Comments

Dead horse much?

So if you want an apology, why don't you go to the open forum each month and demand it?

on this one

I agree with you, Jack.

Agree With Convivial

I agree with you and Jack on this one also and thanks for having the courage to speak up for the citizens of Fort Smith.

Gong Show Dead Horse

You have 2 minutes to complain but you get no answers because according to Director, Vice Mayor, Kevin Settle, directors don't answer questions and then you are escorted back to your chair by the same people who were ordered by the City Administrator to deliver the subpoenas in the taxpayer funded "big black SUV's. True, you may be better off complaining to a DEAD HORSE.

Character and Leadership

You have no credibility, Mr. Swink, when discussing character and leadership. You have shown by your support of Bobby Altes that character and leadership are unimportant and insignificant to you. Anytime you use the words character and/or leadership to support your argument, it rings hollow.

Dead Horse, I Seek No Apology

I didn't receive a subpoena, but was called to go and did go to the city attorney, Jerry Canfield's office for my deposition. My only concern is for the good, upstanding, hardworking folks who were just trying to help overturn the forced taxation by collecting names on petitions and were subpoenaed in front of their families and neighbors. I will always be grateful to those people for their help. How they were herded downtown was unconscionable. For you to smugly ask someone who was intimidated and bullied to go before the same bully and demand an apology exemplifies your arrogance towards the working class. And thanks "convivial" for your concern for those 32 citizens.
I didn't receive a subpoena, but was called to go and did go to the city attorney, Jerry Canfield's office for my deposition. My only concern is for the good, upstanding, hardworking folks who were just trying to help overturn the forced taxation by collecting names on petitions and were subpoenaed in front of their families and neighbors. I will always be grateful to those people for their help. How they were herded downtown was unconscionable. For you to smugly ask someone who was intimidated and bullied to go before the same bully and demand an apology exemplifies your arrogance towards the working class. And thanks "convivial" for your ...>> Read the entire comment.

why not

Why should they not have been deposed? They filled out affidavits swearing that they followed the procedure set out in the state statutes as to witnessing signatures. Yet there were more than 32 people that could attest to the petitions being left out in places of business and restaurants with no one around to ensure the proper person signed yet alone actually witnessing it. So I don't really have a problem that an investigation was undertaken as to the veracity of the procedure. Some but not all of the 32 swore an oath that just wasn't true. Oh but the nobleness of your cause was so great that everyone should just overlook the law in that regard.

Are you the type that..

overlooks all sorts of questionable things when it's going your way but then picks them apart when it runs afoul of your desires?

Yet you just rant, and offer no suggestions

So you're mad. I get it. You fell bullied. I get it. Where are your suggestions to improve the situation here in Fort Smith? This is why people don't like you here. All you do is rant and rave, yet offer no concrete solutions to fix anything. and i am a member of the working class, so reserve your snarky comments elsewhere please.

Taxes and Tyrants

The entire episode shows that some of your local Public Servants will stop at nothing to squeeze just one more penny from the poor and working class people.

Great Example Of Abuse Of Power

The subpoena issue was a great example of an ABUSE OF POWER in local government because when the FINAL VOTE OF THE PEOPLE was counted, the PREPARED FOOD TAX failed by a 70% margin. What gives city leaders the right to harass and intimidate the very people who pay their salaries? We all agree that the bullies at City Hall never expected to be put in their place by the people and the vote was a great victory for the PEOPLE of Fort Smith. Some of the city cronies screamed foul because they claimed that the petition signing was not verified but in the final analysis, the voters privately made the decision in the voting booth. When a City Administration uses bullying and intimidation to govern and rule, then it points to a much bigger problem in their ability to move a city forward in a manner that meets the approval of its citizens. If bullying and intimidation is required to govern them maybe we have the wrong people making the decisions for the future of the city because the working class are really the people who are paying for government to operate.

1Iron Hook Shot

Mr. Swink is not running for office but we do know that Mr. Pitsch is already on the public payroll for 125,000 tax dollars plus every year and he wants to double or triple dip into taxpayer pockets. Sorry 1Iron but we don't need any more double and triple dippers living off the taxpayers. You may need to think about giving your caddy a bigger tip because the taxpayers should not be on the hook to support your golf buddy.

Really?

That's all you got? You really think that any candidate for the state legislature does it for the money? What do they get paid, maybe $15K plus travel? Be assured neither Pitch nor Altes are running because they need that huge salary that comes with the job. I will admit that daddy Altes learned to milk the per diem system for all it is worth. But young Altes could probably make more money doing something else. Please give us a substantial,legitimate, relevant reason to support the Altes dynasty, not this phony double dipping nonsense.

I'm still waiting

I'm still waiting for anyone in the Altes camp to give me a concrete example of something that Altes has done to attempt to improve the economic situation in Fort Smith. I'm not even going to address the current arguments on here. What has Altes done to attempt to improve the economic situation in Fort Smith?

Waiting Line

I hear you "still Waiting" but you are waiting for the wrong people to perform because the people in Fort Smith are paying out almost one million dollars per year to run just 2 city offices that have a responsibility to improve the economic situation in Fort Smith. Additionally, the taxpayers are paying a Downtown Development Director over 100,000 dollars per year and a Economic Development Director over 100,000 dollars per year, losing up to 1 million dollars per year on the Convention Center because salaries exceed total revenues and operating expenses are not covered. What do you expect Mr. Altes to do when the people who are being paid big bucks to do a job are not performing? By the way, the job that Altes is running to fill, pays 15K per year. You should be pointing your finger at the people who are paid to perform and be asking them what they have done to improve "the economic situation in Fort Smith"?????? Great question but lets ask the right people.

It's simple

1. Altes comes across as more of a regular guy that the nation needs a lot more of these days...like me. Pitsch comes across quite a bit like the 'Don't shoot back even if they are shooting at you' (Because it could be dangerous to my career) people that I've crossed paths with in my time. Think Hillary and Benghazi. 2. Ok which of their supporters do I respect most? Jack seems very logical and then there's you, yelling and asking why hasn't Daddy Altes produced the equivalent of an Emancipation Proclamation so far, right after a solid punch beneath the belt to his side that nearly got Lulubelle to come here and post her indignation. Your guy lands a very questionably high paying $138,000 a year government job with only a $170,000 a year that he has to get rid of somehow. (Matt C. where are you?) Sounds really good though dredging out a spot in the river but that's just getting our fair share of the pork unless the container's ride was cheaper when it hits the asphalt at Walmart isn't it? As I said early on in this deal, a candidate needs to be careful to not attract the wrong support. Well over 90% of what I think about these two, didn't come from either of them. Now you may lambast me again.

Got You 1Iron

Pitsch is milking the taxpayers for 125,000+ on his River Raft Project and his election to state office would be a double, triple or quadruple dip because he already gets per diem from his current job. Altes Jr. is not on any government payroll at this time so may I suggest that you change your title name to "sheep shearing" because you are trying to pull the wool over our eyes. Didn't someone in Washington already use that "phony scandal" excuse?

Mistake Riddled Subpoenas By City Attorney & Suggestions? Yes

No doubt, some mistakes were made by the citizens collecting signatures on the petitions, but one has to remember, it was a grassroots effort, these people were not legal experts. Even the subpoenas issued from the city attorney's office had several critical mistakes, such as dates and identifying who were the plaintiffs. What I feel is imperative about the event, is the board of directors failed the citizens of this great city while giving allegiance to the city administrator, who wasn't and still isn't accountable to the people. To say there were more than 32 people that could attest to the petitions being left out in places of business and restaurants, I feel is simply untrue and considered hearsay. Of those 32 good citizens that were subpoenaed, some of those had collected as few as 20 signatures, but embarrassed, intimidated and bullied by receiving subpoenas by police in big black SUVs, at their homes, in front of their families and neighbors. Subpoenas and depositions by police in big black SUVs may be the result of events in societies where the individual may have less freedoms, but it should never be allowed to happen in a free country. And suggestions? I have made the suggestion to change back to the form of city government Fort Smith previously had and the type of city government all the growing nearby cities have, a Mayor/Council form of government, where the one calling the shots is elected and accountable to the people.
No doubt, some mistakes were made by the citizens collecting signatures on the petitions, but one has to remember, it was a grassroots effort, these people were not legal experts. Even the subpoenas issued from the city attorney's office had several critical mistakes, such as dates and identifying who were the plaintiffs. What I feel is imperative about the event, is the board of directors failed the citizens of this great city while giving allegiance to the city administrator, who wasn't and still isn't accountable to the people. To say there were more than 32 people that could attest to the petitions being left out in places of business and ...>> Read the entire comment.

Not a bad suggestion

Thank you for your suggestion. That is bantered around here many times. So I ask why hasn't anyone stepped up and begin a grassroots campaign to move to that structure? If, as many people here agree that the citizens of Fort Smith need to take control of their city from the network, and the network won't do anything to change, why is it then that all we see are gnashing of teeth and complaints? Again, this is the issue here. People have issues with how the BoD do things here. Twice have people stood up to them and won. the PFT and tha automated trash issue. Whether or not if you agree to end result was correct, (which I know most people here are ok with one and not ok with the other, but that's not the point.) The fact is that when the citizens stand up to the board, and follow the procedures, and play the game within the rules, Fort Smith can and will do what they as a group decide is right. Compaints without actions get nothing resolved. Those with the passion to truly change things need to follow through on their convictions to see if their view is with the city as a whole, or is in a vocal minority. Otherwise, how does anything ever change around here? 't

Jack--The Most Important Fact Is

Almost 70% of Fort Smith Voters rejected the tax when a vote of the people was counted. The BOD, The City Administrator, and The City Attorney are paid by the voters so its pretty clear what the people thought about the Prepared Food Tax. The petitions and procedures are not the issues, to do the will of the people is why government exists.

The People

When a government must threaten and intimidate its people, it is doomed to fail! History has proved the theory over and over and over.

Most of us never wanted a

Most of us never wanted a prepared food tax. If those good upstanding citizens had followed legal procedure when collecting signatures they wouldn't have never been bothered to begin with. The police department, in my opinion, owes no one an apology for delivering a subpoena. That's part of their job. Everyone seems to have forgot that. To top things off, what does the FSPD driving black suv's have anything to do with them doing their job? So far I just hear crackpot paranoia.

Total BS and More P. Clark

"most of us never wanted a prepared food tax" is an untrue statement because the City Administrator who is paid by all people tried to cram the Prepared Food Tax down the throats of the citizens of Fort Smith without a vote of the people and you tried to help. The people of the city took the City to court and won so the Judge ordered the City Administration to let the people vote. The City Administrator ordered the police chief to harass and intimidate the petition people by delivering the subpoenas. The police department was just following orders of the City Boss by delivering subpoenas that they should have never been ordered to deliver. Since when is it the job of citizens to take their own city to court to stop an unwanted Prepared Food Tax and to top it off, the people rejected the tax by a 70% margin? Its pretty clear that City Management is out of touch with its citizens and uses heavy handed tactics to harass and intimidate the very people that pay their salaries and you try to justify this heavy handed behavior by city leaders.
"most of us never wanted a prepared food tax" is an untrue statement because the City Administrator who is paid by all people tried to cram the Prepared Food Tax down the throats of the citizens of Fort Smith without a vote of the people and you tried to help. The people of the city took the City to court and won so the Judge ordered the City Administration to let the people vote. The City Administrator ordered the police chief to harass and intimidate the petition people by delivering the subpoenas. The police department was just following orders of the City Boss by delivering subpoenas that they should have never been ordered to deliver. Since when is it ...>> Read the entire comment.

Big Mistake

To blame the citizens for the mistakes of city management is just another huge mistake by leadership that can't seem to run the show without intimidation and harassment. Oh boy!

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