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Why a special election?

The Fort Smith Library is pushing for a special election to up the millage for the library.

The election will cost $10-35,000 depending on how many polling spots are open.

What does it matter if it cost $10 or $35 dollars?  We are having a general (well at least several ballot items) in November, just a few short months later.

Why can the library not wait?  Are they afraid it wont pass?  (It failed in 2002).

Several directors have raised this exact question.   I have no ill will towards the library, but lets be good stewards of taxpayer money.

Five Star: 
Average: 4.7 (13 votes)

Comments

Excellent Questions Matt Garner!

Matt, remember the food tax? Our city administrator passed over the general election to try and force the tax himself, but settled for a special election, but by then too many people were aware and made sure they were going to vote it down. But sure, the special election, like always, is all about the elitists getting what they want at the expense of the ordinary working folks. We have a main library that is the envy of many cities along with 3 excellent branch facilities. Most of the directors play along and get along. This is just another reason, if Fort Smith had an elected city manager, accountable to the ordinary folks, bailing out privately owned Ferris wheels, forcing Prepared Food Taxes, huge salary packages at the convention center and A&P, providing utilities to private riverfront, not to mention the special non-profits, all would not happen, the person would be voted out of office. The question is, is 2800 a doable deal?
Matt, remember the food tax? Our city administrator passed over the general election to try and force the tax himself, but settled for a special election, but by then too many people were aware and made sure they were going to vote it down. But sure, the special election, like always, is all about the elitists getting what they want at the expense of the ordinary working folks. We have a main library that is the envy of many cities along with 3 excellent branch facilities. Most of the directors play along and get along. This is just another reason, if Fort Smith had an elected city manager, accountable to the ordinary folks, bailing out privately owned Ferris ...>> Read the entire comment.

remember everything

A lot went down over the food tax. You were at the forefront making many slanderous statements, bullying comments, and down right hateful things about certain board directors and tax supporters, and especially, the city administrator. I guess he showed you and your cronies, within his legal authority, he was tougher than you were portraying him on Topix. I agree that the special election is a waste of money, but it is within the rights of the referendum seeker to request it. Now, if you oppose it, all you have to do is launch a get out the vote drive and defeat it. After all, that is within your rights to do that as well.

More than Doable Jack

2800 hundred signatures required to get a change in the Fort Smith government crony system would be a walk in the park because most people are fed up with the loss of business, loss of jobs, proposed tax hikes, poor mouthing of city officials, the BOD gong shows, dog and cat nonsense, and people are just plain tired of seeing our near north neighbors grow by leaps and bounds while Fort Smith has lost 14,000 jobs over the last few years. Carry on Jack!

My Bet Is

that if you asked 6000 people to sign for a change in our form of government, more than half would welcome a good house cleaning at the city and at the county level.

Special Election??

They library said they would pay the $30,000 it would cost for the special election. BUT now Jennifer Crawford stated that they only want 4 polling places to be open and NOT the 22 that we have. Why only 4?? Since they have the funds and want the citizens of Fort Smith to vote in favor of the millage increase why not have more polls OPEN? I think they had this planned all along. They only want certain people to VOTE who they know will make it pass. But that's not be FAIR to ALL OF THE CITIZENS!! Now of day if you have the MONEY it talks in this town -- it sure wasn't like that years ago!! We need to get a NEW MAYOR and NEW Administrator. Phillip Merry would be an excellent MAYOR and he care about the people of Fort Smith & the CITIZENS. The Board of Directors don't have the never to STAND UP for what they believe in except for Merry & Pam Weber.
They library said they would pay the $30,000 it would cost for the special election. BUT now Jennifer Crawford stated that they only want 4 polling places to be open and NOT the 22 that we have. Why only 4?? Since they have the funds and want the citizens of Fort Smith to vote in favor of the millage increase why not have more polls OPEN? I think they had this planned all along. They only want certain people to VOTE who they know will make it pass. But that's not be FAIR to ALL OF THE CITIZENS!! Now of day if you have the MONEY it talks in this town -- it sure wasn't like that years ago!! We need to get a NEW MAYOR and NEW Administrator. Phillip Merry ...>> Read the entire comment.

Be Kind & Do Good!

Can We Believe Anything

coming from this city administration or the puppets on the BOD? Mr. Merry and Mrs. Weber seem to be the only members on the BOD that the people can trust and they are leaving because they keep getting attacked by city hall and the other captured BOD members. What a mess and one must wonder who put a muzzle on George?

Taxation without Representation

Not only are they being deceptive by not saying this at the beginning - cherry picking 4 locations, they are allowing these select locations to vote for all Fort Smith and Sebastian County. They already conceded they are raising the out of Ft Smith rates to make it equitable to the increase for Ft Smith residents. Remember - Sebastian County residents pay part of the sales tax to support the library but then are double taxed by an out of Ft Smith cost. If you live outside the city, these select 4 voting places will increase your fee (tax) and you can do nothing about it.

"We anticipate....turnout to be small"

"So we need our supporters to be at the polls..." Jane Goodson It's a 200% increase and that's $233,000 for each month extra. In the near future we will be asked to approve a millage increase for a new high school. Is their silence on that one right now speaking volumes?

Its A Good Idea

We need a new something in Fort Smith because what we have is not working and they spend way too much of our tax money to get very little done!

A new something Reply

BJ, you say "we need a new something". Do you believe the new something is an increase function to the library? Let's look at the 17-30 thousand dollars to have a special election, not counting the money toward yard signs, a new promotional website and use that money toward new facilities for the increased homeless in the Ft Smith area. How about applying it to another venue in order to acquire more jobs in the area? I think "a new something" is not an increase to an already designated function. Thoughts?

Reply to Inquiry

I have been observing the Fort Smith Library for some time. The setup is a bit odd. Jennifer Goodson is in charge and she is hired by the board of Library [http://www.fortsmithar.gov/boards/library.aspx] and is rumored to be the second highest paid director in Arkansas. Somehow the main library is a hybrid of private and public ownership. Your inquiry of why spend 17-30 thousand dollars for a private election is a good one. You would have more turnout in a normal election day. That being said, it would appear she feels more people would be willing to go out and vote yes, over those willing to purposely go out and vote no. It’s a political move, regardless of the monetary cost. This in itself speaks volumes in how Goodson thinks.
I have been observing the Fort Smith Library for some time. The setup is a bit odd. Jennifer Goodson is in charge and she is hired by the board of Library [http://www.fortsmithar.gov/boards/library.aspx] and is rumored to be the second highest paid director in Arkansas. Somehow the main library is a hybrid of private and public ownership. Your inquiry of why spend 17-30 thousand dollars for a private election is a good one. You would have more turnout in a normal election day. That being said, it would appear she feels more people would be willing to go out and vote yes, over those willing to purposely go out and vote no. It’s a political move, regardless of ...>> Read the entire comment.

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