Letter to the Editor

Citizen forum

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Woodcarvers' jamboree


Thank you so much for the nice article and pictures that you had in the Citizen Paper about our Woodcarvers Jamboree. And also thank you for sending some of the copies to me to pass around to the carvers.

I can honestly say that is the nicest article and group of pictures that we have ever had printed about the Jamboree.

We all enjoyed visiting with you and hope you will come back again next year.

We will be sending you some info before the show next year.

Doris Payne

Saving The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad


This is a response to the recent Lovely County Citizen article on the Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad. As the story stated, the ES&NAR is for sale and has been since Oct. 1999 when Robert (Bob) Dortch, Jr. first announce it was for sale. The ES&NAR has been up for sale for almost 14 years now and I think something needs to be done.

When I first heard about The ES&NAR being up for sale, I was still in school. Since I am out of school now, I have been working on trying to save the railroad. In August 2006, I started a website called Saving The Eureka Springs & North Arkansas Railroad. The link is http://www.savingesnarailroad.com.

I am trying to find someone that would like to help me. On this website it will explain my plans for saving the railroad, restoring it and returning it back to operating condition. The ES&NAR is for sale for the asking price of $1.7 million, so if you are interested in helping me, I am looking for investors, backers and whoever wants to help me with the project. You can contact me on my cell phone at 479-244-0926 or by e-mail at brian.waller24@yahoo.com.

Brian Waller

Thoughts on the deer hunt


I have been following the coverage of the deer hunt issue. One matter kept jumping off the pages for me, and that's been the use of the term "deer hunt ordinance". Recently, in my role of JP, I had the opportunity to research the method by which the Quorum Court would be able to refer a matter to the electorate. I found out it was possible using the following procedure set forth in ACA 14-14-905(f):

1. Adopt an ordinance; and

2. Then, by a 3/5 vote of the whole number of justices constituting the QC, adopt a resolution referring the matter to the electorate.

That prompted me to look at the procedure for city matters. That reference is ACA 14-55-401(b), where it is written that "[t]he city council, or governing body, may at the time of, or within thirty (30) days of, the adoption of any ordinance refer the ordinance to the electors for their acceptance or rejection by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the council."

So I began to wonder whether or not the action of the City Council in August, 2010 and the subsequent affirmative vote for the deer hunt fulfilled the requirements of ACA 14-55-401(b). In particular, I wondered if it was possible for the "referred ordinance" and the "referring ordinance" to be one and the same.

For me, the answer to this question has serious ramifications way beyond the teeth gnashing that has gone on over such matters as length, rules, and proscribed vs. prescribed. We already have an ordinance on the books that bans in-town hunting. It was amended in 2002, by ordinance 1900, but a referendum petition was circulated, the matter was placed on the November ballot and the ordinance was overturned. Since then, the hunting ban has continued in full force. My question goes to whether or not the procedure followed by the council in 2010 constituted the referral of an ordinance to the voters that would amend the in-town hunting ban or an opinion poll, the results of which would give rise to a subsequent ordinance.

As far as procedure goes, the Council in 2002 passed an ordinance to levy a 1/4% sales tax for the Parks Commission. That was done with Ordinance 1906. Then immediately afterwards, the Council adopted Ordinance 1907 that requested the matter to be placed on the ballot for a vote by the electorate. Two separate actions - one the proposed ordinance and the second, a request to the County Election Commission to place the matter on the ballot.

Earlier in the week I emailed my concerns to Tim Weaver but I've not had a response.

I am writing this to you because of the Editorial that appeared in last week's paper. I cannot argue that this council has been anything other than disagreeable. All that aside, however, and given the statutory language I quoted above, I wonder whether or not there is even an ordinance in place for anyone to discuss its implementation.

I am not claiming this to be the solution of the dispute but I believe there is an issue here that requires an answer before anything further occurs.

Please contact me if you have any questions.


Lamont Ritchie