Monday, September 29, 2008

NLR Comcast Candidate Questions

The League of Women Voters will be conducting their candidate question and answer session for North Little Rock mayoral and alderperson candidates next week. The session will not be open to the public; however it will be taped and rebroadcast several times on the Comcast community access channels. A representative from the North Little Rock business community, League of Women Voters and a representative from the North Little Rock neighborhoods will each be allowed to ask questions of the candidates from Ward 1, Ward 2 & Ward 3 as well as the mayoral candidates.

I have been asked to participate as the representative of the neighborhoods. I believe there are many very intelligent and dedicated people in our neighborhoods and I am asking for your help in finding the right questions to ask of the candidates. Please e-mail me at with the question you would like asked in each of the three alderperson races and mayoral race. Please keep in mind, given the time restraints, I will probably only get to ask at most 2 or 3 questions of each alderperson candidate and maybe 4 or 5 of each mayoral candidate. The questions must be succinct and to the point. The questions should also address neighborhood specific issues. I would appreciate citizen’s questions that are serious and I look forward to finding the best questions to ask our candidates.

Scott Miller
Vice President
Unified Neighborhood Coalition

Friday, September 26, 2008

Welcome to the Amboy Watch Blog

I want to take this opportunity to announce a new endeavor to create a neighborhood group and blog to go along with it - the Amboy Watch Blog (we haven't decided a name for the group yet). We are hoping it will be an extension of the Old Amboy Crime watch, and that they will embrace it and we can be one big happy group.
We are working daily to get organized and need all the help we can get. We have about 60 people so far interested in being involved. I hope that you all will also include us in your prayers as we move to do what we need to do.
This is a work in progress and hope if you all have any suggestion you keep them to yourself ... NO, Just kidding. Any suggestion and help you all could give will be greatly appreciated. The address of the groups blog is:
Paul Myrick BDD

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Council Meeting - Monday, September 22

North Little Rock City Council Meeting - Monday, September 22

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Reading/Approval of Minutes: August 27, 2008
Old Business:
1. BOA CASE # 1411 – Mr. Rob Callahan – 5119 John F. Kennedy Blvd – Lot 8 Block 201 Park Hill Addition – To waive the requirements for screening or relocation of the dumpster as required by section 12.24 of the zoning ordinance.
New Business:
1. BOA CASE # 1412 – Mr. Tom Whit Waller – 3420 Avondale Rd – Lot 44, Block 127 Park Hill Addition – To allow a lot split of lot 44, Block 127 Park Hill addition, creating two lots. One lot with a variance of 6.3 ft. on the minimum lot width, the other with a 13.7 ft. variance on the minimum lot width allowed.
2. BOA CASE # 1413 – Mr. Elmer Platt, Jr. – 1308 W. 47th Street – Lot 2, Counts Addition – To allow a carport within the front yard, 1.5 ft. from the front yard property line.
3. BOA Case # 1414 – Mrs. Laura Stanley – 436 Skyline Drive – Lot 26 & West 1/2 of Lot 27, Block 107, Park Hill Addition – To allow a variance of 3.5 ft to the side yard setback for an attached carport to a residence.

Public Comment/ Adjournment:
Open forum

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Council Meeting -- This Monday

North Little Rock City Council Meeting - Monday, September 8, 2008

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Power to the People to be Heard!

Your attention is invited to an item on this coming Monday's NLR City Council Meeting Agenda that merits our gratitude to Ward 3 Alderman, Cary Gains and Ward 1 Alderwoman, Debi Ross. Under New Business Resolutions they are the sponsors for "Resolution R-08-140 - A Resolution Establishing The Rules Of Procedure For Citizen Commentary At City Council Meetings; And For Other Purposes." In reading this resolution we find: 'Whereas, the City Council desires to afford citizens a meaningful opportunity to be heard regarding issues to be decided by the Council and the present procedures often overlook those people with an interest in a particular issue', and "Whereas, the Council prefers for all voices wishing to be heard on an agenda item be heard before the vote upon the item." The key words spoken here is "before the vote"! It should be noted that this proposed resolution to allow public comment on agenda items "shall exclude those items set for public hearing where public comment is already allowed".

Based on current NLR City Council's rules of conduct the public hearing comments are one directional, meaning the speaker can present their position points and questions to the Council, however the Council is not required to respond in turn with their answers, comments or subsequent questions for and to the speaker. Thus it would appear that the provision for a 'Town Hall Meeting" is the only opportunity to have a give and take on an issue being considered. And we know that town hall meetings are now scarce in most Wards, and the lead time to pull one together would be very limited given the fact that public notice for many resolutions and ordinances only appear approximately two weeks in advance as Council agenda items to be read and processed.

However we must still applaud Gaines and Ross in their efforts to involve the citizens of North Little Rock in this fine example of our democracy being exercised 'by the people and for the people'. Yes, it is understood that passing Resolution R-08-140 will result in slowing down the tempo for Council's passage on resolutions and ordinances, perhaps reducing the rate of 'suspending the rules and declaring an emergency' to expedite the legislative process, and may even result in longer times for Council Meetings to be completed. All are admirable consequences to allow democracy to be fully exercised at our NLR City Council's proceedings!

To Alderman Gains & Alderwoman Ross, thank you for making a difference for the benefit of all citizens of North Little Rock. Hopefully your resolution will prompt more communications to take place between all citizens and their Alderpersons on pending legislative matters. With great anticipation we will be with you at City Hall on Monday or watching on Comcast Channels 4 or 18 as you introduce this most important resolution for the full Council's consideration and vote May it be so!