Monday morning at 10 a.m. protesters carried signs outside of Crye Leike Realty demanding the resignation of District 5 City Director Rick Ramick. Protesters feel that Ramick is ineligible for serving as City Director since he resides at a home on Paddock Pointe in proposed Enclave B which is still in the county, not the city. Ramick interviewed with us weeks ago claiming to have dual residency in both a city and a county address. Click on the video to hear the words of those who oppose him.
Despite the cold temperatures and forecasted frozen precipitation, about 50 Garland County and Hot Springs residents turned out at another well-organized meeting at the Five Star Dinner Theater in downtown.
Organizer Reggie Cowan introduced a host of speakers who shared the plan to circulate petitions to the city’s registered voters for a Referendum to ordinances annexing “enclaves C and D”. County residences continue to voice that annexing their land without their vote is a violation of their Constitutional rights. City residents will be affected, according to State Representative Bruce Cozart, by their own services being diluted to cover the expansion to the service areas for vital services such as water, fire and police protection. “There will likely be an increase in property taxes as well to provide for the cost to build additional fire stations as well as other expenditures” he said. “That could take years to accomplish”.
Representative Cozart plans to introduce a House Bill that will overturn the current annexation efforts that were afforded by the previous bill allowing municipalities to annex lands bordered by lakes, streams and natural forests. Fort Smith is another area of the state that is experiencing similar “land grabs”.
Petitions will be available through January 17th, for registered voters who are within the city limits, daily at the Garland County Library. The next organized meeting will be held at the Garland County Library on Thursday, January 12th from 5:30-6:30pm. Interested persons may attend and may sign petitions at that time. The goal of the group is to gather as many as 2000 signatures.
For more information on how and where to sign a petition or to volunteer, contact Cliff Jackson at 501-525-7400 or Tori Marrin at 501-624-7812.
We will continue to provide updates as this effort progresses.
Dear City of Hot Springs Mayor, Board of Directors and City Manager:
Tonight is a very important night to many of us here in Hot Springs. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and more will line the street to attend our Annual Christmas Parade along famous Central Avenue. Chests will puff with pride and joy. The eyes of children will light up the darkness of the night amidst the colorful lights of the season. It will be a magical night!
Or will it?
Unfortunately, there are many who are struggling with the painful decision to attend the parade or miss it in order to be present at the regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting. The Board of Director’s meeting will address the very controversial issue of “forced annexation” and is the only time that the public can offer comments prior to the Board’s vote. So, we ask, is this intentional?
The Board canceled two regularly scheduled meetings this year due to lack of agenda items. Therefore, the public is aware that cancelations and rescheduling can and does occur.
Is the Board using the scheduling conflict to its advantage? One might think that this is like the Grinch attempting to steal Christmas or in this instance, the Board trying to “steal parts of Garland County” by reducing the number of people who attend and voice their opposition. Is this annexation being imposed to prosper the natural growth of our city or is it an immoral, conscious effort to usurp the power of the people?
Will this be the Board of Director’s Christmas gift to the citizens of Hot Springs and Garland County? Surely not. Remember how the story ends.
And may your hearts grow three sizes tonight!