In a normal, predictably indecisive move by our super-think-about-it-to-death City Council, they put off any sort of action toward resolving the now-embarrassing overdue city and garbage fees that no one is obligated to pay.
I have actually had more than one person tell me: " I think I’ll move to Maumelle, where you don’t have to pay your bills."
Our council has decided to appoint a task force to study the situation, which has existed for several years with hundreds of thousands of dollars lost.
Two council members voted against even having a task force, but had no other solutions to this trashy situation.
The task force will think about whether to move billing for the quarterly community service and trash collection fees to our water bill. Then if we don’t pay our combined community/water/trash bill, we will have our water shut off. Simple enough.
According to recent reports, about 8 percent of the city’s households are behind on their community service bills.
I thought it was somewhat telling that Mayor Watson told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Jake Sandlin that the approved resolution "doesn’t mean anything has to happen."
Anything hasn’t happened for too long. Let’s get this done.
Dad comes to Mark’s rescue
The TV spots for the Pryor/Cotton race have become more and more annoying, as we knew they would. I heard a caller on a radio program say that all their commercials remind her of when adults speak on the old Peanuts specials with that "whaa-whaa-whaa" trombone effect. Just noise.
But now, Mark pulls out one of his big weapons: the first Senator Pryor or Daddy. Their recent commercial showing them hanging around the kitchen table takes the cake. They are discussing Mark’s battle with cancer and insurance companies.
Daddy says, "When Mark was diagnosed with cancer, we thought we might lose him." That is true. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called clear-cell sarcoma discovered in his Achilles tendon.
Pryor’s leg survived a complicated surgery and avoided amputation.
"No one should be fighting an insurance company while you’re fighting for your life," the younger Pryor says in the ad. "That’s why I helped pass a law to prevent insurance companies from canceling your policy if you get sick or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions." He didn’t mention the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, but that’s what he’s referring to.
It’s pretty good stuff and is a pretty good comeback to Cotton’s mom-and-dad ads aired earlier in the year. We’ll see if it works.
Candidate forum set for Oct. 2
As promised, a candidates’ forum will be held on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Maumelle. All declared candidates with opponents will be invited. Watch for more details in the paper and in this space. Should be a good time.
Maumelle Boulevard roadwork progressing in the night
One of my dozens of faithful readers sent me a message last week telling me he had inquired about the timeline to finish the resurfacing of Maumelle Boulevard, particularly the intersections. He received a reply from staff construction engineer Kevin White at the Arkansas Highway Department:
"The contractor is working at night to do the paving work in the intersections due to high traffic volumes in these areas. The contractor has not left the job, but due to the nature of the work in the intersections and the length of the project has resulted in them parking equipment in different locations. This may make it appear that the contractor has left the project. This project is expected to be complete by the end of August 2014."
Well, here we are at the end of August and it appears they are about finished. The intersections were a bit rough but the project has progressed quickly and Maumelle Boulevard is definitely a smoother ride.
See you on the now smoother Boulevard.
Neal Moore is COE (chief of everything) at Neal Moore Creative, a PR, advertising and marketing consultancy. He has lived in Maumelle over 10 years. If you have a community concern contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.