Had a chance to visit with Maumelle Alderman Steve Mosley recently. Steve represents Ward 1 and is my alderman along with Ken Saunders. I asked Steve how he got involved with Maumelle politics and he responded that he had always been a community activist and decided to get in a position where he could make a difference. Many of you know that he was involved with Maumelle Residents United and Maumelle Residents Coalition.
A disadvantage he has noted about being a public servant is the amount of time it takes to have a day job and also be an alderman. He told me he needs to be retired and then have two of him to work on all the things he’d like to address as an alderman. Aldermen in Maumelle are paid $6,000 a year, which is not a bad part-time salary, but one couldn’t pay the bills with that income. So what is Alderman Mosley working on and what are his priorities?
He is very interested in Maumelle Water Management and wants to see "democratic control" of our water system board. Right now, its own members appoint the board and really answer to no one except themselves. He maintains there are some issues that need to be resolved as it relates to cost of water lines and the debt the system is incurring.
He pointed out that only Maumelle and one other Arkansas town allow their water systems to operate with such autonomy and lack of accountability to its residents. He tells me that the Maumelle City Council has sought a meeting with MWM regarding restricting the board, but so far MWM has refused to meet with them.
Mosley has a degree in accounting and business and wants to see MWM run more like a business and be more accountable and sensitive to the residents of Maumelle.
Mosley said it would take the state legislature to amend the structure of its board and is hopeful State Representative Mark Lowery can submit such legislation in the next session in 2014. Alderman Mosley writes an email newsletter every few weeks and encourages his constituents and anyone interested in Maumelle to subscribe. Send him a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other issues occupying Alderman Mosley’s agenda are, of course, the traffic. He, like me, would love to see high-density housing (apartments) put on hold for the indefinite future until we can ease the flow of traffic on Maumelle Boulevard. We can’t stop North Little Rock from building but there should be dialogue between both cities to slow down the building. When I talk to people thinking of moving to Maumelle, they are hesitant because of the traffic. It has become part of our reputation. City leadership must make something happen on this or city growth and industrial development will be hampered.
Steve Mosley seems focused on what’s good for Maumelle and how these issues affect the citizens. I’m glad he’s taking the time.
Health care coverage is making me sick
When I left the corporate world at the beginning of 2013, I knew health insurance would be expensive, but I certainly didn’t expect the disaster that we seem to be facing as we await the implementation of Obamacare, ironically designed as the Affordable Care Act. It seems to be anything but affordable and we have spent a fortune just trying to get the website fixed, which has cost you and me over $500 million —just for the website! And no one has been fired?
Unbelievable gross incompetency! It could only happen in government. Private industry would not tolerate it.
My column ends up on Mike Ross’ website
Imagine my surprise when I randomly visited Mike Ross’ website and there on the opening page was a link to my column with the headline "Mike Ross Acts Like a Governor." They could have at least sent a thank you note.
What a waste of money
When I started this column a year or so ago, I told you that Halloween is my least favorite "holiday." Adults in weird or "sexy" costumes make me uncomfortable, although I don’t mind little cute kids in a princess or pirate costume. Yes, I’m old fashioned.
My pet peeve is teenagers with no costume and an attitude holding out a bag and expecting candy.
We spend over $2 billion on Halloween costumes, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation. The NRF reports that $1.2 billion of that will be for children’s costumes, $1.4 billion for adults and another $330 million for pets. Pets? Now, that’s nuts. How many hungry kids around the world could we have fed?
Let me hear from you. I’ll see you on the 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 and is a member of PRSA, IABC, AdFed and the Political Animals Club. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.