I attended last week’s meeting of the Political Animals Club held at the Governor’s Mansion. The occasion was the annual address by both political party chairmen. For the first time, Vince Insalaco was representing the Democratic Party (blue team) and for the third time, Doyle Webb represented the Republican Party (red team).

It was Mr. Webb who drew the line in the sand and said that there are two separate teams, blue and red. Mr. Insalaco seemed to be truly excited about the party’s lineup of candidates, who in his words will carry on the great work of Gov. Mike Beebe. His "winner’s list" included gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross, Second Congressional District candidate Patrick Henry Hays, Fourth Congressional District candidate James Lee Witt and, of course, Senate incumbent Mark Pryor. He also said a few more candidates might announce their intentions very soon.

Mr. Webb wasn’t as specific on candidates with the exception of Congressman Tom Cotton’s bid for the U.S. Senate. He predicated a victory in that race and that the party would continue its run to keep control of both Arkansas’ legislative bodies.

You have to give the Republicans credit. They have the majority in the state House and have taken over many of the constitutional offices including secretary of state and lieutenant governor. I predict they will lose both of those positions and some seats in the legislature. Out-of-state money bought several of those races and elected some people that had no business being in office.

I’m not sure you have to pick a team to participate in politics and government. Look for the candidate that represents your viewpoint and would make a difference representing you.

This will be a landmark election with many important races to be decided. The real winner? The television stations. They will mop up with every available commercial already bought as we get closer to the primaries. Get that remote ready.

Live from Maumelle, it’s the city council!

I’m not sure exactly why but the Maumelle City Council has decided it needs to be on TV and has approved an almost $15,000 purchase of video equipment. I’m not sure if it’s live on cable, streaming video or what. It is my understanding state Rep. Mark Lowery obtained the funds through a grant of some sort. Seems we could have found something more important to drop that kind of money on.

Golf cart ordinance is dangerous

Our city council had a second reading of a proposal that would allow residents to drive golf carts anywhere in Maumelle except on highways and county roads, which would include Maumelle Boulevard. The third reading and vote will come up at the November 18 meeting.

The existing ordinance allows cart driving from home to a golf course and back. The new ordinance will allow driving anywhere on city streets, but the cart must be equipped with headlights and taillights and the driver must be 16 or older and a licensed driver.

Mayor Watson took to the airwaves and said the following about the ordinance:

"I’m just concerned about having more golf carts on the street and having the possibility of collision between a golf cart and motor vehicle. The golf cart has no seat belt, no safety equipment in it and I just see the golf cart would be the loser if a collision were to happen between a golf cart and standard vehicle."

Watson says he also fears that drivers under 16 will get behind the wheel. (quote courtesy of arkansasmatters.com)

Police chief Sam Williams is also opposed to the ordinance revision and there seems to be some confusion on whether the carts have to be insured.

I agree with the mayor and chief on the potential of a horrible accident should a golf cart collide with a car or truck. I have seen many younger kids driving around their neighborhoods in my years in Maumelle. I say we keep the ordinance the way it is written and not wait on a tragedy to make us regret this new ordinance. Maybe Rep. Lowery, Senators Sanders and English could amend the state law allowing scooters. If a scooter engine is less than 50 cc, the driver has to only be 10 years of age! That’s ridiculous.

See you on the Boulevard. And watch out for scooters and golf carts!

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 neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.