Back when a contingency of Maumelle leaders tried to pass an advertising and promotion tax, one of the benefits they touted was the possibility of building a splash-pad park. The timing wasn’t right, and the proposed tax never got City Council approval to go on the ballot.


Fast forward: two tax proposals pass and it’s a new day in Maumelle.


Now a group has decided to pursue the possibility to build not only a splash pad but also an all-inclusive playground to be located near Lake Valencia next door to the Maumelle Library. They are calling it “Play and Splash: A Park for Everyone.”


According to Council Member Rick Anderson, who has informally headed up the group, the goal is to raise $800,000 to complete the ambitious project. He says it probably will take at least two years.


The group is seeking grants and sponsors who will contribute money for naming rights and provide in-kind services or materials to reach their goal.


For more information on setting up a presentation for your business or organization, or if you would like to contribute, contact Phillip Raborn at 501-851-6990 or phillip@maumelleparksandrec.com.


If you want to learn more about the Maumelle Inclusive Playground and how you can help, there will be a committee meeting on April 24 at 6 p.m. in the South Room at the Jess Odom Community Center. Read more and see photos of the concept on their Facebook page, Maumelle Play and Splash.


I’ll post more information and updates as the project progresses. This is a park everyone should support.


Politicians depend on social media


We have several good legislative races shaping up, including contests for state Senate, state House of Representatives and Little Rock District Court, the last of which is actually a county-wide race. That’s what I’ve seen on social media, but I haven’t gotten some of the candidates to send me statements of their intention and credentials.


Sending out a basic announcement is Public Relations 101 — or maybe they don’t value anyone writing about their races.


I think many candidates put too much stock in social media being the core of their campaigns. I have been a campaign consultant for several successful candidates and I can tell you the keys to winning are: (1) raising money (for advertising, signs, etc.) (2) wearing out shoes (going to door-to-door and attending events), (3) having sore hands from shaking so many hands and (4) having a group of dedicated volunteers.


News releases help reporters write better articles about the candidates, their experience and why they want to run. It’s not the media’s job to figure that out. Sending a news release to the media is the easiest part, and serious voters like to read about the candidates in print. And serious voters influence other voters.


Local races shaping up


Rick Anderson says he’s not running and Chad Gardner and R.J. Mazzoni are in. The race for the Maumelle City Council Ward 2 race could be a good one. I have heard there will be a candidate running against Jess Holt — if Holt runs again. I also hear we might have a race for mayor. More as I know it.


I have also asked Gardner and Mazzoni to send me a news release with their bio information, etc. We’ll see.


Hole in the wall at Game Stop


I took the grandbuddies to the Great Clips for their semi-regular haircuts and, according to witnesses, we just missed seeing a vehicle ramming through the wall of the Game Stop video store just two doors down. Witnesses said a driver rounding the Sonic Drive-In lost control and the car jumped the curb and crashed through the building. They said the car wound up completely inside the store, pinning one of the Game Stop employees against the wall and causing quite a bit of damage. I’ve seen no report on the seriousness of the injuries. Owners of the Game Stop say the store will be closed about a month for repairs.


Final notes on Morningside Bagels


I was surprised to see this Facebook post from Roxanne Tackett in reaction to my column last week regarding the Morningside Bagels store closure:


Thank you, Neal, we have felt nothing but love and concern from so many, many friends, customers and even strangers. For us, it’s all about going forward. Forward as a family is first and foremost. Everyone has been very respectful of this need and have only been encouraging, never derogatory. The rest will fall into place. Our house sale is still on go because thankfully, the new owners are just wonderful and have not let this change their mind. The bagel shop has had approximately 30 parties interested in buying it. Quite a surprise and a huge blessing. Our goal is to sell it as a bagel shop not to part it out. We too want to be able to swing by, get our bagel, and visit with friends because that’s what we liked the best if all. Feeding the tummy and the soul.


We miss you all and love you guys.


Thank you,


The Tacketts


See you on the Boulevard.


Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, Maumelle news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.