Perhaps it is the battle of the acronyms in Sherwood — COST verses FACES. And in the middle of them are North Little Rock Electric, and Sherwood residents provided electric service by NLRED, Entergy, First Electric Cooperative of Jacksonville, and the municipal coffers of Sherwood and North Little Rock.
COST stands for Citizens of Sherwood Together and is the group is responsible for garnering about 1,400 signatures about two months ago to put on a citywide ballot Sherwood’s franchise agreement adopted by the Sherwood City Council last November.
The vote is set for Tuesday, May 14.
Since that time, another group has formed known as FACES that stands for Facts about Customers’ Electric Services.
FACES supports Sherwood City Council vote that picked NLR Electric and want to see Ordinance 1953 upheld by the voting public on May 14.
FACES held its first public meeting on April 10, at Sylvan Hills Methodist Church, 9921 Arkansas 107 in Sherwood.
In an official statement before the meeting FACES stated its intent, which is, "FACES supports the continuation of the contract with North Little Rock Electric Department and notes the Sherwood City Council, the Citizens Committee and outside consultants all said Sherwood should stay with North Little Rock Electric for its electricity service. The reasons for this include reliability, commitment, cost and transparency."
FACES Chairwoman Beverly Williams said she was encouraged by the turnout at the first public forum.
"We had 22 people there," Williams said. "With the storm, that was acceptable."
FACES has a core group of eight people who have lived in Sherwood a long time. Williams said she has lived in Sherwood for 40 years.
Prior to the meeting, FACES volunteers have interviewed officials from North Little Rock Electric, Entergy, First Electric Coop, and the Arkansas Public Service Commission in an effort to conduct a fact-finding mission to compare the three utilities and determine which one would best serve Sherwood.
Williams said she has been a long-time support of North Little Rock Electric. She lives in its current coverage area and desires strongly to retain the utility as her home’s provider.
She said the company has provided her outstanding service, especially during bad storms when large trees fell in her back yard that resulted in her electric going out.
She said in a very short amount of time about several utility trucks from NLR Electric came to her region and worked feverishly to restore the power and she regained it in a matter of hours.
Another FACES member, Amy Sanders, said she also supports NLR Electric.
"Our goal is to win the election," Sanders said. "We believe North Little Rock Electric is the best provider. See no reason to change. We want to support the council in their vote. We want to run a positive campaign."