RE: investigations, recalls and signs

By Rob Patrick

This and That:[more]

I admit I’m not a news reporter. I fact, I wouldn’t dare to even claim to be a journalist though I’ve got a degree that indicates as much. (It’s actually in broadcasting.)

I pretended to be a news director once on the radio in Fayetteville and actually got paid for it but that didn’t last more than a few months. When I first moved to Bryant in 1988, I interviewed for a job at KARN but they were not fooled.

I am grateful for the work of Jamie Miller who reports on City Council and school board meetings for BryantDaily.com. And I’m looking for someone — may have found somebody actually — to assist her; someone who will have more availability during the day for reporting.

In the meantime, however, there certainly seems to be a lot going on in Bryant that’s capturing the attention of residents as well as the media in Little Rock and beyond.

Let me get to this first:

If a person is accused of misconduct (sexual or otherwise) and an official investigation is undertaken and it gets in the news, what happens when the investigation is dropped?

Does it get as much attention in the media?

Is the reputation of that person — the identity of whom many may have figured out as the subject of said investigation — ever the same?

As a Catholic, I know far too well how that works. The guilty and the falsely accused are treated the same at the outset but the latter, when the truth comes out, never seem to get the same attention. And the stigma remains, all too often.

Of course, the media says the public has a right to know. But at what point along the way? At this point, if the investigation doesn’t lead to anything, we actually know nothing.

* * *

Yes, there is a petition started by Alderman Adrian Hensley and his allies to force a recall election of Mayor Jill Dabbs. It’s the latest chapter in a series of accusations, assertions and innuendo volleyed back and forth between those who opposed the Mayor’s election and those that supported it.

Both sides have charged or hinted that the other has been corrupt, unethical and a bane to the public interest.

Once again the Little Rock media has gotten hold of some of the aspects of the political and personal animus and have blown it out of proportion to gain viewers and readers. And a few more folks have become aware of it because of that. But, on the whole, a lot of Bryant residents see it for what it is, a tempest in the proverbial teapot. It’s personal, it’s political, it’s irrelevant.

Of course, those close to the situation believe, often breathlessly, that it’s all vital to the future of the city. Naturally, they’re referring to the future of the city as they see it.

Many folks have only become aware of any discord at all with the headlines and handwringing regarding the call for the recall.

Meanwhile, the real issues the city government deals with that affect our daily lives don’t get nearly as much public attention.

Hopefully soon, BryantDaily.com will be in a position once again to play a bigger role in changing that.

* * *

Does the city of Bryant need a sign ordinance?

Here’s my two cents (which, I admit, is worth about a penny):

For a business community with so many potential customers driving down the interstate, it seems to me that any local sign ordinance would have to be very limited in nature.

I lived in Fayetteville when a monster of a sign ordinance was adopted. Proponents felt that business signs detracted from the supposed natural beauty of the city — of course, few towns have a higher percentage of “field hippies” than Fayetteville, longing for a time when we could return to an agrarian society.

The primary result was a great increase of businesses and industries moving into Springdale, Rogers and Bentonville.

* * *

The lengthy ongoing battle over what path an alternate north-south route between the interstate and the airport area should take is a tough one. The people along the proposed routes bought their land and homes for a more rural (or rural feeling) life. On the other hand, Reynolds Road is not going to get any less congested as the city continues to grow.

I’m afraid somebody will have to bite the bullet on this one and allow for the thoroughfare in their area for the sake of the rest of the residents who have to travel from one side of town to the other.

Whoever that turns out to be, we will appreciate your sacrifice.


4 comments

  1. Chuck

    Rob, keep up the good work and thanks for letting us know you are working to make Bryant Daily even better. I look forward to seeing more coverage concerning city government.

  2. Mayor Dabbs

    Thanks Rob for keeping Bryant Daily going and for all your efforts to make it better. It serves a great need in our community.

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