Feb 282017
 

by Clay Herrmann

A petition initiative resulting in a special election to return Hot Springs to Alermanic Government was attempted twice in the History of Hot Springs, first in 1990 and  again in 2013. The City Manager form of government survived both of those elections, the most recent on May 14, 2013. Despite the best efforts of partisans on both sides, low voter turnout characterized both elections (as is typical for off-calendar special elections). Success in getting out the vote is obviously key to winning for either side, and because voter turnout is almost always a small percentage of eligible voters in Special Elections,  a small and motivated minority often decides the question being voted on, while most eligible voters are either apathetic no-shows or are else simply unaware of the voting opportunity.

The Arkansas statute governing the process requires a four year wait after a failure before another election for the purpose of returning to the aldermanic form of government can be called. That waiting period is nearly up. In the current political climate with inflamed passions regarding multiple forced annexations, water and sewer connection policies, lawsuits upon lawsuits, disputes about the eligibility of some City Directors to hold office, and other issues of heated contention,  will 2017 be the year for Hot Springs to retire all city directors and bid farewell to the city manager form of government adopted in 1986?

Looking back at the last effort may be instructive for interested parties on both sides of the question. The following video is of a “get-out-the-early-vote rally” by 2013 opponents of a return to Aldermanic Government:

Opponents spent thousands on newspaper ads, mail-outs, radio, and television advertising. Following is a 30 second TV commercial:

The following video is a presentation by Hot Springs City Clerk and Historian, Lance Spicer, about the possibility of a return to the aldermanic form of government.

In advance of the May 14, 2013 election, the Hot Springs City Attorney declared that all but six of the initial petition signatures turned in were invalid … but the Arkansas Attorney General, in an official AG Opinion, disagreed.

A Brief History

  • April 8, 1986: In a vote of 4,018 “FOR” to 2,663 “AGAINST” the city adopted the City Manager Form Of Government in a Special Election called as a result of a petition for that purpose.
  • December 4, 1990: In a Special Election called as result of a “PETITION FOR ALDERMANIC GOVERNMENT”, the result was no change in the form of government with a vote of 4,292 (44%)  “FOR” to 5,554 (56%) “AGAINST”.
  • May 14, 2013: A second attempt to return Hot Springs to the Aldermanic Form of Government failed, with only 242 citizens casting ballots “FOR” to 2,962 “AGAINST”.  Total turnout for the Special Election was 2,962, or 10.68% of the registered Hot Springs voters.

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 Posted by at 4:23 pm
Jan 232014
 
God & Country Concert  - Friday January 31 6-8 PM

This is a “God & Country” themed music concert, NOT a political rally, however ALL candidates for elected office with constituents in Garland or Saline County are cordially invited to attend, and to meet and mingle with potential voters in attendance before and after the concert. Entourages of candidate supporters are welcome as well! Candidates may bring […]

 Posted by at 2:40 pm
Oct 232013
 
Convention of States - Arkansas

(The following post is by guest contributor Mark Alspaugh, Arkansas State Director, Convention of States Project) The Convention Of States Project Your visit to this website suggests that your political viewpoint reflects a centrist or conservative perspective.  If so, please read on.  Here you can learn what every citizen like you can do to help […]

 Posted by at 10:47 pm
May 142013
 

(After-election remarks regarding the May 14, 2013 Hot Springs, Arkansas Special Election for city residents to vote FOR or AGAINST return to the aldermanic form of city government:  The organized opposition representing a coalition of the entrenched “powers that be” in Hot Springs, employed a marketing professional to head their campaign to get out the vote AGAINST the proposed […]

 Posted by at 11:00 pm
May 082013
 

Supporters of voting “FOR” return to the aldermanic form of government have made extraordinary efforts to provide opportunities for both sides of this current election issue to appear in public debate, at moderated discussion forums, and in panel discussion in order to, in a fair and balanced manner,  provide opportunities for the electorate to have […]

 Posted by at 11:02 am
May 022013
 

“Hot Springs City Manager” George Pritchett VS Aldermanic Advocate – Jock MacGregor: Glenn Gallas, Garland County TEA Party Chairman, moderating at a public forum hosted by the Garland County TEA Party at Phil’s Family Restaurant on April 24, 2013. NOTE: repeated invitations were broadly extended to numerous representatives of the “SAVE OUR CITY COMMITTEE” to […]

 Posted by at 3:01 pm