Thursday, January 7, 2016

Arts Center bond issue campaign amends filing

Posted By on Thu, Jan 7, 2016 at 6:58 AM

The Committee for Arts and History, the ad hoc group backing approval of a $37.5 million bond issue to improve and expand the Arkansas Arts Center, filed an amended campaign organization statement with the Ethics Commission this week that omits Stacy Hurst as a co-chair of the committee.

Hurst is a former city director who was appointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lead the Arkansas Department of Heritage. The department's interaction with museums and a political appointee's participation in a tax-supported ballot initiative had drawn some questions.

No reason was given for the change in the filing. Hurst was not present at the opening news conference for the bond issue campaign earlier this week.

The city has already increased the hotel room tax by 2 cents on the dollar to support the bond issue. If voters reject the bond issue Feb. 9, the money will still be collected and split between the local convention bureau and city parks.

As yet, there's nothing on file to indicate sources of funding for the committee, which has said it will also pay for the $116,000 in special election costs as well as any expense of persuading the expected light turnout of voters to support the issue, which also will contribute some help to the military museum and MacArthur Park.

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