No decision on Capitol building | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No decision on Capitol building

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 9:49 PM

If I were to guess, I'd guess grassroots organizing has presented a stumbling block for a chamber of commerce/insider fat cat and the city of Little Rock is doing all it can to buy more time for the fat cat. But that's just me.

The Capitol Zoning Commission was supposed to vote tonight on Mike Beebe pal John Burkhalter's proposal to build a five-story building at Woodlane and Sixth, in excess of current height requirements meant to protect view of the Capitol. I thought this was wired with a commission larded with Beebe appointees. But everybody who has a stake in the issue (except Burkhalter) opposes it, and there was some sentiment the Commission was set to give Burkhalter a defeat tonight.

Not yet.

This from Josh Gillispie, the lawyer who successfully challenged the Commission's effort to let Burkhalter build his building without first changing district height rules (the specific proposal on the agenda tonight).

There was no vote tonight. My understanding is that two hours before the meeting City Manager Bruce Moore called the commission and asked that the city be given another month to determine its position. Then Monte Moore, the city's representative, made a motion to that effect and it passed unanimously.

I can only speculate as to the city of Little Rock's motivation in doing this. The city has never not been a part of all this. Monte Moore was at the public comment hearing last month. They have had just as much time and access to the relevant information as all other players. It's a curious move on the part of the city. Surely there is no one who could stand to gain by pushing this vote to next month.

I can only hope the city will truly use this extra time to examine this issue with a critical and unbiased eye, and thereby come to the conclusion that this building, while great for John burkhalter, is bad for the city and bad for the state.

I'll be looking for Burkhalter's name on contriibutors to the city's campaign to pass a sales tax campaign complete with slush fund controlled by chamber of commerce insiders like Burkhalter.

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