Richardson deferred; Kumpuris prevails | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Richardson deferred; Kumpuris prevails

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2012 at 8:30 PM

The City Board of Directors tonight voted to approve Director Dean Kumpuris' ordinance (initially a resolution) directing the Little Rock Technology Park Authority to give further study to alternate locations for the tech park, but turned back Director Ken Richardson's ordinance that would have prohibited the use of city tax dollars to exercise eminent domain to take residential property, voting to defer action on it for six months.

Though Authority board member Dr. Mary Good told the board she didn't think Kumpuris' ordinance was necessary because the board already plans to consider locations other than the three neighborhoods it has already identified, Kumpuris disagreed, adding he thought the Authority's requirement that the tech park site be within five minutes of partner institutions UAMS and UALR was "a bunch of malarky," because "once you're in your car, you're in your car" and such close proximity isn't required.

The votes came after the board heard from several speakers supporting Richardson's ordinance, including Ashley Bachelder, a student at UAMS College of Public Health who reported on a class study that found distrust among residents of the areas currently under consideration by the board — all south of I-630 — of the Authority, a point that Good later expressed surprise at. Good told the board that the Authority was feeling like the "Gang of Three" and she still believed the neighborhoods (minus a 100 residences or so) would benefit from the park. State Sen. Joyce Elliott told the board that the Authority's decision to look south of I-630 for the park amounted to "pulling off the scab" from the injury done to the neighborhood by the construction of the interstate, and that approving Richardson's proposal would "go a long way toward healing" that injury. Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission member Akasha Hull said building in any of the three proposed areas would hurt minority residents and asked that the Authority board meetings be open and conducted in a "non-intimidating" way. Circuit Judge Wendell Griffin told the city directors he was like the Temptations and "not too proud to beg" for them to pass Richardson's ordinance.

Griffin also wondered why there was no staff recommendation on Richardson's ordinance, a question Richardson put to City Manager Bruce Moore. Moore responded that he believes the authority "got off on the wrong foot" in its rush to site the park on one of three residential neighborhoods. But, he said, the city needed to exercise its right of eminent domain to complete the acquisition of land for the Clinton Presidential Library and if staff had to make a recommendation, it would be for deferral. Richardson said he was amazed at director Doris Wright's motion to defer consideration of his ordinance given widespread public opposition to the Authority's ability to use eminent domain expressed to board members.

Earlier, Richardson won swift approval of his resolution to ask the state legislature to amend the Arkansas Code to require entities with the power of eminent domain to submit statements of financial interest. The act creating the Little Rock Technology Park Authority does not have that language; authority members volunteered their financial information after pressure from park partner UAMS.

Tags: , ,



Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock


    Contrary to rumor, Live Life Chill, the bar/restaurant in the erstwhile Revolution Taco and Tequila Lounge space at the corner of Cantrell and President Clinton Avenue, is not closed. Service manager Lindsey McFadin called the Times this afternoon to say a rumor the bar had closed was killing business; by 3 p.m., no one had been in. The Times, too, had heard the rumor from a number of sources. What has changed, McFadin said, is that the bar is now only open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • New gallery for SoMa: M2

    M2 Gallery, located for 12 years in the Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center, has made the move to 1300 Main St. in the hopping SoMa neighborhood and will hold its Grand (Re)opening from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 30.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • Entergy agrees to end coal-burning in Arkansas in Sierra Club settlement

    Under a settlement agreement filed in federal court today, Entergy Arkansas has agreed to quit burning coal at its White Bluff plant by the end of 2028, its Independence plant by the end of 2030 and to shutter its remaining operating plant at Lake Catherine by the end of 2027.
    • Nov 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Among the last words from Kenneth Williams: 'Finger Lickin' Good Fried Chicken'

    What's purported to be a final-words essay from condemned prisoner Kenneth Williams was distributed today by Deborah Robinson, a freelance journalist in Arkansas.  He reflects on his execution, his victims, reactions of inmates and big servings of fried chicken, which he says are given to all inmates on execution days.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017


  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation