[Warning: Gonzo Journalism. This article is biased, cynical, and sarcastic. If you want to know what really happened you’ll need to spend 25¢ on a audio disk available during business hours at City Hall]
The West Fork City Council works for free. If it were a pay job, one would think they’re working on an hourly rate because they can take two and half hours to do an hour’s worth of work.
The Animal Control Ordinance didn’t get approved; it was misplaced again. The representative from Windstream was a no-show so the time was spent with comments by audience members trying to convince the six holdouts on the council that we are, in fact, living in the twenty first century. One audience member suggested that if they didn’t get with it soon, they might miss the whole internet thing.
Alderman Joan Wright presented a handout of what a web site could look like. There were no comments from the members. Alderman Julie Shafer wanted to know how she could find out when the website committee meets (they’ve been meeting for six months). No one said the obvious – if we had a website, the time and place of all meetings would be posted there.
They did agree that one master list of people and organizations that should and/or must be informed of meetings to satisfy Freedom of Information requirements was a good idea. However, consensus began to erode over the question of how to make that list available to the public. Nothing is ever easy with this group. It’s as though Open Government is an elusive concept to several (maybe most) of the council members.
They still couldn’t pin down a date for West Fest. There might be a committee for this; they seemed pretty sure about that. Local businessman Joe Wingate explained to the council that food venders come to the festival in order to make money. More venders allowed means less money for each vendor. No comment from council.
Harps. The Agenda noted “Application for Sales of Alcohol.” West Fork Township is dry; ain’t gonna happen. Besides that, rumor has it that the Baptists bought up all the liquor store permits years ago. The Observer fact checked that a few years ago.
[THE FACTS: Washington County is a wet county but there are exceptions. The DRY TOWNSHIPS are Cane Hill, Crawford, Greenland, Price, Starr Hill, Valley, West Fork White River, Winslow and Vinyard and the City of Prairie Grove and City of Farmington. It’s been that way since 1945. If a township wants to put the issue to be wet on the ballot then 38% of registered voters will need to sign a ballot initiative. If you want to know more about WEST FORK TOWNSHIP click here.]
The Harps representative was at the meeting to try to get something settled with their request for a sign ordinance variance. He was at the Planning Commission meeting last week and told to take his request to the council. The council couldn’t figure it out. The Harps Representative, after two visits to West Fork still doesn’t have a decision on the sign. How do you spell dysfunctional?
No budget talk. No treasurer’s report. The mayor gave a garden market report.
There were many more people in the audience than usual; some were candidates for office. A video camera was set up in the room. The Observer/Zephyr didn’t ask who they were – it wasn’t us but we were glad to see that happen.