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Editorial for October 22, 2014

Vote on the annexation as if the court system weren’t trying to take away your right to vote!

For or against, the ballot box is the way these things should be handled. The ballots have already been printed. Absentee ballots mailed out and some have already been marked and returned. Now headlines confuse the issue about whether we can vote, if it will be counted, if it will be litigated, whether there is any reason to vote either way on the subject.

There are soldiers carrying guns through the Middle East this very minute who marked their ballots last week to get them home on time. Either way they voted on the annexation issue, it doesn’t matter because while that soldier is fighting for our most sacred freedom-the vote-his vote got canceled by the court system…maybe.

Even if the “Stay” is issued by the Arkansas Supreme Court, some votes have been compromised by the news that the Circuit Court killed an election before it was held and how or whether the Supreme Court will react if at all.

This newspaper has not taken a stance on the annexation. No ads promoting either side. No letters for or against and we have received both. We have not written anything but the news. We do have a position on the court system taking away the vote after the ballot has been printed and mailed to those being shot at whilst protecting or extending liberty.

I understand wanting to remain rural. I think the city, the committee and the council have done all they could do to be fair.

Curiously, the matter will not end here. Not with this election, that gavel nor the influence of any one person or group. The matter will come up again, still be a crucible for the city administration and still vex property owners. I’ll bet you a barrel of ink that it will surface again, so go vote. Either way, GO VOTE!

No A&P Funds Accepted.

Where is you’re A&P Tax Money being spent? Who is benefiting from A&P advertising? Are the citizens and businesses getting their money’s worth? I’ve been ruminating over these issues for some time now.

Every newspaper has policy guidelines about what it accepts as advertising. We hope the ads we accept reflect Greenwood values. You know what I mean by that so I needn’t belabor the point and come off sounding pious.

Let me then, express some points about another source of advertising…the A&P (advertising and promotion tax).

1. I think the A&P tax is a good thing and I was in favor of it when it passed. I did not vote on it as mayor because there was no tie vote to break. Every restaurant or store that sells prepared food pays the tax to City Hall. It means that food here costs more and businesses have to report those sales to City Hall.

2. I appreciate the willingness to serve of those on the A&P Commission. They have big job and for the most part, I think they do it very well.

3. Please do not forget that the whole idea behind an A&P tax is to draw additional spenders to town. To events. To shop in our stores and eat in our restaurants, to buy gas, haircuts, 2×4’s, tires, etc.

4. The A&P Tax is not to be spent to make anyone feel like Santa Claus, not to be spent just to make us look like a nice place, a caring place or a community of kindhearted individuals and we are that. The A&P tax is intended to bring spenders to town…that’s what restaurateurs were told when it passed. They would be charging more, collecting more, reporting more and paying more to the city in exchange for more spenders being drawn here to offset that hassle. It was designed to give us a more prosperous business climate by drawing spenders here to our programs to spend money in our businesses.

5. It is our position that the A&P Tax should not be spent on ads in a local newspaper. If there is an event, a show, a fundraiser, a festival, a rodeo, a fair, etc., the news of it would be printed all over a good local newspaper…as news…not as paid advertising. That’s what a good hometown, home-focused newspaper should do to help the local economy, the local business community and the local community builders. So, spend those A&P dollars out there drawing others to town. Spend it in Fort Smith on signs along I-40, on Fort Smith radio, on yard signs in other towns. Heck, even spend it in the Fort Smith newspaper. We’ll get the news out here in Greenwood and we’ll do it for free when it’s news. That’s the least we can do for the businesses paying A&P taxes and collecting sales taxes…to help build a more prosperous business community. We all win that way.

So, that’s our policy. We don’t accept money from City Hall. We don’t get paid to publish notices or ordinances and we never will and we will not knowingly accept ads paid for with A&P money. We are in this together with the Greenwood business community and we don’t need money from City Hall to do it.

There’s an upcoming Merchant’s Holiday Open House. The event got A&P tax money to promote the hopefully successful event. Good use of the money. Our ad promoting that event for Greenwood businesses will be free. No A&P tax dollars will be spent in The Greenwood Tradition. That’s our gift to the business community, many of whom buy ads from us all year long.

For nearly three years, we have been blessed with modest success in a day and time when newspapers are going out of business all over and circulation rates are dropping to near nothing. It may not last, but if we succeed, it will not be on the taxes you pay to promote local prosperity in Greenwood, Arkansas where I remain,

Yours for a kinder tomorrow,

Kenneth Lawton Edwards, Editor    


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