Video: Judge Wendell Griffen
Video: Dr. Anika Whitfield
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Little Rock City Directors voted to defer voting on an ordinance which would ban the use of sales tax revenue on the Technology Park if eminent domain is used by six months.
The measure, proposed by Director Ken Richardson, is supported by dozens of homeowners who fear losing their homes. Many spoke in support of the measure at Tuesday night's meeting.
Another ordinance to do a six month study on alternative sites passed. Dr. Mary Good, who sits on the Little Rock Tech Park Board, said that ordinance was not necessary since the board is already doing a study. She told the public Tuesday night that the Tech Park Board is getting a bad reputation unfairly. She says the tech park will help neighborhoods. But, those who fear being kicked out of their homes disagree if the park means they have to move.
"If their goal is to take our homes, then I certainly don’t like it, and I will fight it tooth and nail,” says Rohn Muse.
Muse leads the We Shall Not Be Moved Coalition, and, while he supports the Tech Park for the jobs it will create, he does not want it forcing him out of the neighborhood he has called home for 25 years.
“Why 6 months? Some people have suggested that there may be some ulterior motive, like it’s closer to the election time and they want the millage tax to pass, you know, and this makes them look good in the public’s eye, you know, to be supportive of the neighborhoods,” says Muse.
Muse, and his coalition, strongly suggest building elsewhere.
One of the 23 alternate sites the coalition has picked out is the former Affiliated Foods building empty since 2009 when the company went bankrupt.
Two other options include the old Aerospace Education Center, near the airport, and Ray Winder Field, now owned by U.A.M.S. and within five minutes of the hospitals, which the Tech Park Authority prefers.