Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Gog and Magog in Bella Vista

Old legislators never die, but sometimes they get involved in lawsuits that smell that way. Such is the current legal controversy in Benton County, where former State Representative David Matthews is representing real estate developer Cooper Communities, and former State Representative Timothy Hutchinson is representing a deposed member of the Bella Vista Property Owners' Association board.

You'll recall the allegedly legal but dishonest move made by Cooper Communities, Inc. to stuff the ballot box with 2,000 voting "micro-lots" created just before the Property Owners' Association election last year. As one ctizen explained, "Cooper Communities, by rules it established years ago, is entitled to a vote for each lot that it owns. To control the election of three new board members this year, Cooper created and voted 2, 000 new lots — each measuring 4 feet by 4 feet. Cooper voted its new lots, and behold, candidates it did not favor, such as Roger Norbeck, were defeated, and candidates expected to vote the Cooper line were elected."

It is almost amusing to watch as Republican Hutchinson, usually on the side of the developers as in the recent water impact fee controversy in Rogers, tries to stop the shenanigans of the developers at Cooper Communities, Inc. and protect the rights of legitimate homeowners. Then there is former Democrat Matthews, now said to be the willing mouthpiece for the corporate interests of SWEPCO against the concern of environmentalists, defending the corporate developers in the sham election.

It could be said, though, that David Matthews is finally standing up for the little guy in this case. Who else could live on one of those 4' X 4' lots in Bella Vista, right?

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