Monday, December 1, 2008

Crabbed Coverage and Council Bluffs

Well, just when I was ready to give the Northwest Arkansas Times a break, reporter Dustin Tracy writes a piece on the coming relationship between the new mayor and the city council. He starts off with the claim that there are only six aldermen on the council then proceeds to be selective in those he chose to interview. He did not bother to seek any comment from Mayor-elect Lioneld Jordan.

Ace reporter Tracy identifies Ward 3 Alderman
Bobby Ferrell as a Jordan supporter who anticipates working well with the new mayor, and he also includes some favorable comments from Alderman-elect Sarah Lewis, who continues to play both sides in the post-election summary. There are no comments from Ward 4 Alderman Shirley Lucas, who supported Jordan, nor from Ward 2 Alderman Kyle Cook, who didn't appear to do much for anyone during the campaign. Coody supporter and Ward 3 Alderman Robert Rhoads was also overlooked by Tracy, but he is easy enough to overlook.

Coody supporter and Ward 1 Alderman Brenda Thiel said she would reserve judgment but thought that Jordan would have an easier time because of his experience. Ward 1 Alderman Adella Gray, a strong Coody supporter, continued her negative remarks about Jordan even after the campaign. Bitterly, she said, "I can’t remember one thing he's done to help make the council think as one." It is a safe bet that she will be an obstructionist on anything Jordan proposes during the remaining two years of her term, but she has so little influence on the Council that it won't make much difference.

Curiously absent from those asked to comment was Matthew Petty, Alderman-elect from Ward 2. Petty was among the most vocal of Coody supporters, and Richard Drake pointed out that Tracy easily could have referenced Petty's website attacks on Jordan or the video attacks posted on his Facebook account. Petty would not likely have been very effective anyway, considering his earlier emails attacking Alderman Ferrell, but his strident campaign rhetoric probably assures that he will have a strained relationship with the Mayor and a majority of the Council come January.

Our prediction is that Jordan will do just fine. He will have the support
of a majority of the City Council, and his experience will serve him well.

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