Tuesday, September 15, 2009


The proposed millage to build the new high school in Fayetteville will be defeated. In a special election, turnout is generated by passion or fear. It seems to us that those peddling fear are more passionate, which will trump the organizational and educational efforts of those willing to take a chance on the future.

For what it's worth, the Iconoclast staff is supporting the millage by 5-2, but we think those who agree with us are less likely to turn out for the vote. If it is another of those One-Vote elections like the road impact fees, we will take a look at the records and post up a list of prominent non-voters to blame.


  1. 42.5% For
    57.5% Against

  2. So, you're saying that 2/7 of Jonah is motivated by fear and are unwilling to "take a chance on the future"? Wow, 5 of Jonah think that 2 of Jonah suck.

  3. Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes.

  4. I'm confused, who exactly is peddling fear? I may be missing your point; but the way I ‎read your post, you appear to suggest that the opposition is promoting fear. ‎

    Is the school falling down? Is Fayetteville truly experiencing a surge in population ‎growth? Should Fayetteville really fear that we won't get some surplus tax credits if we ‎don't vote for this project?‎

    This info isn't coming from the opposition.‎

  5. "All that is necessary . . . is that good men do nothing."

  6. Isn’t there a fallback plan ? Is this a case of NO = All Is Lost and we’ll sit on our hands and say “tough luck” to the community? The public might have hoped for a suggestion from the school district that there will be ways to update the school on that site in some reasonable progressive way even if the most golden of dreams are dashed. The all or nothing approach is a kind of bullying, one might say even “peddling fear.”

  7. Actually, it isn't really "all or nothing," if you think of the original master plan as "all." The School Board pared back the original plan considerably, even to the point of leaving some $30,000 of structure on the site.

    You can only have one of these elections a year, and having alternative ballot proposals is rather impractical.

  8. Jonah don't know shit. Early and absentee vote totals are 1175 for the millage and 630 against it.

  9. From Alan Wilbourn's twitter page...

    No new FHS: 4085 for and 5954 against


  10. Now we can focus on raising student performance instead of property values.

  11. Enjoy a very short victory, anti's. Don't think you have heard the last of the community who got out today in the positive. Got knocked down, but we'll get up again. See you soon.

  12. Short victory? Don't you get it? The real battle was over a ridiculous amount of excess versus a more reasonable approach. In the next round, the proposal will be more reasonable. That's not a short victory, that's the future. Fayetteville will get it's new high school, but they won't get this one. That victory is eternal.

  13. Failure of millage for humongous high-school project has to thrill several liberal politicians who spoke in favor of it but knew it was wrong
    The old and poor prevailed, for a change. Quashing the millage increase wasn't a teabagger victory but a peace and justice old people's victory. Democratic candidates for next year's elections need to pay attention and realize who will elect them if they are to win.

  14. Not a teabagger victory? Huh? The "old and the poor," God bless 'em, are not 60% of the vote. The Ayn Randers made that margin.

    Might as well change the name of the town to Atlas Shrugged, Arkansas. New motto: We Can't Afford It.

  15. mrearl you're an idiot. There's like 5 teabaggers in all of Fayetteville.

  16. For thou didst cast me into the deep,
    Into the heart of the seas,
    And the flood was round about me;
    All thy waves and billows passed over me.
    Jonah 2:3

    No, there is NO PLAN 'B.'
    Possibly the Board should do a real poll (not a foreordained conclusion / push poll) of the aginners. Worst case: the no was not so much about this particular $ amount or project, but a sense of severe dissatisfaction & mistrust created by years of tendencies to secrecy, self-interest (New Solutions anyone?), and incompetence, whether real or perceived. If so, none of this will be easy to fix.
    It is easy to frame issues in a yes/no format, much easier to manipulate the outcome that way. But if you only have 2 sides at the table, possibility of a real result is remote.
    Much harder is to form consensus.
    In the political sphere if you want to gitter done, you just pick a number in the middle.
    Problem here is, don't know about other folks, but I've no use for 1/2 polluted water & food, 1/2 educated kids, or 1/2 corrupted public officials.
    What a mess.

  17. mrearl - It’s not doing your “side” any good to insult people who studied and voted against a needlessly extravagant plan and who aren’t teabaggers and likely don’t share any of the Right’s reasons for opposing the millage. There have been several good statements on local blogs that show the issue owed its defeat to more complex opposition than you want to admit. The ballot mandated a choice between This and That, but the spectrum of opinion has many colors.

  18. All such ballots are basically binary. Theoretically you could have multiple, alternative tax propositions on a single ballot, but it would get pretty complicated pretty quickly and might be rife with opportunities for mischief and unintended consequences (suppose more than one passes, or all get a plurality but none a majority, etc.?)

    And yes, fellow idiot, I know tea party turnouts are small around here, but I seriously think you underestimate the influence of a vocal, irate minority. The negative vote got to 60% with the ballots of those who will vote against any tax, every tax, not just the poor and the old, and of those skeptical of public education as a concept, it seems to me. But I'm willing to be corrected by more specific data. Indeed, I'd be happy to be wrong.

  19. TeaBaggers claiming a victory yesterday is like a kid who finds a dollar on the sidewalk and runs home to brag to his mom about how much money he made.

    It was the wrong plan. Many teachers and educators oppose a mega school for it's negative effect upon the learning process and upon young people's lives and how they relate to the school and community. This proposed modular campus of equals did not solve the problem.

    Wrong time in our current economic experience to seek this. Too much uncertainty exists to strap folks with higher tax bills.

    Wrong people. Surely a new crew will find a better spokesperson than Winborn.

    Wrong ballot issue. Should have been a sunset clause in the proposal.

    Eventually people will realize two high schools work better for everyone except the COACH.

  20. The school board messed this up. All of the indecision and arguing, then deciding not to go with the architect and GC that had stuck with them through all of that bickering but to open it up to more proposals...what a bunch of idiots.

  21. If the district had gone with the architect and GC that had stuck with them through all of that bickering, it would have looked like the cronyism attached to the county parking garage.

    Sending out a request for proposals is standard for a project like a new high school. It helps to insure that the requirements of the project are analyzed thoroughly and from several perspectives, and that, budget being paramount in such projects, the economy of the project can be addressed. It is, after all, a competition not just of aesthetics, but of buildability.