Feb 282017

by Clay Herrmann

A petition initiative resulting in a special election to return Hot Springs to Alermanic Government was attempted twice in the History of Hot Springs, first in 1990 and  again in 2013. The City Manager form of government survived both of those elections, the most recent on May 14, 2013. Despite the best efforts of partisans on both sides, low voter turnout characterized both elections (as is typical for off-calendar special elections). Success in getting out the vote is obviously key to winning for either side, and because voter turnout is almost always a small percentage of eligible voters in Special Elections,  a small and motivated minority often decides the question being voted on, while most eligible voters are either apathetic no-shows or are else simply unaware of the voting opportunity.

The Arkansas statute governing the process requires a four year wait after a failure before another election for the purpose of returning to the aldermanic form of government can be called. That waiting period is nearly up. In the current political climate with inflamed passions regarding multiple forced annexations, water and sewer connection policies, lawsuits upon lawsuits, disputes about the eligibility of some City Directors to hold office, and other issues of heated contention,  will 2017 be the year for Hot Springs to retire all city directors and bid farewell to the city manager form of government adopted in 1986?

Looking back at the last effort may be instructive for interested parties on both sides of the question. The following video is of a “get-out-the-early-vote rally” by 2013 opponents of a return to Aldermanic Government:

Opponents spent thousands on newspaper ads, mail-outs, radio, and television advertising. Following is a 30 second TV commercial:

The following video is a presentation by Hot Springs City Clerk and Historian, Lance Spicer, about the possibility of a return to the aldermanic form of government.

In advance of the May 14, 2013 election, the Hot Springs City Attorney declared that all but six of the initial petition signatures turned in were invalid … but the Arkansas Attorney General, in an official AG Opinion, disagreed.

A Brief History

  • April 8, 1986: In a vote of 4,018 “FOR” to 2,663 “AGAINST” the city adopted the City Manager Form Of Government in a Special Election called as a result of a petition for that purpose.
  • December 4, 1990: In a Special Election called as result of a “PETITION FOR ALDERMANIC GOVERNMENT”, the result was no change in the form of government with a vote of 4,292 (44%)  “FOR” to 5,554 (56%) “AGAINST”.
  • May 14, 2013: A second attempt to return Hot Springs to the Aldermanic Form of Government failed, with only 242 citizens casting ballots “FOR” to 2,962 “AGAINST”.  Total turnout for the Special Election was 2,962, or 10.68% of the registered Hot Springs voters.


Jan 272017
Irrepressible Hettie Lou Brooks - 86 Years Young

The irrepressible 86 years young, Hettie Lou Brooks, was keynote speaker for the 2017 Garland County TEA Party Patriot Awards Banquet at the Five Star Dinner Theatre in Hot Springs, Arkansas on January 27, 2017. (Hettie Lou was awarded the group’s Patriots Lifetime Achievement Award last year, but was unable to attend because of a […]

2017 Patriot Awards Banquet (Five Star Dinner Theatre)

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Jan 182017
2017 Patriot Awards Banquet (Five Star Dinner Theatre)

 – Notice submitted by Tom Wilkins – Five Star Dinner Theatre – The 2017 Patriot Awards Banquet featuring guest speaker Hettie Lou Brooks will be held at the Five Star Dinner Theatre on Thursday, January 26 at 6pm.  This second annual event features speeches, professional entertainment, great food and honoring great civic leaders that have […]

Jan 132017
Stanley Civil Rights Suit Filed In Federal Court

A federal civil rights lawsuit was filed today (Friday the 13th, 2017) two years and a day after a small army composed of approximately 30 government agents descended upon the Garland County residence of Hal & Michelle Stanley and seven children still living at home at that time.  The occupation of their property included numerous […]

Jan 042017
Senator Alan Clark Reports on JPR and Needed DHS Reforms

Senator Alan Clark was featured guest presenter at the January 3, 2016 Hot Springs Village TEA Party Luncheon Program at Charlie’s Pizza Pub. Hal & Michelle Stanley and attorney Joe Churchwell were also in attendance and participated in the program. At the request of multiple concerned constituents who contacted him, State Senator Alan Clark became […]

Catherine Silk on FBI Uniform Crime Reports & Annexation

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Dec 162016

LETTER TO THE EDITOR I am writing in response to the November 29, 2016, article written by David Showers titled, “City attributes reduction in crime to new jail”. Having spent the last three decades married to a law enforcement professional who has over 15 years in an upper-management/leadership role in both domestic offices as well […]

Protect Families From DCFS Rally

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Nov 212016
Protect Families From DCFS Rally

Garland County Attorney Joe Churchwell, Searcy attorney Paul Love, and Cumulus Media radio personality Doc Washburn, address an audience from the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol on November 19, 2016. The “Protect Families From DCFS Rally” was scheduled on short-notice following announcement that Senator Alan Clark (viewed by supporters as a hard-working champion for […]

Access Denied to Public Records

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Oct 272016
Access Denied to Public Records

Garland County citizens who were anticipating access to public records in order to answer questions related to financial malfeasance in the County Judge’s  office, have now been denied access to public records related to “STATE OF ARKANSAS VS. KRISTI LYN GOSS” by order of Circuit Judge Marcia Hearnsberger.     Subject: FOIA Request – State […]

Does Joshua Drake Endorse Clay Herrmann for County Judge?

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Oct 162016
Does Joshua Drake Endorse Clay Herrmann for County Judge?

2014 Green Party Arkansas Gubernatorial Candidate and local attorney, Joshua Drake, responded to a Facebook post of a 60 second radio ad by Independent Conservative Garland County Judge Candidate, Clay Herrmann. After hearing the ad he commented under the Facebook post: “While we might need a change it should not be just any extremist we […]

No Time for TEA but Plenty for LGBT

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Oct 102016

Incumbent Garland County Judge, Rick Davis, and Independent Conservative County Judge Candidate, Clay Herrmann, both spoke at a candidate forum hosted by the Hot Springs LGBT Alliance on October 9, 2016. The invitation to participate in the forum was extended to all local candidates in contested races, and was moderated by former Garland County Election […]

Oct 022016
County Officials Urged to Circle the Wagons

by Clay Herrmann In an email sent on behalf of the county judge’s legal counsel, county officials are urged to circle the wagons in order to deny interested citizens or the press information regarding investigation of financial matters in the County Judge’s Office. Concurrent investigations have been initiated by the Office of Legislative Audit, Prosecuting Attorney […]

So Others May Live

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Oct 012016
So Others May Live

by Clay Herrmann 1962 Air Force Academy graduate and CH-3C “Jolly Green” pilot, Captain Jerry Singleton, had only been in Southeast Asia a month when his search, rescue, and recovery craft was shot down in North Vietnam. He had been assigned to the 38th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron based at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, and […]

Dr. Mike Hernandez on 4.4-mill Property Tax Increase Proposal

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Sep 082016
Dr. Mike Hernandez on 4.4-mill Property Tax Increase Proposal

Dr. Mike Hernandez, Superintendent of Hot Springs School District, was guest presenter for the Garland County TEA Party on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 at the Hibachi Sushi Buffet in Hot Springs. It was unusual in that Dr. Hernandez is leading the campaign to raise the millage rate 4.4 mills for a range of facility renovations […]

Doyle Webb at HSV TEA Party

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Sep 082016
Doyle Webb at HSV TEA Party

Arkansas Republican Party Chairman Doyle Webb was featured speaker for the monthly luncheon program of Hot Springs Village TEA Party at Charlie’s Pizza Pub on September 6, 2016. He was asked to talk to the audience about issues that currently especially concern him as Arkansas’ Republican Party Chairman, and afterward to take questions from the […]

County Judge Challenger Offers Reward

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Sep 032016
County Judge Challenger Offers Reward

The reward has not been claimed yet! Come on people! How hard could it be? There is a long line of Garland County Judges previous to the incumbent to reference. They were ALL Democrats, ALL members of the major political party generally most associated with growing the size of government, increasing taxes and fees, and […]

Complaint Filed with AG

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Jul 132016

In the place on the online Arkansas Attorney General Attorney Consumer Complaint Form that asks a complainant to “Please explain the circumstances surrounding your complaint”, the following was entered: Arkansas FOIA Violations INFORMATION vs REGULATION Presentation to QC Committee (YouTube video) https://youtu.be/a-cLA7vT9Xs Complainant was told to take down www.garlandcounty.info website. 0:34 – 4:59 (https://youtu.be/a-cLA7vT9Xs) In […]

Conditional Offer

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Jul 012016

Letter To Editor (and notice to Garland County Judge Rick Davis, Garland County Republican Party, & Garland County Election Commission) Subject: Conditional Offer To Withdraw From Garland County Judge Race Date: 6/30/2016 Garland County Judge Rick Davis and the Garland County Republican Committee and Party can be spared the expenditure of thousands of dollars, as well as […]

GED Graduation at GC Detention Center

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Jun 302016
GED Graduation at GC Detention Center

by Clay Herrmann Six members of the The “Class of 2016 B” donned caps and gowns for their GED (General Educational Development) graduation on June 28, 2016 at the Garland County Detention Center. The honored graduates were Calob Mills, Juan, Santiago, Dokotah Gautreaux, Maria Lamb, Larry Moore, and Day Watson. Eligibility for graduation required that […]

Military Veterans in GC Detention Center

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Jun 242016
Military Veterans in GC Detention Center

An interview with military veterans in the Garland County Detention Center was accommodated by Sheriff Mike McCormick on June 23, 2016. Jock McGregor and Jerry Neal of Hot Springs Daily (www.hotspringsdaily.com) sat down with some of the resident military veterans and discussed the facilities pioneering programs with some of the prior-military service personnel currently confined […]