Beebe Mayor Mike Robertson has expressed concerns about the city’s ordinances “being attacked for self-interest of council persons for individual or family” and called on voters to carefully consider who they elect.
Robertson sent out a letter recently to Beebe residents saying that he is “very concerned about the future that we are leaving for the next generation that chooses to live, work and visit Beebe.” The letter has marked on it that it was paid for by Robertson.
In an interview with The Daily Citizen before that, Robertson said that he is in his 18th year as mayor (and previously had served two four-year terms on the Beebe City Council) and had planned “to possibly not run again” when his term is up next year. However, he said, “I’m very concerned about current situations, so it may be that I might run again.”
“They’re [the ordinances are] being attacked … to remove drug paraphernalia ordinances that are protecting our children and our families and to remove [the] pit bull ordinance and to remove the ordinances on unsightliness, junk, wrecked, salvaged vehicles and remove the 800-foot distance between that and residential districts so that they could possibly abut a salvage, junk up against a residential district.”
Although Robertson did not directly name who he was accusing of attacking the ordinances, Councilman Danny Mahoney, elected in 2020, recently tried to get the city’s vicious animals ordinance overturned. Mahoney owns an American bully, which has the American pit bull terrier as its parent breed. Pit bulls are included among banned animals in the city’s ordinance.
Mahoney has been cited by the city for violating the vicious animals ordinance. His scheduled date in White County Circuit Court-Beebe Division was continued last week to Oct. 21. He said Monday that he will be waiting “until all of it is done” before commenting publicly.
“I just prefer not saying nothing right at this minute until I’m done because all it does is stir stink,” Mahoney said.
Robertson said he believes there are “a number of ordinances ... being attacked right now to benefit individual’s interest and not the city as a whole. So I’m afraid with that it would be very concerning to me to see all these things a city council is to protect and the reason we live inside a city limits is for the health, safety and welfare of all the inhabitants.”
He said that the ordinances are needed because “we live in close proximity to one another.”
“You start removing all of the ordinances for say, farm animals and you’re going to allow people to have pigs and goats and sheep in their yard,” Robertson said. “You’re going to allow junk vehicles. You are going to allow up to four dogs or four pit bulls in one yard. These types of unsightliness of junked and wrecked vehicles … I can’t go along with that.
“It’s just a group of lawlessness that we see going across our entire country, our nation – not just Beebe, but across the entire nation – that people don’t want to live by any rules or regulations, and again, I might feel like that I’m not quite finished with my service yet, and that’s up to the people whether or not they want reelection or they don’t. The people speak their voice.”
In his letter, Robertson told residents that “you as a citizen and a voter have the power to determine the direction of our community.”
“As we have recently experienced firsthand, elections have dire consequences,” he wrote. “Therefore, you must educate yourself about each candidate, their values and vision for the future of our community.
“I am very concerned about the future of not only this city but the entire nation. Leaders have lost sight of family and Christian values. Facebook and other social media platforms have given some people an outlet to spread misinformation and outright lie about people and issues with seemingly no consequences. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced the detriments caused by social media in our own community.”
In his letter, Robertson mentioned that there are candidates who have announced their intentions to run next year for “the lawmaking body of the city. Several of the potential candidates have openly supported the removal of city ordinances that have been in place for many years.”
“What if businesses and individuals are allowed to store junk and salvage vehicles abutting residential homes?” he wrote. “What will happen to property values and the health and safety of the neighborhoods? What if drug rehabilitation centers, that are designed to house multiple people, are allowed to exist in areas that are zoned for strictly residential and quiet commercial use? Would you feel safe having your children playing and living next to a recovery center?”
Robertson said he does believe drug rehabilitation centers are necessary, but “rehabilitation centers should be given strict guidelines and not be permitted to operate within a quiet community or residential neighborhood due to the inherently close proximity to children and teenagers that are easily influenced and possibly endangered.”
The question also was posed by Robertson, “What if zoning laws regulating farms animals in town, such as goats, hogs and pigs are repealed? How will you feel if they are next door to you on residential lot causing a reduction in the value of your property?”
Vaping is another area Robertson addressed, writing that schools are experiencing a high volume of student vaping, resulting in addiction and youth deaths.
“Our youth are susceptible to their environment and intrigued by new things,” he wrote. “What if laws regulating the sale of drug paraphernalia in the city are repealed and stores are allowed to openly advertise and sell items of drug paraphernalia in the city are repealed and stores are allowed to openly advertise and sell items of drug paraphernalia? These are real concerns!”
He said the ordinances self-interest groups in the community have a desire to repeal have been in place for many years and “were implemented to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community.” Further, Robertson wrote that the ordinances “serve as a safeguard to protect our largest financial investments, by maintaining the property values, within our community.”
A reminder was put in the letter that Beebe City Council meetings are held on the fourth Monday of each month and are recorded to given residents a chance to see what is happening in their local government. Robertson urged residents to take time to view the meetings at www.youtube.com, by searching Beebe City Council. He pointed out specifically the meeting held Aug. 23., where the vicious animals ordinance was discussed before the council voted 5-1 to keep it.
“See for yourself who is supporting a movement to remove many health and safety ordinances here in our city,” he said.
Robertson wrote that he is bringing “the fight to you and am asking you to help keep our city safe.”
“Do not elect those with a personal agenda that will destroy our hometown values,” he said. “Preserve our city and country by electing leaders at all levels of government that will stand firm in Christ and work to preserve our family values.”