Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Martin Says No To Burkhalter Plans

A Clear View So Far

Arkansas Secretary of State Mark Martin announced today his opposition to amending the Capitol Master Plan for construction that would block views of the State Capitol.

The proposed five-story building would be located at 1417 West Sixth Street.

Martin said, “As Secretary of State, I am charged with preserving and maintaining the Arkansas State Capitol. That means I have to follow that viewpoint, as guardian of the building, rather than pursue a political or commercial view.”

“If the Commission amends the rule entirely, without limitations, the Capitol becomes subject to ever-encroaching construction,” he continued, “but changing the rule specifically for one individual would be special legislation, which is generally frowned up.”

He added, “The Capitol is currently visible from many points throughout Little Rock, and I don’t believe any of those vantage points should be blocked.”

Martin pointed out that the Capitol is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Arkansas’s most attractive public buildings, receiving thousands of visitors each year.

“Because of the Capitol’s aesthetic appeal and historic significance, I believe it should retain its current visibility. I recommend that the Commission take no action,” he concluded.

The Capitol Zoning District Commission consists of delegates from the Secretary of State’s office, Governor’s office, city of Little Rock, area property owners and at-large members.

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Developer John Burkhalter wanted an exception to the standing ordinance in order to construct a five story building in down town Little Rock. Burkhalter was appointed by Gov. Mike Beebe to the Highway Commission, and was a big Beebe donor (aren't most appointees to that thing big donors for someone or another?). Martin was under pressure by lobbyists from the Chamber of Commerce to have his representative on the capital zoning commission allow for the exception.

In a humorous side note, crotchety leftist Max Brantley of the Arktimes floated a trial balloon suggesting that his efforts may have been a catalyst for Martin's refreshingly idealistic stand against insider efforts for a special favor. No Max, your shrill misinformation campaign against Martin is not what prompted him to make this idealistic and principled call. Those are the kinds of calls he regularly makes, because that is the kind of man that he is, your dishonest attempts to make him appear otherwise notwithstanding (the truth).

2 Comments:

Blogger wchambers said...

It is refreshing to see some public officials emorging who make the right decisions just because they are right. Thanks to SOS Martin.

11:44 AM, August 30, 2011  
Anonymous Bill said...

Such a great article which Martin pointed out that the Capitol is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Arkansas’s most attractive public buildings. In which Capitol Master Plan for construction that would block views of the State Capitol. It was great post, Thanks a lot.

5:05 AM, December 25, 2011  

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