Pleasant Valley Roundabout Project Highlights Civic Politics

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 19, 2014 12:00 am  

Asked about the apparent lack of notice regarding the vote, Cazort said: “In my mind, I thought we were clear about it.”

The show-of-hands vote conducted by Cazort led to the project being officially shelved until it is formally killed by the board of directors.

Whether Cazort’s informal referendum reflects a majority view of the neighborhood is debatable.

Some Pleasant Valley residents give credit for thwarting the roundabout project to U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright Carter, who lives at the southeast corner of the intersection that would have been reconfigured.

She retained Edward Oglesby, a partner in the Little Rock office of the Kutak Rock law firm, to champion her cause and help raise opposition.

Carter couldn’t be reached for comment. Oglesby declined comment.

On the judge’s behalf, Oglesby was successful in getting the Pleasant Valley Property Owners Association board of directors to take a vote on the matter in February.

The board voted 6-3 to op-pose the project, which drew rebukes from some Pleasant Valley residents who supported the project and advised board members not to take stances on issues where neighborhood opinion is clearly divided.

“The next time something like this comes up, you can expect a poll will be taken of the neighborhood,” said Jeff Yates, PVPOA director whose proxy vote was among three who said no to Oglesby.

Maybe this should’ve happened with the roundabout project before now.

“The emails flew like birds migrating,” Gene Fortson said of public commentary about the traffic-calming device.

“There is nothing that stirs up more emotion than land-use issues.”



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