From Sunday, May 31, Log Cabin Democrat, published with permission of the author

To our city government of Conway:

There are many of us who are acquainted with walking through farm fields and having to hop, skip and jump, sometimes unsuccessfully, over “cow patties.” This could easily translate to trying to drive on the streets of our city. Maybe you haven’t had to traverse College Avenue or many other streets in the last several years. Perhaps you haven’t had to pay for a damaged tire or wheel that landed at the bottom of one of the asphalt chasms. These conditions didn’t happen suddenly.

May I tell you a parable? “Once there was a small kingdom that maintained its infrastructures for its unrecruited but steadily growing population. In time, a king and his roundtable eventually became so enraptured with imitating the wonderful ideas originated by other cultures far and wide, that they neglected their own citizens’ basic needs of living. The people, both peasants and nobles, tried to speak to the king and his roundtable about many decisions, but were unheeded. Their morale declined and they became angry and discouraged. Many moved elsewhere, both far and near.”

The matter of our “living happily ever after” depends on the decisions of only a few people. So much attention has been paid to bringing in new pubs and restaurants to make us seem cosmopolitan and to get prepared food taxes for luxuries. The population has grown by design, thereby providing a “reason” for increasing entertainment venues, yet this same growth has strained our streets. Our identity has changed from what we were even 15 years ago, and it is not in our best interest to keep up with and even surpass the Joneses when we can’t keep up with our own dire circumstances.

So what is the ultimate plan for our streets and even the urgent need for re-striping them? Is it to wait until they are so unsafe, unsightly, damaging and embarrassing that the village’s people will once more be urged to vote for a proposed hefty tax to pay for repairs? Though many of the people remain quiet, they are paying attention and would appreciate an answer.

— Vivian Hogue, Conway resident

Read more:
Follow us: @OurVoicesAR on Twitter | OurVoicesAR on Facebook