Dear Editor:

It will soon be two years since I sent you the first letter calling out Clinton Mayor Roger Rorie and members of the previous City Council for wasteful spending of tax dollars.

Since then, I have questioned Mr. Rorie time and again about wasteful spending, ineffective city leadership , and what I believe to be poor business decisions. To date, not one of the questions that I have presented through this forum for Mr. Rorie have been answered.

Sometimes unspoken words resonate the loudest.

On June 13, 2014, Mr. Rorie said that he will not seek re-election. According to the VBC Democrat, "Before beginning the special meeting, Rorie told those gathered that for the next six months he would no longer write or present resolutions or ordinances and that he would not take part in discussions at City Council meetings, but would only preside over them."

Mr. Rorie has in effect chosen to rescind his power and enter into lame duck status for the remainder of his term. Now, hopefully, the City Council can conduct business with better results and limited friction.

I believe that Mr. Rorie’s retirement is a sound decision for the people of Clinton and the surrounding area. In fact, I would like to see him tender his resignation effective immediately and without any further compensation. Although, I am not aligned with Mr. Rorie politically, I wish him the best in his forthcoming retirement.

I have been contacted by members of the community asking what my next move is. My answer is simple. I am not a politician. The only agenda I have is to show our elected officials we care, we are watching, and we expect every decision to be made with common business sense and the public’s best interest at heart.

I appreciate all of our elected officials who are taking care of business daily, promoting the common good and are advocates for economic recovery.

This is an election year. We need citizens to run for public office who love this community, have common business sense, and who will not cave in to the "good ole boy" way of conducting business.

We also need all of our citizens to make informed voting decisions. The days need to be gone of voting for someone simply based on popularity or their likability factor. When we cast our votes using superficial logic, we end up with elected officials who make a lot of poor business decisions.

A prime example is the broken concrete pad on Factory Road. Mayor Rorie and members of the previous council purchased it in 2010 for $160,000. It is currently used as a dump station for brush, debris, and dirt.

I am reminded of how our citizens were able to drive around the VBC Courthouse for over 60 years. Mayor Ellis blocked off the street with a flower garden and clock. After public outcry, the garden was partially removed. We now have a very expensive speed bump and a broken clock surrounded by a forest of overgrown weeds.

Do our candidates have a sound long term business plan and what is it? What are they going to do to reach out and attract industry and jobs to this area? What is their plan to promote the greater good instead of an agenda that only helps a few?

These are the questions we must focus on and the questions I will be asking.

Let’s learn from the past and look forward to an even greater Van Buren County.

Ben Hayes

Clinton, Arkansas