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Votes - Candidate
123- GREG BESS
179 - NINA THORNTON (WINNER)
Now that polls are closed I simply wanted to make an observation which is not meant to be a comment on the merits of any candidate running for Mayor of Hardy. May the best person win! They both seem dedicated and solid people.
I enjoyed the websites of each candidate and found them very helpful. My point here is only to make a comment about the importance of Federal and State government money to our area. Any person can talk the talk of "cut, cut, cut" our government and our taxes but the reality is that we in this area both very much need and use those "big government" dollars.
Current Mayor Thornton has done an excellent job getting needed outside government money to pay for very needed projects and also made good use of the Federal Government to get us needed flood insurance we could never have gotten otherwise. I mention this because Tea Party types don't often look at the true facts on the ground. And the facts are these -- so-called "big government" dollars play a vital role in our local well being. I don't doubt for one minute that we take back from the Feds more than we send.
So let's be honest and ease up on any negative so-called "big government" talk as we are very happy to get those tax dollars locally. Here are some of the numbers from Mayor Thornton's website that give you a sense of what she or ANY Mayor of Hardy needs to do to be a good mayor in terms of getting outside tax dollars. She has worked hard and should be congratulated as should any Mayor who follows in her steps of getting such funding. Let's just be honest about it all. We want those "big government" tax dollars from outside. We need them and don't want to see them go away. I count $ 1,825,000 in government grants below. Good work! The Mayor writes:
Flood Plain Administrator
On February 16th 2007, Michael Borengasser came to my office and took a seat. He proceeded to tell me that the City of Hardy was in violation of ordinances and in non-compliance in the flood plains and in danger of losing its National flood Insurance Plan. At the very least the city would be put on suspension and every single person that had flood insurance would get fined $50. per year and if all was not brought up to code the city would lose its NFIP and affordable flood insurance would be a thing of the past for Hardy. Not only would we lose our flood insurance but if the city is in non-compliance then you do not get monies for any disasters no matter of what origin. The more I listened the worse it got. He told me we had 60 days to comply. It had been years getting this way. I called Superintendent Gilbreath into the office to listen so as not to miss a thing. Lunch time came and went and we were still talking and on my part negotiating. How incredible that it had gotten this far wrong. I finally asked Mr. Borengasser what needed to be done to fix all of this. He put me in touch with Shawn Jackson. I arranged a meeting and Shawn came and reiterated what Michael had said in an open public meeting. Shawn brought a large report of all the items that had to be fixed with pictures and details. First thing was to get someone qualified and accredited as a flood plain manager to start getting it all in order. I signed up for training and decided that if the water clerk was going to work with the building inspector that she needed to be accredited as well. As soon as I had the training I got started on bringing everything into compliance. Having meetings, sending out letters, getting elevation certificates in order etc. Then came the floods.
Flood Plain Manager of the Year
In 2008 I received the AFMA Flood Plain Manager of the year award for FEMA Region IV. Quote "This award seeks to recognize outstanding individual efforts and contributions at the local level and is designed to honor an individual responsible for the development of a distinguished local program or activity or one who struggles to implement flood hazard reduction at the local level in the absence of sophisticated programs and support" unquote.
Negotiated and received $526,000 in mitigation monies for the city sewer system. In 2008 the City of Hardy experienced 3 floods within a 6 week period. 2 of the floods were of record heights. Several of the pumping stations for the City sewer system were inundated 3 times during this period. Insurance premiums had been paid on these pumps for 26 years. When it came time to submit a claim we were told that the insurance was no good. That anything underground in a flood way or flood plain was uninsurable. What to do? We needed $526,000. to repair and improve those sites so that they would not only work for the time being but remain operable after each flood. One option was to get a loan and pass the cost on to the consumers of the City of Hardy. I felt that this was not really an option because I know that a lot of people are on a fixed income and any kind rate hike would mean hardship for them. I read every grant I could find but none applied. I remembered reading an article about mitigation in my Flood Plain Manager's information. I didn't really know what that was but I looked up the article and read it. I went to FEMA and asked about mitigation for the sewer system and then had an architect draw up the plans. I negoiated for a month trying to get them to see the need we had. When I submitted the plans to them and they sent them on to the proper people. I sent a letter explaining our situation along with that submission. I was told it was not normally done but who is to say what is normal in this situation. Approximately 2 weeks later it was approved. The sewer system was upgraded to a state of the art system. Not long after it was finished, I received a visit from FEMA officials asking if I would be a spokesperson for FEMA mitigation for small cities. They wanted me to tell other City officials how it was done. I agreed. I have had several groups come and talk to me about mitigation and how it I did it. The last group was from New Jersey. The City of Hardy was featured in a FEMA publication and on the web in a video. As to the insurance that was paid all those years, I did the research and filed suit against FEMA and received several years of premiums back to the City. There was a limitation as to the number of years but we did receive the maximum. Had this not have been negoiated there would have had to been a loan obtained and the cost passed on the the Hardy citizens.
Disaster Assistance FEMA & ADEM
Negoatiated with FEMA and ADEM for $1,000,000. to repair the damage done to the City properties by the disasters during 2008-2010. Including a new pump for the water well that was destroyed by an electrical surge during the ice storm.
Three Flood Warning USGS sites on the Spring River
Wrote, applied for and received $125.000. in appropriations monies. In 2007 it was a dream that the City of Hardy would have some flood warning systems above the City. After the floods of 2008 I saw the urgent need we had for a flood warning system above the City of Hardy so as to have more warning time before high water reached us and for our most immediate concern, to save lives. I met with Representative Marion Berry about the serious problem we had with flooding in this area. I explained that a USGS flood warning system above Hardy on the inlets of the Myatt, South Fork, and the Spring near Mammoth would add to our warning time considerably as well as help the canoe rental businesses on the Spring River. Representative Berry's people taught me how to apply for appropriations monies. I applied for $125,000. in 2008 and then again in 2009. In 2009 the monies were approved in the amount I requested. The systems have been installed and the USGS are now in charge of them. What a great bunch of guys! This is a win, win situation for anyone that lives or has a business along the Spring River all the way to Imboden and beyond.
Requested and received a fire truck from Cherokee Village Fire Department. Thanks to all of them, aren't they generous.
Requested and received a fire truck from the Watseka Illinois Fire Department. They even delivered it! Great Guys. Have you ever looked out in your driveway early on a Sunday morning and found a Fire Truck? Well I did.
Fire Department Grant
Wrote, applied for, and received a $125,000. grant for a new Brush Attack Truck
Fire Department Grant
Wrote, applied for, and received a $125,000. grant for new turnouts, SCBA's, hoses, and much more.
During the disasters that plagued Hardy in the past 3 years it was plain to see that one of the most important elements to sustain life is fresh potable water. This summer when stimulus grant monies became available through the planning district for disaster related items I went to council and told them I would like to apply for a grant for a stationary generator to power our main water well. They unanimously backed my proposal. After getting an engineer to draw up the plans I called the planning district and submitted the proposal. If awarded the grant will amount to approximately $60,000. The award looks extremely favorable.
Children's Library Grant
Sharp County Librarian Cecilia Mullins and I were talking about the summer reading program that is held in the Library each year. We were discussing the agenda for the summer and Cecilia was telling me how there were many more children that sign up than there is room in the Library. I knew this had been a problem in previous years because they had used the Gym and the Fire House to meet. Not long after this I received a notification of possible grant monies to become available and the first thing I thought of was a Children's Library. I called Cecilia and asked her what she thought. She was so excited and told me that if there were more room for the children that she could have programs all year long. I went to the Library Board and explained that I would like to apply for a grant for the Childrens Library and they agreed. I contacted an architect and he drew up plans. The grants were only available through the planning district so I called them and got the ball rolling. After much paperwork on my part and theirs the grant was submitted for $200,000. with plans for a supplimental grant of $50,000. to be used for matching monies and furnishings. The grant for $200,000 has been approved and the $50,000. grant has been approved as well. Simmons Bank has been ever so generous and will donate the property behind the bank with a value of $30,000. (I had asked for the property previously when I had applied for a new city hall to be build out of the flood plain. We were not funded on that because other cities had completely lost their entire city hall and we had a shell of one left that could be fixed with enough money.) The Library project will get underway in January of 2011.
- Posts : 1065
Points : 1844
Join date : 2010-08-17
Nina Thornton: http://mayorofhardy.webs.com/
Greg Bess: http://www.mainstreethardy.com/mayorial-bio-for-hardy-ar/ and http://www.gregbess.com
Bess won't get 25%, wait and see.
What do you think folks are resisting in terms of going more in a modern direction? What needs to be done?
- Posts : 1065
Points : 1844
Join date : 2010-08-17
When you look at Hardy and think about what it needs to run well and develop, what do you think the town needs done most and what kind of Mayor skills can get it done? I wonder what are the present duties of the Mayor there. Do they expect it to be a full time position?
- Posts : 1065
Points : 1844
Join date : 2010-08-17
Nina A. Thornton - Incumbent
This public information is readily available by contacting the Sharp County Clerk's Office by calling 870-994-7361
The Arkansas’s General Election Voting Guide for 2010 can be found at
or on this forum at
Nina Thornton - Incumbent
Greg Bess - Local businessman
Are there any other candidates running for Mayor? If so, let us know.
This post is also an open invitation to all candidates to register on the forum, state your positions and make your case why you should be the next Mayor of Hardy, Arkansas.
Candidates, let's hear from you both soon. State your positions and tell us why you are deserving of the job.
- Posts : 433
Points : 620
Join date : 2010-06-29