There are two Entertainment District issues on the Nov. 3 ballot. The first is Ord. 2292, to repeal the authorization of the creation of a permanent Entertainment District with a sunset clause; a vote For the repeal will undo what city council put into effect Feb. 10. A vote Against will support council’s original vote to establish a permanent ED.
Aldermen Mickey Schneider and Harry Meyer voted against the creation but were outnumbered by votes from aldermen Terry McClung, Susan Harman, Melissa Greene and Bob Thomas, who were in favor of the ED. Council approval of the permanent ED in February caused outcry of collected petitioners, residents and business owners who sought to bring this to a public vote.
Petitioners argue that a permanent Entertainment District to be located in downtown would increase public intoxication, driving/pedestrian accidents, trash and sanitation demands, and the need for more policing. Petitioners also were concerned with the city’s ability to provide adequate infrastructure to support this ordinance and questioned if the downtown bars, restaurants, and retailers will bear subsequent burdens because of the ordinance.
The petition of referendum caused a stay on council’s original vote in favor of the ED and prevented further action until the election on Nov. 3.
The second ballot issue is Ord. No. 2297, allowing use of Act 812 of 2019 to create a permanent Entertainment District; a vote For will allow a permanent ED within the corporate city limits of Eureka Springs, according to regulations promulgated and times set by the state and local authorities.
A vote Against prevents city council from establishing a permanent Entertainment district.