Leader Blues

Friday, March 07, 2008

TOP STORY > >Annexation vote set Tuesday

By RICK KRON
Leader staff writer

Sherwood and Gravel Ridge residents will vote Tuesday on whether or not Gravel Ridge should become part of Sherwood.
Jacksonville has already voted to annex the 2,500-acre rural community of about 3,500.

If most Sherwood-Gravel Ridge voters say yes on Tuesday, then an April 1 vote for just Gravel Ridge residents will decide if the community becomes part of Sherwood or Jacksonville.

If the Sherwood-Gravel Ridge voters say no Tuesday to annexation, then Gravel Ridge will become part of Jacksonville.

“We are excited about this vote,” said Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman who canceled her trip next week to the National League of Cities meeting in Washington because she felt the annexation vote was too important for her to be gone.

“The feedback from both Sherwood and Gravel Ridge residents has been very positive,” the mayor said, adding, “We can offer Gravel Ridge lower taxes and better services.”

Former Sherwood Alderman Tom Brooks, who is heading a grassroots effort to bring Gravel Ridge into Sherwood, agreedwith the mayor, saying, “We’re extremely ecstatic about our chances.”

“We’ve spent a great deal of time contacting Gravel Ridge residents and telling them that we’re a better fit than Jacksonville,” he said.

But Brooks was upset with a telemarketing campaign that hit Sherwood about two weeks ago that was very negative toward annexation. The marketing firm that conducted the survey was out of Tulsa, but its president would not release any information about their client.

Brooks compared Jacksonville’s opposition to Sherwood annexing Gravel Ridge to “a blitzkrieg attack,” citing a telemarketing effort to discourage Sherwood residents from taking Gravel Ridge.

Jacksonville officials have denied being behind the phone calls.

Sherwood and Gravel Ridge residents may cast their early votes from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Pulaski County clerk’s office in Little Rock.

Voting sites will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and are located at:

Kellogg Valley Baptist Church 9516 Bamboo Lane, North Little Rock.

Sylvan Hills United Meth-odist Church, 9921 Sylvan Hills Hwy., Sherwood.

First Baptist Church of Gravel Ridge, 14322 Hwy. 107.

Brockington Road Church of the Nazarene, 9860 Brockington Road, Sherwood.

Sylvan Hills Community Church, 8019 Hwy. 107.

Jack Evans Senior Citizens Center, 2301 Thornhill Drive, Sherwood.

First Baptist Church of Sherwood, 701 Country Club.

Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church, 7351 Warden Road, Sherwood.

Indianhead Lake Baptist Church, 8601 Indianhead Drive, Sherwood.

Cornerstone Bible Fellowship Church, 7351 Warden Road, Sherwood.

Sherwood Youth Center, 508 Sherwood Ave.