The most won­der­ful place to live

The Weekly Vista - - Opinion - Larry Blech Bella Vista

Bella Vista is the most won­der­ful place in which to live … and to love. The peo­ple are great. The ameni­ties are great, and the city is one to be proud of. But, why do I say this now that I live back home in Burling­ton, Iowa? Well, I’ll tell you.

Wher­ever I have lived, I’ve tried to leave it a bet­ter place than what I found it. I re­tired from the Rock­ford Illi­nois Park District back in 1990 and my wife Wanda and I moved to Bella Vista shortly there­after. One of my first items with which to be­come ac­quainted was to join the VFW Post. Next, I found out that, even though the POA news­let­ter said there was a na­ture trail south of the new golf driv­ing range, I found none. So I went to the re­cre­ation com­mit­tee and vol­un­teered to de­sign one. Nice, they said, but how can we get it built? With VFW vol­un­teers I said. OK, go to it they said.

So with the VFW guys and other in­ter­ested peo­ple over a 10-year pe­riod that ended in 2000, there is now a won­der­ful na­ture trail and a neat shel­ter, well used, and now main­tained by others. Bella Vista can be proud of its Tan­yard Creek Na­ture Trail. It is a great nat­u­ral amenity.

But back then, Bella Vista was only a POA and suf­fer­ing from fi­nan­cial prob­lems, so there must be a so­lu­tion. And yes, there is one. Form­ing a city must be the an­swer. With a city, there was money to be had from turn-back funds de­pend­ing on the pop­u­la­tion — al­most free money. But how to get it go­ing? Well, a group of us got to­gether and brain­stormed. We drew the map and the pe­ti­tion, and I wrote the pam­phlet on in­cor­po­ra­tion. It was only 22 pages long, but it con­tained all the ten­ants to be­come a first-class city. It also listed 15 con­tacts — peo­ple who were also in­ter­ested in see­ing Bella Vista be­come a city. Oh, it listed the bare ne­ces­si­ties. The pam­phlet had an at­trac­tive green cover and was handed out at lo­cal in­cor­po­ra­tion meet­ings. Oh, there were some who thought we did not need to be a city, but they were of the his­tory men­tal­ity and ev­i­dently could not see the fu­ture.

Any­way, to­day Bella Vista is a city that co­op­er­ates with the POA to make a great liv­able place for its res­i­dents. And from read­ing the Weekly Vista, I see the city has a bud­get of nearly $20 mil­lion and even quite a nice cash re­serve, and this is all from its great lead­er­ship.

And why do I say all this? Just to toot my own horn? No, but to give a lit­tle his­tory, to let your read­ers know where some of those ameni­ties came from and to tell each of you to go and do like­wise. It takes ev­ery­one to make a great city, so use your tal­ents, go and con­trib­ute, make it even bet­ter!

I only lived in Bella Vista for 12 years, from 1990 to 2002, and I loved ev­ery minute of it. And yes, some­times I wished I were back there; but, no, not to be. I’m now older than dirt, still a golfer, but I’ve made my last move.

Hooray for Bella Vista. I feel I did leave it a bet­ter place than what I found it, and it’s good to go back once in a while to see even fur­ther progress.

Dave Wiemer Burling­ton, Iowa

A far­ci­cal ruse

I went to a play last night at the Bella Vista Coun­try Club. It was a far­ci­cal ruse about how to con­trol peo­ple. A farce is some­thing that is ab­surd or laugh­able, and a ruse is an ac­tion in­tended to de­ceive some­one. The cast was the POA board of di­rec­tors, with the lead­ing char­ac­ters be­ing Tom Jud­son and Ron Strat­ton. The plot was that this board of di­rec­tors would come to­gether with the pre­tense that they did not have a pre­con­ceived idea that they were go­ing to close the Berks­dale golf course. They would in­vite the pub­lic to make com­ments and give them the be­lief that these com­ments would ac­tu­ally make a dif­fer­ence in what the board was go­ing to do.

The pub­lic showed up right on queue and made many com­ments about their con­cerns over the ac­tion the board was propos­ing. There was stand­ing room only in the the­ater. The board clev­erly used its smoke and mir­rors to carry out this ruse. Re­but­tals to com­ments were made us­ing well con­structed “facts” that were ma­nip­u­lated to sup­port the board’s pre­con­ceived de­ci­sions.

For ex­am­ple, one at­tendee made the com­ment that no one likes to play the Scotts­dale golf course be­cause of the changes that have been made. The re­sponse from the board was that the amount of play is up 10 per­cent and there­fore ev­ery­one loves it. But …. when you have a lot of 18-hole leagues, and you re­move one of the six golf cour­ses they reg­u­larly play, the other five are nat­u­rally go­ing to have an in­crease. In ad­di­tion, the POA is sched­ul­ing where the leagues play. It can de­ter­mine the per­cent­age of in­creased play at any course it wants.

The premise for the board’s pro­posal was the old cause and ef­fect the­ory. The cause here is the rain and the ef­fect is that the Berks­dale golf course floods. Since we can­not con­trol the cause, we will elim­i­nate the ef­fect.

The ruse here is that the cause is ac­tu­ally the flood­ing, not the rain, and the ef­fect is the dam­age to the golf course. The dif­fer­ence is that we may not be able to con­trol the rain, but we can con­trol the flood­ing so that the ef­fect — dam­age to the golf course — is min­i­mized. This, how­ever, be­cause of pre­con­ceived agen­das was clev­erly dis­guised and never re­vealed.

As the cha­rade wound down and the sur­prise vote of the board mem­bers was about to be taken, one of the main char­ac­ters sum­ma­rized the sit­u­a­tion. He said we are about to jump off a rock. We don’t know where we will land, but we are go­ing to jump any­way and hope for the best. In other words, we are go­ing to close Berks­dale even though we don’t know yet what we are go­ing to do with it or what it will look like in the fu­ture, or how much it will cost. And then, he thanked ev­ery­one for their in­put.

The vote was unan­i­mous to close the course. Sur­prise!

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