CITY OF TEXARKANA, AR

REQUEST FOR BOARD ACTION

 

AGENDA TITLE:  Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting May 1 2017. (CCD)

AGENDA DATE:  May 15, 2017

ITEM#:  8

DEPARTMENT: City Clerk

DATE SUBMITTED: May 2, 2017

PREPARED BY:  Heather Soyars

SUBJECT:  Board meeting minutes.

EXHIBITS:  Minutes

APPROVAL: 

 

EXPENSE REQUIRED: $0.00

AMOUNT BUDGETED: $0.00

APPROPRIATION REQUIRED:  $0.00

SUMMARY:  Board meeting minutes.

BOARD ACTION:  The City Clerk recommends Board approval.

EMERGENCY CLAUSE:  No emergency clause is requested. 

 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OF THE CITY OF TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS

MAY 1, 2017

__________________________________

MEMBERS PRESENT:

The Board of Directors of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, convened in regular session at 6:00 PM on Monday, May 1, 2017.

ROLL CALL:

Mayor Ruth Penney Bell asked the Clerk to call the roll and the following Board Members were present:  Mayor Bell, Assistant Mayor Barbara S. Miner, and Directors Tim Johnson, Laney J. Harris, Travis Odom, Terri Peavy and Linda Teeters.  Also present were City Manager Kenny Haskin, City Attorney George M. Matteson and City Clerk Heather Soyars. 

Mayor Bell asked it be duly noted there was a quorum present for tonight’s meeting.

INVOCATION:

The invocation was given by Director Travis Odom.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Director Travis Odom led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

COMMENTS FROM THE MAYOR:

Welcome:

            Mayor Bell welcomed everyone to tonight’s meeting.

Board Meeting Procedure:

Mayor Bell briefly reviewed the board meeting procedures and pointed out the Agenda Item Cards, Citizens’ Communication Cards, and agendas along the rail for tonight’s Board meeting.  The Mayor asked any audience member interested in speaking at tonight’s Board meeting to complete one of the cards and turn the card in to the City Clerk.  She said this would help run an organized meeting and allowed the Clerk to have the necessary information for the meeting minutes.  She stated any citizen may comment on any item on the agenda and express their desires, but would be limited to five minutes.

Union Tank Car:

            Mayor Bell said Union Tank Car, located on 19th Street, was initially hiring 75 workers.  Now, Union Tank Car was hiring 150-200 workers and they desperately needed welders.

Kids Fish Texarkana:

Mayor Bell said Kids Fish Texarkana was sponsored by the Texarkana, Arkansas School District (TASD) Fishing Club in cooperation with the City.  It would be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 form 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Bobby F. Ferguson Park at the Four States Fairgrounds.  The event was free with games, prizes and concessions.  This was a family event for students in grades K-8.

QUESTIONS FROM DIRECTORS AND OTHER BUSINESS:

            Mayor Bell asked if the Directors had any questions or comments.

            Director Harris said last time he counted there were seven Board members that sat for this body of government.  Last week he requested a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and he discovered the City Manager along with the City Clerk had delivered documents to six of the seven Board members.  He said the documents were dated November (SIC) 11, 2017, “The above agenda item was requested by Director Laney J. Harris to be on the April 17, 2017, Board of Directors meeting agenda.  The ordinance attached was also written by Director Harris.  The ordinance had been reviewed and there was significant opposition.  The Public Works Department would be bringing a vetted and cleaned ordinance before the Board regarding the current system.  This ordinance was over regulating the City, its departments, and its staff by directing them to do what they were already doing.  I believe this was another attempt to micro-manage the City’s day-to-day operations.  Please review the attached ordinance and let me know if you have any questions.”  Director Harris said he knew this was done intentionally when he received a copy of the email from the City Clerk Heather Soyars to Deputy Clerk Jenny Narens that said, “Just in case I’m not here.  The draft letter was attached.  And was to be saved in the folder below.  Review Director Harris’ ordinance and make the necessary grammatical changes.  Make copies of the ordinance and the letter to go out to all board members except Director Harris.  The letter was not complete the Ordinance item should be filled in instead of question marks.  Send to Kenny for approval before sending out to the BOD.  Thanks!” 

Another issue Director Harris wanted to bring up was the difference between an ordinance and resolution.  He said the difference between an ordinance was by state law 14-55-202, it required an ordinance to be read before any action could be made and a resolution, more or less, gave direction of the will of the official government body and adopted by a vote.  An ordinance was basically a law adopted by the municipal legislative body and would go in to effect in thirty days unless the body adopted an emergency clause. 

Director Harris said his ordinance was tabled at the last meeting.  He said for the last sixteen years he had been on the Board, he had never known an ordinance to be tabled.  He said the ordinance should be read three times and then voted on to pass or fail.  Director Harris said the item should have been acted upon with a vote up or down and the Board should have moved on what was before them tonight.  He said he did not think the ordinance should have been tabled.  He said he brought the ordinance before the Board and whether it was voted up or down, that was what he was requesting this body to do. 

Director Harris said there would be a meeting at 7:00 PM this coming Thursday, May 5, 2017, at Tower Power Gospel Ministries, at 1500 Kline Street.  The meeting would be about the Boys and Girls Club, on Legend Drive.  It was a follow-up meeting from the tour that was held on Monday, April 24, 2017, at the Boys and Girls Club.  LaMesha Huntley and Mr. Scott Pressman of the Lowe’s store visited the Boys and Girls Club to see what needed to be done. 

Director Harris said when the Board did the performance evaluations of the City Manager and City Attorney, the Mayor read the scores out loud and Director Harris felt like it should have been a private matter between the Board and that person.  Director Harris said he felt like it was a popularity contest and he thought after the score was tallied the Mayor should have met with each person privately to discuss any concerns.  He said he had his reasons why he did not fill out the performance evaluation.  Director Harris said he felt it could have been handled better. 

Director Harris said he also felt like when there was a legal question asked to the City Attorney, the City Attorney should give an answer.  Director Harris felt like every time he asked a question the City Attorney was on the fence.  Director Harris wanted him to be on one side or the other and give his legal opinion, that was why the City paid $60,000 a year for his service.  Director Harris said whether the City Attorney was right or wrong, he felt like the City Attorney should give his legal opinion.  He said the City Attorney was not the attorney of the department heads, but was hired by this Board to handle City matters.

            City Manager Dr. Kenny Haskin said he felt it would be fair for the City Clerk to respond to Director Harris’ commentary. 

            City Clerk Heather Soyars said regarding the email, the ordinance was not sent to Director Harris because it was his ordinance, and she believed the letter was mailed out twice. 

            Mayor Bell said City government needed to be open, and why Director Harris’ FOIAs were honored. 

Mayor Bell said when the Board met in Executive Session giving our evaluation of the two City employees, everyone had the opportunity to participate and no one was required to participate.  She said if a Board member had any issues there were spaces on the sheet for them to put their input, and those sheets would have been given to the two employees.  Mayor Bell said the Board did the best they knew how.  When the Executive Session was complete the Board gave the City the cumulative scores and she did not see it as a popularity contest.  Mayor Bell said she saw it as six people and the Mayor trying to do what should have been done in our past and which was an evaluation of the City employees. 

Mayor Bell said she did not want anything hidden from the citizens.  The City’s main job was to take money from the citizens and spend it not in a careless way, but in a thoughtful manner.  She said she thought Director Harris was given every opportunity and she did not think Director Harris was censored in any way and it was not Mayor Bell’s desire to do so.  She said if they were to see how much time each director had allocated to him or her, Mayor Bell thought Director Harris would be leading in the amount of time he had been permitted to speak his opinions.  Mayor Bell said Director Harris was an elected official and she would allow him to speak whenever he wanted to speak if it were not attacking anyone else.  She said if Director Harris wanted to sit down with her and the City Manager and discuss some of the claims he brought up, they could, and Texarkana Gazette Reporter Karl Richter could attend as well.  Mayor Bell said if there were any validity to any of the claims, she would be the first one to apologize.  She believed the Board had been nothing but forth coming.  She said she did not advocate, individual Board members trying to micromanage City business.  It was not the Board’s responsibility.  Mayor Bell said to Mr. Matteson if she were saying anything incorrect or unlawful to please stop her.  She said Dr. Haskin was the man the City hired to run the City and he made the decisions.  If Dr. Haskin did something in error, then it could be brought to the Board.  She said so far she had not found any decisions Dr. Haskin had made in error. 

Mayor Bell said as far as the old Boys and Girls Club was concerned it was a City building and it was deeded back to the City after the Boys and Girls Club pulled out of the facility.  She said it was in dire need of repairs and the City did what it could do to maintain the integrity of the building to keep it standing.  Since that time there had been several groups saying they would like to utilize the building.  Such as the police force, churches, and schools.  The Board did not determine who got to use the building.  Mayor Bell said the City Manager knowing all the information, made the determination.  The City Manager was the person who decided how City public facilities were used and until something changed, she was leaving the decisions up to the City Manager.  She said the Board was to vote on the issues of policies.  One of the policies existing was we were a City Manager form of government.  She said the City Manager ran the City and the Board did not.  She said she was there to guide the meeting and represent the citizens as best as she could.  The Board was here to make policy, but not to enact it.  Mayor Bell said the City Manager enacted policies and he directed the City department heads.    

         No one else came forward.

PRESENTATION(S):

City Employee Service Awards:

Mayor Bell commented Christopher McKinney, Ronald Ward, Jr., David Gauldin and James Jewell were unable to attend tonight’s meeting and she would make sure they received their awards and pins.  As employees of Texarkana Water Utilities (TWU), Mr. McKinney would have been recognized for 5 years of service; Mr. Ward would have been recognized for 15 years of service; Mr. Gauldin would have been recognized for 20 years of service; and Mr. Jewell would have been recognized for 25 years of service.  Mayor Bell thanked all the City employees for their service to the City and its citizens.

National Preservation Month:

            Mayor Bell read a proclamation for National Preservation Month and presented the proclamation to Interim City Planner/Preservation Officer Mary Beck.

City Clerk Week:

            Mayor Bell read a proclamation for City Clerk Week, May 7, 2017, through May 13, 2017.  Mayor Bell presented the proclamation to City Clerk Heather Soyars.

REMOVED FROM CONSENT AGENDA:

            Director Harris requested agenda item 8B Adopt a Resolution authorizing the City Manager to enter into a marketing license agreement with Utilities Service Partners Private Label, Inc. (USP) D/B/A Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA), be removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion.

He also requested agenda item 8C Adopt a Resolution to make a request upon the Miller County Quorum Court that it, pursuant to Ark. Code Ann Sec. 26-25-106, authorize inclusion of an option on all future tax county statements whereby the property owners may elect to make a voluntary contribution in the amount of $10.00, to the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, be removed from the Consent Agenda for discussion.

CONSENT AGENDA:

Director Harris moved to approve the consent agenda.  The motion was seconded by Director Johnson and carried unanimously.  The item approved by consent were:

MINUTES:

The minutes approved were of the regular meeting April 17, 2017.

REGULAR AGENDA:

RESOLUTION NO. 2017-21:

Resolution No. 2017-21 was read in its entirety.  Said resolution authorized the City Manager to enter into a marketing license agreement with Utilities Service Partners Private Label, Inc. (USP) D/B/A Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA).

Mayor Bell said she added this item because this was presented at a Municipal League Meeting she attended and multiple mayors and city managers stood up and said this was a wonderful thing.  She just had to pay four figures to have her sewer line replaced and she was not happy to do this.  Mayor Bell said the City Attorney had been working with the company to make sure the City was not endorsing it.  If a citizen chose to take out the insurance, the citizen would contact the company and then the company would contact a local provider of that service.  She said the Texas-side approved the company about a month ago.  The City would get a small stipend from the company if we chose to vote it in.  She also said it was for one year, it was not a lifetime commitment, you only had to give a thirty days’ notice.  The notice would be sent out to the citizens and it would be there decision if they wanted the insurance or not.  She said it was just an option and not a requirement for our citizens.  Mayor Bell asked Director Harris if he was opposed to this item.         

Director Harris said just because he asked to have the item taken off the Consent Agenda did not mean he was opposed with it.  He said he received a phone call from a lady who received something in the mail which she believed to be a scam.  He said he told her the Board had the item on the agenda.  He said he thought it needed to be fully explained and the Mayor did so.  He said we must read the fine print, not everyone understood what all the insurance covered.  Director Harris said he read where it had $4000.00 for water line and $6000.00 for sewer line, but the Mayor had explained the situation.  He said when an item was on the consent agenda sometimes the public did not know what the Board was voting for.  Director Harris said Mayor Bell explained it as well as it could have been explained.           

Director Peavy asked if this was the same company the Texas-side partnered with.

Mayor Bell said yes, about a month ago.  She said for each person who signed up for the insurance, the City would get maybe 50 cents.  Mayor Bell said Mr. Matteson had been working on the agreement for the past seven months.

City Attorney George Matteson said it was a licensing agreement to use the City’s name.  He said his concern was the distance between the City and the entity.  He said there would be some questions raised and the citizens needed to be aware this was not a City service being provided.  This was a private entity.  He said to make sure the connection was not made inadvertently between the City and the entity.  It would take some careful review as the City went through this.  

Mayor Bell said the citizens would just be getting information about the company and it would be up to them to decide if they wanted the insurance or not.  She said the City was not going to insure anything.  She had several other Mayors tell her several citizens had been very pleased with the company.  She said she thought it would be great to have this kind of offering.  Mayor Bell said the citizens might want to compare with their current insurance company to see if they had a similar plan, but it would at least give the citizens the opportunity to look at the information and to decide if it were right for them.

Director Odom, seconded by Director Harris, moved to adopt the resolution. The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the resolution passed, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

RESOLUTION NO. 2017-22:

Resolution No. 2017-22 was read in its entirety.  Said resolution made a request upon the Miller County Quorum Court that it, pursuant to Ark. Code Ann Sec. 26-25-106, authorize inclusion of an option on all future tax county statements whereby property owners may elect to make a voluntary contribution in the amount of $10.00 to the City of Texarkana, Arkansas.

Mayor Bell said this item was asking the property owners to make a $10.00 contribution to the City.  She said the City was not broke and it was not going to collapse.  She said the City had a very healthy fund balance.  If the City had a tornado, earthquake and if Wal-Mart were to go into the earth, the City would still be able to function and pay the employees.  The City was not about to fold.  She said the City was looking for ways to provide services that were needed in our community.  The City wanted to be able to fill the pot holes, work on the toilets at Hobo Jungle Park, and all the things a City was supposed to do. 

City Manager Dr. Haskin said this was a formal request to Miller County to take up the voluntary fee option.  He said he felt good about it and had consulted with Miller County over the past three months.  This was just the first step in a series of steps in terms of the City getting to where it needed to be.       

Mayor Bell said it was not compulsory and there was not going to be a list made of those who did or did not contribute.  She said when the property tax was paid and if citizens did not wish to pay the $10.00 voluntary donation it would be perfectly alright.  The City had lost a considerable amount of revenue due to the sale of liquor in the surrounding cities.  The City no longer had that income, nor did it have the retail sales that existed in Texarkana, Texas. 

Director Harris said he was not against the item, he just wanted a little more detail as to what was going on.  He wanted to make sure it was clearly written on the tax form that it would be voluntary.  Director Harris asked who the City banked with.

Dr. Haskin said there were a series of banks the City used. 

Director Harris asked if the City would set up an account so citizens could walk into a bank and donate money to the City. 

Dr. Haskin showed the example of what the form was going to be, and it clearly stated one line had what the property owner owed and the second line had voluntary donation of $10.00. 

Director Teeters said every year when your federal income tax was done, there was a box to check if tax payers would like to donate money to the Presidential campaign.  She said this was so easy to check.  But if she had to drive to a bank to donate she would not take them a dollar.  She said if people had to get into their car and drive to the bank, the City would not get even 1% of the property owners to do it.  She said if the City just had a box on a form to check, the City would have better success with the voluntary contribution.  A voluntary contribution should not require extra effort on anyone’s part, by going to a bank, finding a deposit slip and filling it out.  She said it was too much trouble.

Director Peavy said Channel 6 contacted her today regarding this issue and she told them she liked the word voluntary.  It was nothing mandated, it was to help the City make a start with the money the City had been losing from the liquor sales on the Texas-side.  The City Manager presented to the Board this option to start making revenue and if the Board passed it tonight, it was going to be interesting to see how the citizens reacted to this, and how they got on board to help the City in making up the lost money.  She said it was a voluntary contribution and she liked the wording. 

Director Odom, seconded by Director Teeters, moved to adopt the resolution. The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Miner, Johnson, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the resolution passed, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

Director Odom said he had several phone calls from citizens stating they liked the idea of this, especially since it was voluntary.  He said the citizens had spoken very highly about Dr. Haskin for coming up with this idea.  

Mayor Bell said the City had to think outside the box a little bit and shall continue. 

ORDINANCE NO. 13-2017:

An ordinance was introduced to be entitled, “An Ordinance to Establish a Policy for Public Facility Use requests”.  Said ordinance would implement a policy for the use of public facilities such as parks, pavilions, and Front Street Festival Plaza.   

Public Works Director Jeff Whitten highlighted a few parts of the ordinance.  He did mention if there were an appeal, the City Manager would have the final decision.

Director Harris said the next agenda item somewhat addressed these issues and he asked City Attorney George Matteson if this item passed, would his agenda item be a mute issue.  

Mr. Matteson said it would present an interesting situation and he thought it would be down to time frame in the series of hours and minutes when something was adopted.  He said to avoid the situation entirely, he strongly encouraged the Public Works Department, City Manager and Director Harris to offer to coordinate between the departments to come up with a comprehensive approach.  He said he thought the ordinance would become effective in thirty days and it did not get down to the minutes if it were adopted. 

Director Harris said he felt like the ordinance he brought forth should have been dealt with first.  He said he felt like the Board should have taken some direction whether it be reading it three times and then either vote to pass or fail the ordinance.  He said he did not think tabling was correct since he brought it back to the next meeting.  Director Harris said once he submitted an ordinance he did not care if someone made changes to it, as long as nothing was taken away from the content.  He said he had an issue with section 17-35, per the Public Works Department, which gave the City Manager the final decision and he thought the Board should be the final authority.  Director Harris said he thought the Board should have dealt with the issues he had and then it would have been a mute issue and the Board could have gone onto this issue.     

Director Teeters said the reason why she wanted to table the ordinance last time, was because the Board knew the Public Works Department was already in the process of creating this and she did not understand why Director Harris did not wait for Public Works to come forward and then we could see if there were issues.  She said then the Board and the City Manager could address those issues and fix it.  She said why did we now have two ordinances and like the City Attorney said, might cause more trouble than it was worth.  

Mayor Bell said the Public Works Department’s ordinance was a compilation from the workshop which all the Board members except Director Harris attended. 

Director Odom said Mr. Whitten had spent a lot of time on this ordinance.  He said it was a very well written ordinance and it went along with the unwritten polices the City had in effect for many years and worked very well.  He appreciated the time and effort Mr. Whitten took in preparing this ordinance. 

Mr. Whitten said it was not a perfect ordinance and not all of it was original. 

Director Peavy moved the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its first reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Odom.  Director Harris rejected reading the ordinance in abbreviated form.  There was no vote taken.

The ordinance was read the first time in its entirety.

Director Odom moved to suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its second reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Johnson.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the second time in abbreviated form.

Director Johnson moved to suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its third and final reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Odom.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the third time in abbreviated form.

Mayor Bell asked if any Board or audience member had any questions or comments concerning this item. 

David Peavy, 6512 Skyline Drive, asked about the fencing part of the ordinance.  He said if the building were active with workers, it should not be fenced off to restrain access.  He said if there were an event he felt like citizens should be able to have access to the event.

Mayor Bell said there might be some amendments made to the ordinance.  

Director Teeters said she would appreciate if an ordinance was taken to the full reading, it should be warranted and required that every Board member listen and pay attention and keep off their phones.

Assistant Mayor Miner made the motion to adopt the ordinance.  The motion was seconded by Director Johnson.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  Director Harris voted nay.  The Mayor declared the ordinance adopted, as there were six ayes and one nay.

DIRECTOR HARRIS’ ORDINANCE FOR FACILITY USE REQUESTS POLICY - FAILED:

An ordinance was introduced to be entitled, “An Ordinance to Establish a Policy for Facility Use Requests”.  Said ordinance would implement a policy for the use of Public Facilities such as parks, pavilions, and Front Street Festival Plaza.   

Director Harris said the reason why this ordinance was put on the agenda before it was tabled was due to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.  He said Diva Maintenance had made a Facility Use Request on December 14, 2016, and it did not get approved until February 15, 2017.  He said the ordinance he submitted stated if an item had not been approved within fifteen days it would go before the Board for a decision.  Then he highlighted a few sections of his ordinance.      

Mayor Bell asked Mr. Whitten to come and address the issue as to why this happened. 

Mr. Whitten said the Public Facility Use Request (PFU) was distributed around December 15, 2016, and on December 27, 2016, there was a request made for additional information regarding what the non-profit organization was.  He said Diva Maintenance did not respond to this request until February 1, 2017. 

Director Johnson asked Mr. Whitten when the response was given from Diva Maintenance.  

Assistant Mayor Minor said the response was given February 1, 2017.

Mr. Whitten said it was approved around February 15, 2017.

Director Teeters said the letter of approval was dated for February 15, 2017.

Director Johnson said within a matter of days from Diva Maintenance responding, it was approved. 

Director Teeters said it was a little over month after you requested the information from Diva Maintenance that you received a response. 

Mr. Whitten said yes, it was a little over a month. 

Director Harris said on the same day, David Peavy put in a request February 2, 2017, and his request was approved on February 15, 2017.  There was an issue because Mr. Peavy’s event was in the same section as Diva Maintenance’s event.

Mr. Whitten said the requests were both approved on the same day.  Mr. Peavy’s did not take as long because he was not a non-profit organization and we did not need any additional information.

Director Teeters said Mr. Peavy was not a non-profit organization. 

Mr. Whitten said no, he paid all the fees for his event.  The event Director Harris

was talking about they worked side by side and it was an error on his part. 

Director Harris said Mr. Peavy was given a three-year franchise agreement and Director Harris felt like this should have come before the Board.

Mr. Whitten said the PFU and franchise agreements were two different items.  The PFU application Mr. Peavy submitted was for the second Saturday of every month for the next three years.  Diva Maintenance only applied for the one single event. 

Director Teeters said Diva Maintenance only applied for a single event and Mr. Peavy applied for the three years.

Mr. Whitten said yes.  These two events were held side by side.  Diva Maintenance used the parking lot for the Front Street Plaza and Mr. Peavy used Olive Street which was adjacent to it.  He said his oversight was how to get into the parking lot which was on Olive Street where Mr. Peavy was having his event.  Mr. Peavy worked with the Public Works Department to change the layout of his vendors so there would be access into the parking lot for the Diva Maintenance event.

Director Teeters asked if Diva Maintenance were denied anything they requested with due process. 

Mr. Whitten said not that he was aware of. 

Director Harris said Tameka Grady with Diva Maintenance was in the audience and if she wanted to speak she could come up.  Then he read Section 11 of his ordinance regarding the Advertising & Promotion (A & P) Commission.

Mayor Bell asked Director Harris how that applied to the ordinance just voted on. 

Director Harris said he was talking about his ordinance and why it was brought forward. 

Mayor Bell asked Director Harris to give examples to Mr. Whitten other than reading from a document that had not been voted on.

Director Harris said he was trying to bring the rationality as to why the ordinance was presented.   

Director Teeters asked if the new ordinance the Board just voted on would oversee all the issues.  If we just voted to approve these nineteen pages we just read, did it not start on May 1, 2017, and any other issues brought forward would be addressed in the resolution we just adopted.  She said why were we going back and hashing things in a resolution we had resent and approved a new one.

Director Harris said the ordinance was never approved, it was tabled. 

Mayor Bell said it was tabled and not brought back up.

Director Harris said he brought it back up and put it back on the agenda.

Mayor Bell asked Mr. Matteson, if the ordinance was tabled did the Board not have to have a vote, a second and the majority had to vote to bring it back up.

Mr. Matteson said what he was getting from the discussion was there was a question as to being on item ten or eleven. 

Mayor Bell said we were not on eleven.  She assumed Director Harris was addressing problems in the past from citizens that contacted him and would the new ordinance we just adopted address the issues.  

Mr. Whitten said yes it would.  He said the one thing he would like to address Director Harris brought up in Section 11 had to do with City sponsored events.  The ordinance the Public Works Department presented did not state anything about City sponsored events like RailFest, Mardi Gras.  Events like these were sponsored by the A & P Commission.

Dr. Haskin said the City was not in the entertainment business. 

Director Harris asked if he could continue.

Mayor Bell said as long as Director Harris was not reading from an ordinance.  She wanted Director Harris to verbalize the concern but she did not want to hear another thirty minutes. 

Director Harris said he was trying to get the issue out.

Mayor Bell said tell her the issue first.

Director Harris asked who determined who the volunteers were.  DeAnna O’Malley was the volunteer for Mardi Gras and RailFest.  He asked how did she become the event manager?  

Director Johnson said as a member of the Board of the A & P Commission, DeAnna O’Malley volunteered to do these events, they were not being sponsored by the City.  The A & P Commission did not have anyone to run these events so Ms. O’Malley volunteered.  She then made a presentation to the A & P Commission for funding to help put the events on.  He said these events would not have taken place had she not volunteered. 

Mayor Bell asked Director Harris, was he not on the A & P Commission.

Director Harris said the question was how did she become the volunteer. 

Mayor Bell asked did you vote for her.

Director Harris asked did the City name her the volunteer.

Director Teeters said the A & P Commission made her the volunteer.

Director Harris said how could there be a competitive process because there were other people who would like to be the volunteer. 

Mayor Bell said she did not know because she was not on the A & P Commission.

Mr. Whitten said the Public Works Department did not go and solicit anyone for volunteers.  DeAnna O’Malley submitted an application and eventually went to the A & P Commission for funding.  

Director Teeters said DeAnna O’Malley was not handpicked, she volunteered and was the only volunteer.  

Mr. Whitten said Ms. O’Malley was the only one who filled out an application. 

Director Harris said what if the next time you had four applications, who would make the determination.

Mayor Bell said the A & P Commission would make the choice.

Mr. Whitten said based on the ordinance just past the Public Works Department would review the application but these were not City events so the Public Works Department was not out soliciting the volunteers.

Mayor Bell said Director Harris and Director Johnson were on the A & P Commission and could determine what went on there.  She said the Board had nothing to do with the A & P Commission.  She said she did not want to be on the A & P Commission.  

Director Harris asked if the item was tabled did you have to get the Board’s permission to bring it back from being tabled. 

Mr. Matteson said he understood this ordinance to be something different than what was tabled, so he treated the ordinance like something distinct from the one before.   

Mayor Bell asked Director Harris what was changed. 

Director Harris said Section 11 was added.

Mr. Matteson said since Director Harris had a new proposal with a slight difference, the Board would consider the proposal to be a new one. 

Mayor Bell said was this not counter to trying to take care of the business of this City.  She said what if she would have submitted an ordinance and changed one little thing because she was not happy and did not get her way and kept bringing them back.  This did not seem the Board was trying to take care of the City business. 

Director Harris said he disagreed with her comment.  He said as a Board member, he felt like he had the right to submit documentation or issues, and it was not about him getting his way.  He said if the issue was taken care of in the first go around then this would not have been an issue for this body.  Director Harris asked the City Attorney if the ordinance could be tabled or did it have to be read three times before action was taken.

Mr. Matteson said before it could be adopted, of course it needed to be read three times.  He was under the impression this ordinance was different from what was submitted before, and with the understanding this ordinance was not the one placed on the table nor was the entire concept of Public Facility Use placed on the table. 

Director Teeters said this ordinance had not been tabled since the document had been changed. 

Mr. Matteson said this would be his interpretation based on the application of the 180-day rule.  He said very often the City would consider something and someone would say no that was too expensive and the client could come back to the Board to present a cheaper version.         

Director Harris said if this ordinance was read three times in abbreviated form it would be a mute issue.

Mr. Matteson said the other ordinance would still be hanging out there but if you wanted to bring that one back and vote on it, he thought you could.

Director Harris said he would rather the Board just read the ordinance in abbreviated form since he got out what all he was trying to get out of it and deal with this.  He said he knew the Board was going to vote it down, but his main issue was he had the right to bring an issue before the Board.   

Mayor Bell said the Board had a workshop and asked Director Harris if he was alerted of the workshop.

Director Harris said there was no law stating he had to be at the workshop.  He said he might have had something else to do.

Mayor Bell asked Director Harris was that the way it was.  She said she had other things she needed to do but she came to the workshop because she felt like this was important.  Mayor Bell said the Public Works Department wanted Director Harris’ input and the Board spoke about how they would have liked for Director Harris to work with the Public Works Director to bring up the issues he had.  She said this was stopping the Board from dealing with the business at hand. 

Director Harris said this item was mailed to the City Attorney and the Public Works Department, they could have looked at the ordinance and done whatever they would have liked to do with it. 

Director Johnson said the Section Director Harris added dealt solely with the A & P Commission. 

Director Harris said he changed the whereas too.

Director Johnson said the entire Section dealt with festivities the City no longer took part in and Director Harris and Director Johnson dealt with these issues being a member of the A & P Commission.

Director Harris said he took out the naming of the exotic animals. 

Director Teeters said since this document was a new document as the City Attorney said and had never been tabled, she would like to make a motion the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the Board could vote on it and have one working document. 

Mayor Bell asked if any Board or audience member had any questions or comments concerning this item.  No one came forward.

Teeters moved the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its first reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Odom.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the first time in abbreviated form.

Director Harris moved to suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its second reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Teeters.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the second time in abbreviated form.

Director Harris moved to suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its third and final reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Teeters.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the third time in abbreviated form.

Director Harris made the motion to adopt the ordinance. 

Mayor Bell declared the motion died for lack of a second.

Director Harris asked the City Attorney if he needed a second. 

Mr. Matteson said right now the Board had a motion to adopt and would need a second to do the vote.  He said the Mayor declared there was no second so there was no vote.  He said since there was no vote it could be brought back up for consideration in 180 days. 

Director Harris said that was why the Board needed to go ahead and vote.

Director Johnson said we were making a farce of all this and the correct thing to do would be to second Director Harris’ motion and vote the ordinance down or up if we chose to.  Director Johnson elected to second the motion to adopt the ordinance so the Board could act on this ordinance.

The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted nay.  Director Harris voted aye.  The Mayor declared the ordinance failed, as there were six nays and one aye.

ORDINANCE NO. 14-2017:

An ordinance was introduced to be entitled, “An Ordinance amending Ordinance No. M-49 and approving TAPERS Pension Plan Amendments”. 

Finance Director TyRhonda Henderson said this ordinance proposed adoption of an amendment to the TAPERS Pension Plan that was discussed by the TAPERS Committee on April 6, 2017.  Once a TAPERS participant had reached the Normal Retirement Age of 65, the proposed amendment would allow the participant to be reemployed by the City on a part-time basis.  For the participant to be eligible for reemployment, he or she must have actually terminated employment with the City.  The participant would be eligible to receive TAPERS benefit payments during reemployment, but no additional retirement benefits would be accrued through the City.

Director Harris asked who would this be directed to. 

Ms. Henderson said this would be anyone who was included in the old TAPERS retirement plan that was now a closed plan.

Mayor Bell said it was not for anyone in the new plan.

Ms. Henderson said correct.

Director Harris asked would it be for contracted employees. 

Ms. Henderson said no, they would be hired as a part-time employee.

Director Teeters said with no benefits and no payment in to TAPERS after that.

Assistant Mayor Miner said no additional adding to their retirement. 

Ms. Henderson said correct. 

Mayor Bell asked if any Board or audience member had any questions or comments concerning this item.  No one came forward.

Director Harris moved the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its first reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Johnson.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the first time in abbreviated form.

Director Harris moved to suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its second reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Teeters.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the second time in abbreviated form.

Director Harris moved to further suspend the rules and have the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its third and final reading.  The motion was seconded by Director Odom.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the third time in abbreviated form.

 

Director Odom made the motion to adopt the ordinance.  The motion was seconded by Director Teeters.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the ordinance adopted, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

CITIZEN COMMUNICATION:

            Mayor Bell asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak, on any subject up to a total of five minutes.

Director Harris said he hoped Mr. Darden received the resolution and hoped this Board would get past the politics and do the right thing.  He said he hoped it was on the next agenda.  He said sometimes it was not what was brought before the Board, but who brought it.  He said the Board needed Mr. Darden’s help with the Quorum Court to approve the $10 voluntary donation to the City to be added to the county tax statements.

Director Peavy said being a new member of the Board, she did not know the protocol of being notified of meetings.  She said in the past, she had received emails inviting her to certain meetings and certain functions.  She said she did not know if she was left out and she did not know what happened to the chain of command.

Director Teeters said this was the first she heard of the meeting and she said she would have definitely attended, if she knew of it.

Director Peavy said she was not aware any Directors attended the meeting at the old Boys and Girls Club other than Director Harris.  She said she was trying not get her feelings hurt because she was concerned about the Boys and Girls Club.  She said she did not know what the City’s legal means were and she knew the budget was tight.  Director Peavy said she would have liked to have been included in the meeting and she would like to be included in any future meetings. 

Director Teeters said exactly.

Mayor Bell said Mr. Darden’s five minutes were up.  She said she appreciated Mr. Darden’s concern for this.  She said she wished Mr. Darden had met with the City Manager concerning this effort.  She said when she made the statement she did not intend to upset anyone.  She said she could remember when it was the VFW and wrestling matches were held there.  She said it was not always a Boys and Girls Club.  It was run into the ground when it was a Boys and Girls Club.  The roof was falling in and no one reported it.  She said it was not being ran well.  She said the Cranks family contacted the Boys and Girls Club to see if they would claim the building and they refused.  The Cranks then deeded the building back to the City.  The City installed a new roof on the building.  Mayor Bell said this was not something the City did not want.  She said the City needed the Boys and Girls Club of American to agree to take over the building and they had not done that.  She said this was not an item the Board should take upon itself.  She said Mr. Darden needed to meet with the City Manager to discuss this venture. 

Mr. Darden said Miller County was trying to work with Texarkana, Arkansas.

Mayor Bell said she did not know anything about this.

Mr. Darden said he was just now bringing this idea to the Board.  He said he did not know Ms. Huntley.  He said this was something separate from what he was doing.

Assistant Mayor Miner asked Mr. Darden if he attended the meeting at the Boys and Girls Club that the Board did not know about.

Mr. Darden said he did not know about a meeting.

Director Harris said since his name was being thrown around, he could tell the Board what happened.  He said Parks Superintendent Ross Cowling attended an Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Commission meeting and asked for $50,000 for five years for the Boys and Girls Club and $50,000 for Hobo Jungle Park.  Director Harris said he decided to do a walk-through of the Boys and Girls Club, which he posted on Facebook.  He said people became aware of the meeting after his post on Facebook.  He said it was not a meeting.  There was nothing planned.  It was just a walk-through to see the condition of the Boys and Girls Club, because Mr. Cowling wanted $50,000 a year from the A&P Commission.  He said Dr. Haskin sent a letter to the Board regarding the incident. 

Mayor Bell asked was the letter about the meeting in advance.

Director Harris said there was nothing done in advance.

Mayor Bell said nothing was in advance and Director Harris knew she was technologically challenged.  She said she did not Facebook or do any of that.

Director Teeters said the letter regarding the old Boys and Girls Club did not come from the City Manager, rather it came from Public Works Director Jeff Whitten. 

Director Peavy asked Mr. Darden how this came about with the Quorum Court and the old Boys and Girls Club.

Mr. Darden said it was his desire to get behind the funding for the operation of the Boys and Girls Club.  He said the Quorum Court seemed to be on board.  He said he asked the Quorum Court to make him the youth development liaison for Miller County, and he was appointed as the liaison.  He said the ball was rolling now and he was here to seek a resolution to work together to get this done.

Mayor Bell said she thought it was inappropriate to approach the Board without first meeting with the City Manager.  In turn, the City Manager would bring the resolution to the Board for their action, if needed.  She said it had to take those steps.  She thanked Mr. Darden.

            No one else came forward.

ADJOURNMENT:

Director Odom, seconded by Director Johnson, moved to adjourn the meeting.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, Johnson, Miner, Odom, Peavy, Teeters, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the meeting adjourned, as there were seven ayes and no nays.

The meeting adjourned at 8:22 PM.

 

 

 

_______________________________

Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

_____________________________

Heather Soyars, City Clerk