February 24, 2012 by wcobserver
Greenland City Council
Michael Moore and Lisa Thornton were appointed to the Greenland Planning Com- mission after a resolution passed at the city council’s regular monthly meeting on Mon- day, Feb. 12. Moore and Thornton were recommended by Mayor Bill Groom, and after a brief executive session, the council passed a resolution to appoint the pair, 5-3.
During the meeting, Mayor Groom also expressed concern for the Ozark Transit program, for which the city of Greenland subsidizes about $2,000. Groom said the program wasn’t being utilized and asked the council to perhaps consider ending the fee or encourage more use of the program? Councilmen Danny Dutton suggested public announcements be made to inform the public and perhaps increase passengers. The council also asked the mayor to reach out to the community in order to increase the number of riders?
The city has a filed for a conditional use permit for the recycling center, and reported that it received three bids for its long-await- ed City Hall expansion. The bids have come from Mahan Construction, Heckathorn Construction and Jim Hoadley Construction. The council voted, 7-0, to work with Heckathorn.
In other news, Chief of Police Gary Ricker said he has sent out bids for the construction of a new playground. The city has a grant for $50,000 to replace the old playground on Pearson St.
Washington County Quorum Court
During its regular monthly meeting on Feb. 13, the court continued discussing the proposed special election for a quarter-cent sales tax increase to benefit the Ozark Regional Transit (ORT) .
A motion to move the special election to the general November election made by JP Tom Lundstrum was audibly scoffed at by audience. The amendment would have set the ordinance back to first reading.
“My reason in making this motion is that
the purpose of this court is to have as many people as possible vote up or down on this ordinance. … There’s a substantial difference between the number of people who show up special elections and the number of people that show up for general elections. The turn- out of this general election should be huge. So we’re actually giving a far greater number of people in our county the opportunity to vote on this issue than we would have with if we hold a special election.” Justice of the Peace Butch Pond said only 8 percent of people voted in the 2004 local primary, while 79 percent participated in the November general election.
The motion failed 8 to 5.
Because of the significance of the proposed ORT tax increase, the resolution to hold a special election must be read and ap- proved by the Court three times. After finishing the second reading of the resolution, the Court moved to expedite the process by skipping to the third and final reading.
“These folks are here and they’re ready for us to vote. I’ve heard from tons and tons of folks,” said Judge Marilyn Edwards. “Let’s do it.”
The motion failed. The final reading will be held during the Court’s monthly meeting in March. The special election would be held within 120 days of the final reading.
The Court was then opened for public comment. Citizens were asked to keep their responses relevant and limited to
three minutes. The public forum continued uninterrupted for almost two hours. The majority of citizens who spoke were roundly in favor of continuing ORT’s re- gional service. Several of those opposed to the tax-increase self-identified as Tea Party members. The special election vote for the ORT’s quarter-cent sales tax is set to be held in May.
Prairie Grove City Council
The minutes for the Monday, Feb. 30, Prairie Grove City Council meeting were not available at press time. Check out our web- side, www.WCObserver.com for updates later this week.
West Fork City Council
The council spent a major portion of its Feb. 14 meeting debating, and eventually approving, Planning Commission Chair Mike Landa’s rezoning appeal (see the Observer’s story on Page 1). The council also took care of several housekeeping chores. It passed two budget adjustment resolutions, approved a salary reimbursement for an injured firemen, approved a library request for funds to purchase a new copier and approved a resolution “Permitting the City of West Fork to Contract with The City of Fayetteville for Animal Control Management.”
The council briefly discussed a request by the school’s EAST program to use the city marquee in front of city hall. The council gave permission but noted that the city would have priority over its use. They also designated Utility Superintend/Street Department Head Michael “Butch “Bartholomew as the person in charge of the sign.
West Fork Planning Commission
The Planning Commission did not hold its regular monthly meeting because if failed to reach a quorum of members. The meeting has not been rescheduled as of press time.
Winslow City Council
The city council did not meet due to in- clement weather. Mayor Randy Jarnegan said the council would only reschedule a February meeting if requested by council members. No request has been made. The council is set to meet again in March.