Pine Bluff City Council Meeting: January 17 (Corrected Date)

Pine Bluff Civic Center, including City Hall. The Civic Center, designed by Edward Durell Stone and Edward Durell Stone, Jr., was built over a span from 1963 to 1968. Photo credit: Shane Vaughn The Pine Bluff Civic Center, which includes City Hall. Photo credit: Shane Vaughn

The Pine Bluff City Council will meet on Tuesday evening:

January 17, 2017, 5:30 pm
City Council Chambers / City Hall Civic Complex
200 E. 8th Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601

The Pine Bluff Commercial published a full article describing the council’s agenda for Monday’s meeting.  The list below puts the agenda in a nutshell while also providing extra context for some matters.  The agenda includes a first reading and consideration of several measures, all listed below.

  • The council will hear a first reading of ordinances that would repeal the council’s December 19, 2016, votes to remove Animal Control and Quality of Life divisions from the Pine Bluff Police Department. (Sponsored by Aldermen Bill Brumett and Win Trafford.)

A first reading is the formal introduction of the ordinance by its sponsors. If the council approves the title and description of this proposed ordinance, then it should be posted or published publicly. Check the Pine Bluff Commercial in the upcoming days. Except in emergencies, an ordinance receives two to three readings before the council votes and finalizes their decision on it.

  • The City Council will consider the following measures:
    • A resolution to temporarily block Lee Street from West Short Third Street to West Fifth Avenue until a solution is found for illegal garbage dumping. (Sponsored by Alderman Steven Mays).
    • A resolution to address points of contention in negotiations with Pine Bluff Cable Television (parent company Wehco Video) before finalizing negotiations.
    • A measure supporting a state-level bill that would designate U.S. 65 between Pine Bluff and the Louisiana border as the “Delta Rhythm ‘N’ Bayous Highway.”  The city’s support would be a commitment to posting signs advertising the theme along the in-town portion of Highway 65. The designation of a longer stretch of Highway 65 as it traverses the Delta region, ultimately a state legislative matter, is part of a broader economic development initiative; that initiative is spearheaded by a nonprofit that would designate Pine Bluff as one of two anchor cities in the targeted region. For now, though, the highway’s designation is the issue on local and state agendas. The city’s proposed ordinance will include a copy of the proposed state-level bill being introduced by these representatives (Pine Bluff’s and two others with constituents in the Delta):
      • Vivian Flowers, House District 17
      • Kenneth Ferguson, House District 16
      • Mark McElroy, House District 11
      • Chris Richey, House District 12
    • An ordinance that raises the fees for police reports and fingerprint requests as well as those for fire reports and incident requests. (Requested by the police department to bring fees to a similar level as those of similarly sized cities in the state.)
    • A resolution that would direct the mayor to appoint one or more members of the City Council to track and facilitate communication among government officials about pending legislation at the state and federal levels that could affect Pine Bluff.
    • An ordinance updating the substance abuse policy for Pine Bluff Transit in order to meet conditions for federal funding as mandated by the Federal Transit Administration.
    • Four proposed budget adjustments to pay for extra salary or benefits: $5,000 increase in salary for a juvenile city attorney position; $28,276 in salary for two positions in the mayor’s office (assistant to the mayor and administrative assistant/secretary); leaving the positions of purchasing agent and grant writer unfilled in order to fund the pay increases (if approved); and the transfer of some 2016 budget carryover funds to address an employee’s retirement that involves accumulated leave time.

Pine Bluff’s City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month except for holidays, inclement weather, or other extenuating circumstances such as a called meeting.

The city’s website includes one webpage with contact information for the mayor and other officials and another for council members.  The city clerk (contact info on mayor’s webpage) maintains records of ordinances and resolutions passed plus tapes and minutes of council meetings (and other board and commission proceedings).  Allow time (probably weeks) for records and videos to be posted online, though; in the meantime, look for follow-up in the newspaper, contact your alderman (council member), or contact the city clerk’s office for access to printed minutes in the office.

Karen Coker
About Karen Coker

Karen Coker, a native of Pine Bluff, is the editor and publisher of PB Junction. Though she started PB Junction as a creative and technical endeavor, she has found people's stories to be the most interesting part of it. In addition to this website, she writes scientific reports and has a background in statistical analysis as well.

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