Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was one member short, which means all unanimous votes will be recorded as 7 to 1,
since all absentees count as No vote.
Mayor Norris presented a plaque of appreciation to outgoing City Attorney Melissa Krebbs.
Outgoing Council member Ken Saunders from Ward One was a absent due to illness and a recurring instance of cancer.
He was the longest serving member of the Council.
Director of Finance Ms. Mathis gave the financial reports ending November 2022.
Total Revenues are $1.5 million over the prior year. The General Fund is $6 million over the minimum balance.
Revenues are way up and the City is doing well on expenses.
The final draft of 2020 will be going through a final audit and will be presented to the Council soon.
As soon as that is done, work will begin on the 2021 report.
Once again a vote was taken to select a new representative of the Civil Service commission between Sam Williams and Kelly Hughes.
This is the third meeting after the previous two meetings failed to reach a majority due to absenteeism and
Council member Ms. Williams abstaining due to a conflict of interest.
Both votes taken tonight were a dead even tie of 3 to 3. Since a majority of 5 is required,
the selection has been delayed until the next meeting when hopefully we will have one more member to vote.
Ordinance 1084 had its third reading to establish Improvement District #22-18.
Council member Holt asked for a clarification, having been absent last meeting.
The legal representative of the district said they would be gathering fees to prepare roads and kayak launches,
and establishing the district would better enable them to collect those fees. The Ordinance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.
Resolution 2022-54 authorized the City Attorney to see condemnation of the property that is blocking the start of construction
of the new roundabout at White Oaks and Club Manor. The owners have retained legal council who advocates that the property is
actually worth twice or more than what it appraised for. The City has already offered well above that appraisal, but the two
sides are far apart. The last counter from the owners was $70,000. Given another two weeks after it was tabled, the owner
reduced their counter by $1000. The City has been negotiating on the small parcel since July, and this is the last thing
holding up the start of building the roundabout. The land is on the curve of Counts Massie and located in North Little Rock.
The appraisal was below $41,000 for the 6000 square feet to extend the right of way into the property and the City’s last
offer was $55,000. The last counter was $69.000. By sending this to the courts, negotiations can still continue prior to a
judgement by the court. The vote before the council was to allow the City Attorney to file with a judge to make a final
determination about the fair value of the property.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-56 certifies a local government endorsement of Plastics Ingenuities to participate in the Consolidated
Incentive Act of 2003, a tax back program.
A representative of Plastic Ingenuities spoke about how they make plastic forms and thermal form packages for the food
industries and this tax incentive would be used to expand and establish 40 new jobs.
The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-57 enters the City into a contract of obligation with the Department of Environmental Quality.
This is a resolution that is passed periodically as an obligation to have enough money in place should the sanitation
transfer station need to be closed down. This is a requirement to continue operating the station. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-58 approve the City’s budget for 2023. In the months of November and December the Council met with the Mayor
and department heads. The budget Includes two new police officers and three new lieutenants in the Fire Department as well
as upgrade for the police and fires, and a Zodiac rescue boat, replacing a street sweeper and placing a new traffic signal
on Maumelle Blvd. and Audubon.
Council member Mosley mentioned how the Park on the River does not have a contract and no revenues are being brought in to cover
the expenses of maintaining it, which include the need for a new air conditioning unit this year.
The Mayor said a contract is currently be worked on and will be coming before the Council.
Council member Holt said that as a matter of principal that we should make an effort to get our audits done. We wants to get those out of the way.
The Resolution passed unanimously. The budget was the last item on the year’s agenda and the budget is set for next year.
The Mayor mentioned that the City has received a $240,000 grant for an All Inclusive Playground that will be built in 2023.
Mayor Norris also addressed how a billboard was erected, advocating a return to a ban on dog breeds, and clarified that he had nothing to do with it.
Chief of Police Cory Pickard was also congratulated for graduating an F.B.I. Training course.
Council member Mosley spoke about the sign, and clarified that he also had nothing to do with the dog ban sign being put up.
He also congratulated City Attorney Melissa Krebs for her professionalism and excellent service over the last four years.
He also commented about how it was an honor to work with Ken Saunders.
City Attorney Krebs thanked the Council for supporting her during her time with the City.
City Clerk Timmons asked the Council to note how there will be a number of Tuesday meetings coming up in the next two months,
and she also complimented City Attorney Krebbs for her strength and integrity.
December 5, 2022 Update
Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was two members short.
All unanimous votes will show a count of 6 to 2, since all absentees count as a No.
A new vote was held in the runoff for the Civil Sercie Commission appointment, between candidates Sam Williams and Kelley Hughes.
See my notes from the last meeting for details on each of them. During the last meeting a majority was not reached on either candidate.
They each addressed the Council again before the vote.
With two absentees and one abstention, the five Council members voting needed to all vote unanimously in order to have a quorum of five.
The first vote failed 3 to 2. The second vote failed 4 to 1.
There was some criticism by Mister Harrington of the Commission about the Council being too short-handed in attendance to reach a majority,
and questioned when we would next have a full attendance in the seats if the vote was delayed yet again.
The Commission has an impending appeal for a termination that requires the seat be filled.
Another vote failed 4 to 1.
The vote was rescheduled to the next meeting.
Ordinance 1082 to update the business license fee schedule had its third and final reading.
Previously the Council has approved measures to rewrite the fee schedules to help the Police, Fire, Animal Control,
plus the Planning and Permits departments. During the most recent budget meeting we heard about how antiquated our fee schedule
is for trash services and Public Works has asked for those to be rewritten.
This Ordinance is intended to help the City Clerk’s Office in the very same way, and I asked Clerk Timmons to share her views on this measure.
Clerk Timmons pointed out that this fee was established in 2003 and that was the last time these were even looked at.
Our fees for commercial businesses is only $50 for Commerical businesses, it is only $100 for industrial.
She did not think anyone would object to the tiny incremental increases being proposed.
The vote was 4 to 4, because of the two absentee members, so the motion failed.
Ordinance 1084 had its second reading to establish Improvement District #18.
Casey Ziegler spoke as a representative of the group, discussion the purposes of the District and their plans for improvements.
She also pointed out that by State Law the only role for the Council was to approve this measure,
and the law provided for the land owner to be able to these decisions.
Mayor Norris opened the floor to public discussion.
Council member Mosley spoke about how in his opinion a previous developer abused this law and saddled prospective buyers with special
improvement taxes that were not properly communicated when the lots were sold and made Maumelle “Into a Buyer Beware community.”
Ms. Ziegler acknowledged his concerns and expressed her own about property owners not paying the fees and making it hard to maintain the properties.
This measure made it easier to collect those fees.
Resolution 2022-54 authorizes the City Attorney to see condemnation on certain properties by eminent domain proceedings.
This is for the final parcel needed to acquire in order to build the roundabout at White Oaks and Country Club.
The City has communicated offers to the property owners who have rejected the offers and would not negotiate their counter offer,
which exceeds the appraisal, and offered no concrete evidence for why they expected a higher price.
This process would put the negotiations into the court for this 6000 square feet parcel of land in the southeast corner of the bend,
bordering the northern section of that area.
The Property Owner asked to speak, but had not previously filled out a public speaking card.
Cade Cox spoke as the property owner. They are concerned about losing their access road for the property. They felt the offer was too low,
and their situation was unique in losing an access point that could damage the value of their property by 25% of their appraised value
of their other property. They did not counter the last counter because the last time because they felt the City’s offer was too low.
They feel the development of their property would be damaged by losing their access point.
The Mayor commented about how the roundabout construction had been held up for several months and encouraged the Council to proceed.
City Attorney Krebs said the the City cannot offer more money than the evaluations they have received. Right now the offers are $15,000 apart,
in excess of $41,000 that the 6000 square foot property is valued at. The City has counter-offered $45,000 and $50,000 but both were rejected.
Their land owner's first counter-offer was $89,000 and their second was $75,000. The feel the property is worth $100,000.
The City Attorney estimated there would be no significant cost to the city by turning this over to the courts for a decision.
Council member Mosley motioned to table this until the next meeting. The motion failed on a vote of 4 to 4, because of the absentees.
The Mayor cast the deciding vote to table this matter until the next Council meeting.
One other note on this matter, City Attorney Krebs said that I would not need to recuse myself on this matter due to having used Mister
Cox as an attorney on a Trademark renewal 25 years ago.
Resolution 2022-55 amends the 2022 General, Street and Sanitation budgets to do a one time write off of bad debt.
The outstanding sanitation liens amounted to $10,000. Other matters in this resolution were not filed previously and had no way to collect.
This is a one time measure. The resolution passed unanimously.
Mayor Norris complimented Parks and Recreation for a “hugely successful” Christmas Parade, and resulted in the biggest parade they have had.
He felt that moving the event to a later time benefited from being able to use lights.
Council member Mosley compliment the City about putting “No Hunting” signs on the river island near Ward One, and said has cut down on gun fire this year.
City Clerk Timmons asked the Council to bring their code books to the next meeting.
The Mayor reminded the Council about the next budget meeting tomorrow night.
November 21, 2022 Update
Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was two members short, so all unanimous votes will be counted as 6 to 2,
since absentees always count as a No vote.
Finance Director Ms. Mathis gave the October 2022 Financial report. We are currently well ahead of budget and far ahead of revenues
collected in the prior year. The General fund balance is $5.1 million over the required minimum amount.
Council member Gardner asked if Ms. Mathis had an idea of what the distribution of excess taxes collected over bond debt might be.
She estimated in the millions, of which Maumelle would get a percentage.
The only unfinished business on tonight’s agenda was the second reading of Ordinance 1082 to revise the City’s business license fee.
Last meeting it was mentioned that this was a new tax. I disagree.
This is fiscal responsibility to recover the costs for services provided by the City.
The reason this proposal places the entirety of this very modest increase, which STILL keeps Maumelle as the second cheapest place
to do business in all of Arkansas, is because no segment of the community relies on the police and fire services more than the business community.
It is simple fiscal responsibility to keep our fee schedules in line with the escalating costs that the city incurs. And once again,
I’ll emphasis the importance of increasing the pay of our first responders.
As I also mentioned previously, our current fee schedule is woefully out of date, just as the permit and planning fees that we recently adjusted.
This us a tiny increase that will not cause a hardship of any sort to any business, and as I’ve also said before, is a simple matter of fiscal
responsibility that goes beyond just dollars and common sense, it also reduces the workload of the City Clerk’s office.
As the City Attorney mentioned last meeting, for this to take effect in time to be of a benefit to the City Clerk for 2023,
I proposed enacting the emergency clause so that it will take effect immediately, rather than in 60 days. My motion failed to get a second.
The new business segment of the Council meeting started with the appointment of a new representative to the Civil Service Commision.
We had three very experienced and fine candidates, all of whom had previously submitted their resumes before interviewing with the Council.
Mrs. Williams recused herself form this vote because of a conflict of interest.
Kelley Hughes is a senior employment analyst for the City of Little Rock, dealing directly with police and fire personell.
John C. Jones has 25 years in IT and networking systems, and has 20 years of experience mentoring and coaching at UCA and Oachita Baptist University.
Sam Williams served 24 years with the Little Rock Police Department before retiring as Captain, and then being appointed Maumelle Police Chief from 2000 through 2018.
It was a very strong group of candidates, and their willingness to be involved in the service our community is much appreciated.
Any of them would have made a fine choice.
Because of the two absentees and one abstention, a unanimous vote of 5 was required for this process. It came down to a split vote
between Ms. Hughes and Mr. Williams. After two additional ballots the vote was still split, so the selection was tabled until the next meeting,
when hopefully more council persons will be able to split and reach the mandatory majority of 5 (out of 8 members) for one applicant.
Resolution 2022-51 was brought by Council member Mosley, calling to place a measure on the next election to reinstate the ban on certain breeds of dogs.
Member Mosley gave a long address about why he favored this.
His case focused on the possibility of future attacks by those breeds, but did not address future attacks by other breeds of dogs.
As I had stated before, I felt it would be irresponsible of me to subject the citizens of Maumelle to two years of attempted influence
by advocacy elements from outside our city. I have previously been subjected to obscene emails and threats of violence, told that someone
would be meeting me on the parking lot if I did not vote for the ban, and while voting in favor of this might have removed the Council
from being the target of ban advocates, I cannot in good conscience expose residents to two years of this type of behavior, or take the
chance a child might be exposed to emails showing industrial accidents passed off as dog attack victims. As the City Attorney researched, the
measure only has to be placed on the ballot 70 days prior to the actual election, and I previously suggested to delay this resolution
request to that latter time—in order to keep Maumelle from becoming an idealogical battleground for the next two years.
Council member Holt seconded member Mosley’s motion to put the measure on the ballot.
A motion was also made to included the upcoming Ordinance 1083 as being the language of the Resultion. Member Holt seconded that motion.
The first motion to be voted on was to correct the clerical error. It passed unanimously.
The next motion to be voted on was to put Ordinance 1983 on the ballot in two years.
The motion failed by a vote of 4 to 2. Or 6 to 2 on the official record.
Ordinance 1083 amending Chapter 10 of the Animal Code was listed on the agenda as a new ordinance.
This was actually connected to the aforementioned Resolution 2022-51 that failed.
Resolution 2022-52 amends the General Fund budget to allow for repairs to the Fire Department aerial truck, and insurance covered $5,000
worth of the repairs. This resolution was to move the insurance money from the general fund to the operating budget of the Fire Department.
Resolution 2022-53 amends the 2022 General Fund budget to appropriate $3300 of collected fees that the Council approved to be collected in
May for fire inspections and burn permits notices to allow for the purchase of body armor and other fire prevention needs.
The Fire Chief explained about how these monies had started being collected mid-year, so since it had no line item in the budget to enable to use it,
the monies will disappear into the General Fund. They would not be used for the Fire Department as intended unless the resolution was made.
The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 1.
Ordinance 1084 to establish a property owners’ multipurpose Improvement Distrcit No. 2022-18 of Maumelle, commonly called the Devoe,
and provide for emergencies and other purposes had its first reading. The previous reading was to establish a upcoming Public hearing,
and the Mayor converted the meeting of the Council into that public hearing.
A representative of the applicant was present, but there were no public comments.
Kesey Ziglar, the representative, was asked several questions by member Mosley about what the district would represent.
She replied that it is currently for gates and landscaping, with an option to deal with unforeseen matters that might occur in the future.
This is not intended as a revenue device for the District. The point is to deal with common areas.
Council member Gardner commented about how State Law requires the City Council to approve these Districts if they have met all their requirements,
which they have.
The public hearing was then closed and the Mayor returned to the City Council meeting, and discussed the condensed dates of the upcoming Budget Meetings. These meetings will be recorded and shown live.
Council member Holt discussed the Planning Commission meeting for November 17, and how four speakers discussed the Krash Events Enterprises
Convention center, and their request to increase the occupancy from 300 plus to 500 plus and increase in size from 12,000 square feet
to 16,000 square feet. The Commission delayed the discussion to December. The Maumelle Country Club has agreed in principal to the
increase in shared parking, but had not yet voted.
Council member Mosley also discussed the same matter, and the quality of the questions that the Commission asked, and how they did not appear
comfortable with the parking situation, and that the public notice might not have been done effectively. These were factors in the delay.
Member Mosley also congratulated the winners of the recent election.
Member Mosley then spoke about the dog ban issue again, and criticized the council and felt that some members were not being properly transparent.
The Mayor asked him to clarify his accusation.
Member Mosley said he did not feel there was enough discussion on the matter.
Mayor Norris felt the result was very predictable, and felt it was a concept problem on perspective,
and it was a discredit to accuse the council of a lack of transparency.
Member Mosley rebutted that he wanted more transparency, and felt some people on the council do not justify why they voted the way they did.
The Mayor reminded everyone that City office will be closed Thanksgiving Day and Friday.
November 7, 2022 Update
Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was two members short, so all unanimous votes will be registered as 7 to 2,
since all absentee votes count as a No vote.
Mike Hogan, Director of Public Works, gave a report on his department. He mentioned that they still have openings for certified drives,
but are now in good shape on grounds workers. They picked up 41 tons of yard debris as part of the Fall cleanup, which was a few less than in the Spring.
The Trash truck ordered in April 2021 is still on order, having suffered major delays because of the pandemic.
With these long build times, they may have to order replacements far in the future.
He felt the scrub seals done the roads in the Arnold Palmer still need to have a few areas striped,
but he was very pleased with the effectiveness of this new method of road maintenance.
New drainage systems have been installed in problem areas, and Crystal Hill Road is once again under construction and progressing.
He also mentioned the need for additional concrete to upgrade Champs Blvd. in connection to the building and resulting traffic
of the new Tractor Supply distribution center. This item is a resolution on the latter part of tonight’s agenda.
Council member Mosley asked about what work was being done on Crystal Hill road. The work is currently on the connection to North Little Rock,
and discussions have been progressing with the construction company and progress is once again underway, moving toward completion.
Member Mosley also asked if Director Hogan might have any idea about how many Pit Bull dogs currently reside in Maumelle. He did not know.
Council member Holt asked about the frequency of employee turnover. Director Hogan said that Sanitation and Grounds do have a high turnover.
Member Holt asked if this had anything to do with payroll. Hogan said that “people don’t seem to want to work” and no one is applying,
despite recent payroll increases that have helped out with existing employees. He also mentioned that the fees at the Little Rock dump have gone up.
Mayor Norris said that the position that are most difficult to fill are CDL drivers who are high in demand, and how Mayors in surrounding cities
all complain about the difficulty of filling these positions. He also talked about the new sealant system to extend the life cycles of our
roads by several years. “Can get a lot more roads done for a lot better price.”
Director Holt also spoke about the incentives they offer for anyone willing to go through the six weeks of training to become CDL certified.
The third reading of Ordinance 1079 amending Chapter 10 of the Maumelle Animal Code was read.
This established new fees for violations of the Code and causing an injury.
Council member Shinn mentioned his support, but expressed surprise that no one from Animal Services had made any comment.
City Attorney Krebbs said that the Director had given input on the Ordinance and is very familiar with it and had no issues to express.
The Ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.
The third reading of Ordinance 1079 amending the procedure by which rezoning applications are filed was read. The Ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.
The third reading of Ordinance 1080 amending the Master Street Plan to relocated a proposed arterial collector to connect to Highway 365 was read.
Council member Mosley confirmed details on the map that was given to the Council.
Planning Director Grummer explained that this was a realignment that would make more sense for commercial development along the interstate,
and the connection to Highway 365 would provide a better connection without as much interference from the railroad line.
The Ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.
The third reading of Ordinance 1081 amending section 94-9 of the City Code concerning hearing and filing procedures was read.
The Ordinance passed by a unanimous vote.
Resolution 2022-48 proposed a hearing date be held concerning the creation of a Multi-purpose Improvement District.
A typographical error was noticed in the header, and corrected by a unanimous vote.
Council member Mosley asked for more details.
Miss Sinclair that this would serve as a property owner’s associate dealing with landscaping and maintenance.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1082 to revise Section 26-1 of the City Code had its first reading. This is an Ordinance I had sponsored once before,
but failed because the timing of the vote coincided with the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It proposes an increase in the permit fee for Maumelle Business Licenses, with the entirety of the increase to go to funding
the Police and Fire departments. It was mentioned recently in an Ordinance discussion to approve low income housing in Maumelle that
it was necessary to give our first responders an opportunity to live within the community they serve.
Personally, I think they should be able to afford better than living in low income housing.
I was part of the committee that rewrote the business license fees for the City of Little Rock, and part of the intent of that
rewrite was to fund Police and Fire who protect the business that these fees help to pay for.
As we have seen by other recent changes to our Planning permit fees and tonight with the Animal Control fees,
the City’s fee schedules are woefully outdated.
They’re not as badly outdated as Little Rock was, which had previously still included categories for mule skinners and hide tanners,
but the fee structure is antiquated.
Even with the increase to fund Police and Fire, we will STILL be the second lowest fee schedule in the State of Arkansas,
with only one other city in the State being lower because it has no business license fees, other than that Ice Cream Truck vendors,
which pay a fee equal to our current charge for home businesses.
To give you an idea how out of date our fees are, when I was operating businesses in Little Rock and North Little Rock,
I was paying a combined $900 a year in business license fees. When I relocated them to Maumelle, that fee dropped down to $25 a year.
I doubt any business will find it a hardship to pay another $25 a year.
The increase will put Maumelle more on a par with the base fees that Little Rock and North Little Rock charge, taking into consideration
their larger population bases. It will still be an incredible bargain, and does not include any of the add on fees that both those cities
charge for inventory and other necessities of business.
Another change in the Business License fee is a penalty for non-payment and publishing the names of the scofflaw business who do not pay their licenses.
City Clerk Timmons recently told me the name one business in particular who is a regular scofflaw, which would surprise you if I shared it.
The point here is to take the burden and expenses of collection off her department and put the incentive to pay for their license back on businesses,
using the same technique employed by the Pulaski County when they publish lists of those persons who do not pay their property taxes.
Bottom line: Business License fees will still remain incredibly cheap to operate in the City of Maumelle, all of the increased funding
will go to support our Police and Fire, and this Ordinance will assist the City Clerk in collections.
The Mayor and City Attorney said we would need to waive a reading and enact an emergency clause in order for this to happen by the end of the year.
He also mentioned that there would be an extra step required in moving the monies.
Council member Mosley asked if he should recuse himself since he was also a home business owner. The City Attorney replied that had a small effect.
Council member Mosley opposed any taxes and fees and did not feel the monies would help, and established himself as a No vote.
Council member Gardner agreed with Mosley about not increasing the fees, but also agreed that he did not feel the increase would be a burden.
But he did not support assigning a portion of the revenues to Police and Fire. He also felt that posting offenders on the City page
would be a negative, and associated it with a Sex Offenders list.
City Attorney Krebs talked about having had to file in court against skofflaws.
City Clerk Timmons said the reason Police and Fire are important is because she works in conjunction and has licenses she cannot issue because
they cannot be inspected. In the past the Police have served notices to violators.
Resolution 2022-49 amends the 2022 Street Fund Budget to cover construction materials. Mayor Norris talked about abnormally high reconstruction
costs and the construction going on with Champs Blvd. crumbling under the traffic from the continued construction being done by Tractor Supply.
He was asking for $25,000 to keep the maintenance going.
Council member Gardner asked if we should not consider a complete rebuild.
Mayor Norris said improvements have been held off until construction is completed.
Director Hogan discussed how they have done similar road maintenance when Kimberly-Clark expanded, and overlays later,
and the result was the roads seem to have held up.
So, once construction is complete, then an overlay will be done. If construction is not currently maintain it could soon become impassable.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-50 amends the 2022 General Fund Budget to cover costs related toPickle Ball. The Mayor distributed photos to the Council
showing people who attended an instruction course on how to play Pickleboard. The attendance ranged from seniors to kids, and he was asking
for $100,000 from our Covid recover funds to begin the engineering process. This would cover the engineering for both phases one and two.
Council member Mosley asked if Pickleball is already being offered.
Mayor Norris said it is currently taking place on the basketball courts at Jess Odom Center, which has dead spots and been the source of complaints.
Council member Gardner talked about how well attended the exhibition was.
Council member Holt expressed his support, despite hating to spend the money.
The Resotution passed unanimously.
Mayor Norris commented about a Verterans Day event will be held this Friday at Lake Willastein, and how tomorrow is Election Day.
Funeral visitations for the late Mayor Burch Johnson will be held at the Roller Chennault funeral home in Little Rock on Thursday and Friday.
Council member Mosley asked for clarification of the times of the vistation, and the funeral will take place at 2PM on Friday.
Council member Shinn talked about how as many as four different untilities, gas, electric, AT&T, and Comcast, have been tearing up yards
and not coming back and doing the cosmetic finishes.
Mayor Norris said this is a daily issue, and if an area is have troubles to contact Planning Director Grummer with any problems in this “continual struggle.”
Council member Mosley asked if we can tell utility companies that we are done and stop future work.
City Attorney said that “wouldn’t be fair” not to allow any more. But we can pull permits if they are not in compliance.
Mayor Norris said that the majority of the problems are from repairs and upgrades being done. The complaints that they are currently hearing
are not coming in from new installations like it had been previously.
City Attorney addressed the referral procedure for submitting an Ordinance for election, and asked if there were any questions.
Council member Mosley said he had already been having discussions to try and go ahead an put it on the ballot immediately.
I expressed concerns about the vitriol, threats,. and unrelated obscene images I received possibly being sent to residents for the next two years.
I encouraged him to wait until closer to an actual election.
Council member Mosley did not feel this would be a problem.
City Attorney Kreb said that the Council would have a new member next year and holding the vote would give them an opportunity to express themselves.
Council member Gardner mentioned how the City already has methods for citizens to pursue this themselves.
Council member Shinn commented about how a previous petition to do this had failed, and how he does not see the support on social media.
“It is important to some people … but not to everybody.”
Council member instructed the City Attorney to draft a proposal and stated his intention to pursue immediate passage.
City Clerk Timmons mentioned an opening on the Civil Serve Commission in case anyone is interested in applying.
October 12, 2022 Update
Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Council was two members short, so all unanimous votes will count as 6 to 2,
since all absentees count as a No vote.
Mayor Norris gave the sad announcement that Clifford ”Burch” Johnson, the first elected Mayor of Maumelle and a former
Council member, has passed away. The flag was lowered to half-staff, and Monday October 12, is Clifford Johnson Day.
Mayor Norris then recounted stories of Johnson’s passion for the City and community.
Council member Mosley also shared his memories of the late Mayor, and posited that he actually knocked on every door in
the community, and expressed how unique and active he was.
There are also ongoing meetings at the Jess Odom Community Center dealing with the new proposed bike and walk paths.
Tomorrow night there will be a debate dealing with the upcoming election.
Fred Payton addressed the Council to propose that the City ballparks be named after late Mayor “Burch” Johnson,
because “that was his baby.” He also commented about the pedestrian suspension bridge that was engineered by
the late Bob Holloway’s engineering firm, which has been there since the early 1980s, and suggested that it
be named in his honor.
Director of Finance Liz Mathis gave the financial report. The new banking software is all set up and functioning,
and for the first time the software system is working. This was the first time they didn’t have to do it manually.
Previously this process took two days to complete, and this time it took two hours.
Overall revenues are up and ahead of the previous year to date.
The 2020 audit is nearly complete, and should be finished within a couple of days, and 2021 is progressing well.
The planning commission for this month was cancelled, so there will be no report.
Ordinance 1078 had its second reading amending Chapter 10 of the Maumelle City Code dealing with the restructure
of the fine schedule for Animal code violations.
Council member Mosley had a question about how there is a fine should someone have a dog declared vicious and dangerous,
and not have posted a sign. He then talked about a pit bull attack that occurred in another part of the country.
He asked how many licensed pit bulls are in Maumelle.
Council member Holt said that 62 had been adopted by households in Maumelle.
Council member Mosley posited that Maumelle is becoming a city that is a good place for people to drop off their pit bulls,
and suggested criminal liability for anyone whose dogs are involved in an attack. He feels that the new changes do not
go far enough, and would like a referendum to be held on the matter.
He then made a motion to put an ordinance to ban Pit Bulls up for vote in the next election.
The City Attorney said that the process for making it a vote would require a petition.
He was making a motion for the council to call for a referendum to put it on the ballot.
The Mayor said this needed to be added to the agenda, and the City Attorney said we needed to finish addressing the Ordinance
in discussion, and suggested he withdraw it and propose it again when the Council got to new business.
Council member Holt said it is his intention that this was a beginning to deal with the issue, and was not intended to be the end,
and that we could continue to develop the City laws. He emphatically stated that the Animal Services are critically underfunded
and that we are wasting our time writing laws if we don’t give them the ability to enforce them—and pounded the table to emphasize
his passion for the issue.
Ordinance 1079 had its second reading dealing with amending Section 94-9 of the City Code dealing with the procedures for
filing rezoning applications.
Ordinance 1080 had its second reading dealing with amending a Master Street plan to relocate a minor arterial connection.
Ordinance 1081 had its second reading dealing with amending section 94-9 of the City Code concerning filing and hearing procedures.
Resolution 2022-47 certifies the taxation rate for the 2022 tax year. This determines the taxation rates to by levied by the
Pulaski County clerk on taxable real and personal property within the City of Maumelle for the 2022 tax year. After the
resolution passed at the last meeting, it was determined that a 6.5 Mil tax, or $130 for every $100,000 in a home’s value,
is no longer needed. The City has paid off the Bond debts for many projects and will now lower the taxes for every homeowner in Maumelle.
To clarify, this resolution eliminates the previous resolution that was continuing to pay off Bonds and other debts accumulated since 1999.
Over the last couple of years money was saved on different projects like the Crystal Hill road rebuild, and put to paying off this debt.
They are now all paid off, and the previous resolution is no longer needed.
In years past, new projects were developed to keep these taxes on the books. The current Mayor and Council did not do that.
This is one of the reasons I ran for office, to reduce taxes!
Council member Mosley then made his motion to add a referendum to this agenda.
I asked about the costs to the city. Previously I had been told it would be around $100,000 to do a special election.
Member Mosley had asked to add this to the next Presidential election, which would not incur those costs to the City.
He then made the request to add the question of banning Pit Bulls in Maumelle to the 2024 election. Council member Mazzoni
confirmed that this request was for fact finding only. There was considerable discussion to resolve this, and involved cancelling
the previous request and making a more clearly stated proposal for research only at this time. It passed unanimously.
The Master Bike plan will have an additional meeting at 5:30 at Jess Odom Recreation Center on Thursday, where the planners
will present their final plans in preparation to make a presentation to the City Council.
Council member Shinn mentioned the possibility of putting in a public park that the public could maintain.
I congratulated everyone for taking TAXES DOWN and not up.
City Clerk Timmons announced that the City is in need of volunteers of donations and volunteers to maintain the annual Hometown Thanksgiving event.
Tomorrow night on Tuesday, October 18, a debate will be held at 6:30 p.m. between Mayor Norris and challenger Jodie Mahoney at the
First Baptist Church, sponsored by ArkansasNewsroom.com.
The two candidates for the open position of Ward 1, David Cole and Christine Gronwald, will also debate.
The encumbants for the other Wards, myself included, were all unchallenged.
October 12, 2022 Update
October 3, 2022 Update
Tonight’s meeting of the Maumelle City Councl was one member short.
Council member Saunders has a new health problem and may be out for a while.
All unanimous votes will be registered as 7 to 1, with absentee votes counting as No.
Janet Watkins made a public comment about Crystal Hill Road. Her questions were about the 10 year renovation project.
She said all work stopped at Labor Day, and wondered when it would be completed. She was especially concerned about
overgrown weeds presenting a fire hazard. There are no road signs or street lights yet. “It’s turning into a raceway,”
with street racing taking place on weekends. A construction foreman claimed the City had shut the renovation down.
No one had any information to offer her.
Council Member Gardner gave his Planning Commission Report. The Stone Canyon preliminary had been given a unanimous pass.
Everything on the schedule today, including Ordinance 1073 and 1074 had unanimous votes in the Planning Commission.
Ordinance 1073 had dealing with Stone Canyon had its third reading.
Council member Mosley talked about the public use bike paths being built, and while he likes it, he was against the Ordinance
because of concerns over too much growth.
Planning Director Grummer discussed the traffic of that section of Hwy 365 shows about 4500 vehicle trips a day, “which is
significantly under” the counts it was designed for. “The development is sufficient for the state of the road as it is now.”
Council member Mosley asked about a citywide traffic count being done.
Director Grummer commented that Maumelle grows by a rate of 100 homes a year, which does not add a lot of new traffic,
since these are done incrementally.
Council Member Mazzoni asked Director Grummer if the housing market crashes, would we be able to stop apartments coming in instead.
The answer was Yes, we could.
Member Mazzoni then asked about how it would affect business growth. Director Grummer replied that this is something local businesses
want to have happen, and that this would bring in Tax Revenues to the City. This plan falls “below even medium density” and they are
“giving up a lot of land for public use.”
Adjacent property owners have also expressed their support for this improvement.
The Director considered this “A huge opportunity for the City of Maumelle.”
Council member Shinn mentioned about how many of our City’s law enforcement cannot afford to live in Maumelle,
and supported having less expensive homes that would help our City employees.
The Mayor talked about how this plan has mountain bike plans and other enhancements.
Council member Gardner talked about how Maumelle needed diverse housing opportunities. He supported diverse housing opportunities.
He felt that increasing traffic would increase business opportunities.
Council member Mosley commented about how he had heard discussion like that for 35 years, and that commercial does not follow as fast,
and the City has in the past ended up having to pay for a third Highway entrance.
The Mayor suggested that the Council should stop passing ordinances that make it difficult for businesses to develop their land.
This amendment to the Maumelle Land Use Plan passed by a vote of 6 to 1.
Ordinance 1074 had its third reading. Dealing with the same Stone Canyon property as Ordinance 1074,
this amendment to the Zone map passed by a vote of 6 to 1.
Ordinance 1075 had its third reading. This amendment to require Site Plans in commercial zoning districts passed by a unanimous vote.
Ordinance 1078 amending Chapter 10 of the Maumelle City Code had its first reading.
This is a rewrite of the fines and fees regarding animals.
Sponsored by Council member Holt, he advocated updating the code and leaving all mention of breed out, but instead recommended that
all pets be spayed and neutered and owners will spay and neuter their pets. There will be increased penalties if they do not.
He discussed the update with Animal Services and discovered that his own pet was in violation of current code.
He will immediately become current with the existing laws, and mentioned how there is not enough information being made available.
Council member Mosley said the only thing he disliked was Item D about an annual license fee of $5 might be more trouble for the
City than it was worth. He questioned the need for the fee.
Member Holt talked about how Animal Service mail out several hundred notices every month to try and keep residents up to date.
They also mail out documents to new residents, and suggested that copies of the new ordinance be included with this annual mailing.
City Attorney Krebbs mentioned about how the City already requires a fee and a license. In raising the fee for animals that do not have
a microchip will encourage owners to have that process done. She also mentioned how our fines are very low.
Council member Williams agreed with the increase in fines and fees. She also wanted to confirm that all other previous covenants
of the ordinance remained. This was just a revision of the fees.
Council member Gardner thanked Council member Holt for brining this resolution forward. He then asked the City Attorney if our current
fees were codified. They are not. City Code says that fees dealing with animals will be set by the Mayor. He asked if the council could
update this if it conflicts with our code. The City Attorney said we would need to include an amendment.
Council member Gardner made a motion to amend the City Code. The motion passed unanimously.
Council member Holt also mentioned how Animal Services are understaffed and will need an extra person in the budget next year.
Council member Mosley felt that we need to save Animal Services time by cutting out the fee requirement.
The City Attorney mentioned that while it is not a money maker, that it serves as a notice to keep pets vaccinated.
Council member Mosley made a motion to strike the $5 fee. He did not get a second, so his motion failed.
Council Member Gardner commented about how Vets are serving as Registrars for the City, so the City does not necessarily
have process all those requests. He was fine on doubling certain fees, but questioned how we prosecute injuries caused by pets at large.
The City Attorney said that anyone seeking professional treatment will automatically be reported. If no report was made,
the City would still take pictures and testimony for proof beyond a reasonable doubt before a citation was issued.
He then asked what other cities charged for their fees. Member Holt said he had not checked. Member Gardner then shared his own research.
He felt a $250 annual fee for registered animals not spayed or neutered was too high. He was an advocate of a $30 fee instead.
Council member Mazzoni advocated high fees, because “nature is nature,” and asked about restricting large animals.
The City Attorney did not feel a $250 was too high because of the problems that animals that have not been spayed or neutered cause, and the expenses the city incurs when trying to re-home litters.
Council member Williams mentioned that she felt it being an annual fee was too high.
The City Attorney comment that a $30 fee was only $5 more than what the fee was for animals that had been spayed or neutered.
Council member Shinn talked about a stray dog that was chasing a female.
I made a motion to change the fee to $50, as a compromise to keep it an incentive to spay and neuter, but not so high as the original suggestion.
Council member Mazzoni felt that it should still be even higher than $50, possibly as high as $100 and did not feel it would dissuade anyone.
I withdrew my original motion and made a new motion of $75. The motion passed by a vote of 5 to 2.
Council member Gardner asked if animals currently in the City would be grandfathered in.
The City attorney said that once the Ordinance became law the new fees would apply.
Council member Holt commented about how our previous fee schedule was so old, there might be a sense of shock, we might need to revisit it later.
Council member Shinn asked about an animal at large, and was concerned about how hard it is to keep a cat from going over a fence.
Council member Mosley talked about how we might need to exclude cats.
The City Attorney wanted to address this, since she has to deal with this. She had a situation with a cat that the owners would not keep in
and did hundreds of dollars in damage to a neighbor’s house and taunted their cat. She had another situation where a cat attacked another cat in
front of that cat’s owner. She felt they can be a big problem.
The ordinance was read again with the $75 fee revision.
Resolution 2022-45 authorizing the purchase of property needed to complete the White Oaks Crossing roundabout. This is the second parcel needed,
and will not require any additional money. This property is small and we really only needed
an edge of it for right of way. There is still one other parcel left to acquire. The Resolution passed by a unanimous vote.
Resolution 2022-44 dealt with the development plan for the Stone Canyon development. This Resolution had been omitted from the Council packets
for research, so Planning Director Grummer gave a presentation. Everything in the proposal is contingent on all lands annexing into the City of Maumelle.
One thing about the concept plan is that it would carry forward with any possible future changes. This would be a total of 407 units in six phases.
The plans were shown with 28% of the property being provided as green space for the biking and recreational areas. One of the later phases will
require improvements to be made to Old Maumelle Road. This plan would require diversity in the aesthetics of the building designs so as not to
create a homogenous cluster of identical houses. The trails will be completed before the building permits of phase 3 will be issued.
A 20 foot natural tree buffer will be left along Old Maumelle Road.
Council member Mosley confirmed the improvement to Old Maumelle Road, and confirmed that no residents along the road had registered concerns.
The resolution passed by a vote of 6 to 1.
Ordinance 1079 had its first reading to amend Section 94-9 of the City Code concerning the procedure by which rezoning applications are filed.
The intent to to standardize the notice process.
Ordinance 1080 had its first reading amending the Master Street Plan to relocate a minor arterial connection. There was no discussion.
Ordinance 1081 had its first reading amending the Section 94-9 of the Maumelle City Code concerning hearings and filing procedures.
The City Attorney said this would reconcile time frames for filing.
Resolution 2022-46 to Certify the Taxation rate for the Year 2022. There are no tax increases to real and personal property taxes.
This is a certification only. There was an error in the date of the document. A motion was made to change the language and passed unanimously.
The Resolution was re-read and passed unanimously.
The Mayor discussed planning for Pickleball courts. Right now we are have input from a free assessment by a company who said it could be done
in one or two phases, with an approximate cost of $600,000 for seven courts.
Council member Gardner has a fear that there would be pickle ball brawls if we only did three courts as part of a phase one.
The Mayor said phase one would be placed where an old basketball court near the Community Center is that has since fallen into dead space. Phase two would be where the gravel parking lot is.
To do a public information process with community hearing without engineers on retainer would not be effective. He said that they
“are popping up everywhere …. And they need more courts.” Once you get to a certain number of courts we could start hosting tournaments.
During an earlier delay I had asked the Mayor for an explanation to the work stoppage on Counts Massie as described in the comments by Ms. Watkins.
He said the project has not been stopped. One of the issues is a dispute between the City and Contractor about the amount of materials that they are
claiming to have used. Alternative price options are also being considered and getting landscaping price estimates. People should be back on site
later this week. There are liability issues with the mowing, and should be done by the contractor later this week.
Council member Mosley complimented the Mayor on the grand opening ceremony that was held for City Hall immediately prior to tonight’s Council Meeting.
Member Mosley also discussed flooding studies currently being made, and complaints about hunting being done on the Arkansas river island that
is still within city limits, and how we need to post No Hunting signs on the island.
City Clerk Timmons mentioned new code pages that were given to Council members.
Mayor Norris commented about how he had received a complaint from someone on the council about meetings being done in too relaxed a manner.
He felt we should adhere to procedure and policy when dealing with a contentious matter and refrain from speaking out of turn. He read the City Code.
September 30, 2022 Update
The City of Maumelle is celebrating the completion of the City Hall renovations to the Dean Files City Center with a flag raising
at 5:30 PM on Monday, October 3rd, 2022 . Everyone is invited, and you are also invited to attend the City Council Meeting that immediately follows at 6 for a possibility of indoor fireworks :)
September 19, 2022 Update
Tonight’s City Council meeting was a couple of members short, so all unanimous votes will show a count of 6 to 2 or 7 to 1,
since all absentee votes count as a No. Council Member Mazzoni was running late and joined the meeting in progress.
Finance Director Liz Mathis gave the Financial Report, and tax revenues continued to exceed expectations, while various
departmental expenditures remain below the projected budget. The General Fund income overall is $512,000 over the
prior year and $1,327 ahead of budget.
The new Financial Management system went live on August 22.
Ordinance 1071 had its third and final reading to amend the current Land Use plan.
Council member Mosley expressed his preference for keeping that area along Murphy Drive zoned industrial.
The Ordinance vote was initially tied by a vote of 4 to 2, with absentees that made it 4 to 4,
and the Mayor voted Yes to break the tie.
Ordinance 1072 had its third and final reading to amend the current Zoning map for the Murphy Drive property.
Members Holt and Mosley said they would again be voting No.
The Ordinance vote was initially tied by a vote of 4 to 2, and once again the tie was broken by
the Mayor’s vote of Yes to break the tie.
Ordinance 1973 was on the second reading to amend the Land Use plan.
Council member Mosley expressed concerns about adding residents and traffic to Maumelle’s North entrance
without a traffic study. We also said he would like to take a tour courtesy of the Engineering company before
he makes up his mind. Council Member Shinn commented about how he travels through that area every day, and the current light
is very functional and a lot of development is currently happening on the County's side of the road.
Roy Andrews said that he currently does not know who will be doing the development, that there are a couple of
buyers currently considering the project.
Ordinance 1074 was on the second reading to amend the current Zoning map.
This is the Zoning change for the same development in North Maumelle.
There was no discussion.
Ordinance 1075 was on the second reading to require Site Plan review for building permits in Commercial zoning districts.
There was no discussion.
Ordinance 1077 amending Chapter 10 of the City Code dealing with animals had its first reading.
The intent of this Ordinance is to reinstate the ban based strictly on an animal’s appearance, focusing on pit bulls,
that was stricken when the Code for Animal Services was rewritten two years ago. This was spurred by a recent incident
involving a pair mixed breed dogs escaping their back yard and seriously injuring a neighbor and his dog, resulting in
the dog’s death. One of the attacking animals was euthanized and the other sent to behavioral training.
Looking at the pictures of the attacking animals, I doubt most
people would register that the dog on the right would be considered a pit bull under this new ordinance.
Patrick Keck made a public comment about how he has a neighbor who live a block down the street who regularly allows his dogs
to roam free without a leash. He said he realizes that this is a targeting law, but supports it.
Patricia Morin made a public comment about how she prefers the law remain as it is.
Of the 23 attacks in Maumelle since the law change, 83% were by dogs who were not previously banned. She mentioned having dogs
spayed or neutered who have been declared dangerous (something I support). She did not consider banning dogs involved in 17% of attacks
to be productive course of action.
Council member Mosley talked about how he was the advocate of this Ordinance, and made a motion to do all three readings
to pass the Ordinance in one night. There was no second, so his motion failed.
He talked about how “for whatever reason” the breed is prone to attack people.
He discussed newspaper columnist being attacked and how a member of his family was attacked, in both cases when a pit bull charged to attack
Council member Gardner proposed tabling the Ordinance and received a second.
Council member Mosley opposed the idea.
Council member Holt expressed the same thought.
Council member Shinn talked about how most attacks are the fault of owners either not using a leash or having a fence in need of repair.
He asked about Code enforcement and how they should insist that poor fences be improved. There was one dog in his neighborhood that regularly
slips in and out of its yard, always escaping back when chased.
Council member Mazzoni apologized for being late and spoke about not wanting to drag this on, but neither wanting to table this indefinitely.
He asked member Holt how close he was to offering a new amendment that he is preparing to propose.
Council member Holt said his proposal would be ready next week.
I made my comments, shown below:
I have always felt abundantly confident that every person I’ve served with on this City Council, both past and present,
has always held the safety of our community to be the highest priority.
It’s important to every one of us that we get this right.
Having been attacked by a dog when I was a child, this is a subject I’ve closely watched my entire life.
I remember times when the demon dogs that needed to be purged were rottweilers, then dachsunds, and now pit bulls.
One dog breed that surprisingly has never been on that list was the breed that attacked me—a shepard.
Shepards are employed by police and military because they can be trained to be vicious.
Looking over the recent reports by Animal Services over the last two years, Shepards are the number ONE culprit for attacks.
But their breed isn’t included on this proposal’s list.
The number one cause of attacks is NOT a concern?
Why is that?
Is it because there is no lobbying group targeting them?
Or has it been recognized that when shepards become vicious—it’s a case of nurture over nature?
It’s the result of the training by their owners!
I can’t support a bill that simply slaps focuses on what an animal looks like, and ignores the core problem of bad owners.
The vast majority of residents have echoed that sentiment.
What I could support would be a revision with these changes:
Remove the myopic and narrow focus that just targets certain breeds to read:
Any animal that Animal Services has identified as dangerous to be spayed or neutered.
In talking with the City Attorney, she has identified animals in heat as a contributing factor into their attempts to escape and subsequent attacks.
City Attorney agreed that this would be a good idea to enforce spay and neuter, and would be a solution in the problem of dogs roaming.
Council member Gardner said he only wanted to table the ordinance, not the discussion.
Council member Shinn asked City Attorney Krebbs about repeat repeat offending animals. She replied that Animal control steps up
enforcement on repeat offenders. She commented about how the current schedule of penalties is outdated.
Council member Mosley commented about how some of the other members were interested in modification should maybe have a workshop
to creat a new proposal, and to let his proposal lie.
A roll call vote was taken on the motion to table the ordinance, which passed on a vote of 5 to 2.
Ordinance 1077 proposes that the City of Maumelle provide for the issuance and Sale of Bonds in the amount of $190 Million to
fund the construction of the new Tractor Supply Company distribution center being build in Maumelle. A ground breaking was
held at 150 Champs just a couple of weeks ago to begin this project.
Mister Wilborn with a law firm discussed the Bonds as the Mayor turned the meeting into a public hearing.
The Mayor opened the discussion to the public. No one made comments.
Mister Wilborn first confirmed that there is ZERO LIABILITY to the city or its residents with this bond's passage.
I confirmed language in the Item 1 clause of the Investor letter in Exhibit A, which stated that the bond issuer
“will not received any information … with respect to the use of the proceeds … or provisions for payment”
did not mean the money could be pulled and used outside of Maumelle. Mister Wilborn confirmed that the entirety
of the funds would be used in Maumelle and not transferred to other projects.
The Ordinance passed unanimously.
The Mayor commented about a Keep Maumelle Beautiful project is going on soon to clean up Maumelle and encouraged people to
register with the city to receive necessary supplies.
Council member Shinn talked about left turn lanes at traffic lights, specifically at Odom South on Maumelle Blvd.
The Mayor talked about how the light’s controller broke at 3 on Wednesday and had to be replaced and should be back to functioning.
He also talked about the problems we are having with the adaptive system. North Little Rock who had originally been controlling the
engineering has pulled out the adaptive system. Maumelle is currently looking at how use the technology to improve the signal system.
Council member Mosley said he did not understand how people could disagree with him on the breed ban issue.
He considers not banning certain dogs to be an unnecessary risk. In his opinion 70 to 80 percent want the breed banned
(my personal experience has shown that number to be agaisnt the measure).
I requested any information the City might have gathered that inclined them to disregard adding a City Aquatic Center
to the future plans utilizing the Grant monies currently available.
September 14, 2022 Update
In light of recent discussions dealing with violent dog attacks, I'm presenting here, for everyone's
convenience, a link to the PDF showing:
It's been suggested that Maumelle adopt an insurance requirement similar to one in Little Rock.
As you will see by reading this, Maumelle already requires insurance for any dog deemed vicious.
Another area many should look at is the penalties for "Animals at Large."
While it may not specifically say it, this is the part of the code that defines the penalties for those
who do not obey Maumelle's Leash Laws as defined in the Code.
September 6, 2022 Update
Tonight’s City Council was one member short, so all unanimous votes will shot 7 to 1, since
all absentees count as a No vote.
Patti Robinson addressed the Council about a recent dog attack where a man was attacked and his small dog
killed by two dogs owned by a neighbor. She had been an opponent of the previous overturning of the Pit Bull
ban in favor of a new ordinance that gave Animal Control greater powers. She advocating adopting another
Pit Bull ordinance like one enacted in Little Rock.
Trisha Morin (sp?) then spoke about her grief about the attack and how she hated it happening. She then talked about
three other recent attacks in Maumelle by a lab and another breed. She felt that a single attack by a single breed
had been properly handled and the “The City has done their job.”
Mayor Norris gave a Department report of the Mayor’s office, starting with the status of the White Oaks Crossing roundabout.
The planning has been completed, and the only piece of preparation will be dealt with in this meeting
The City had applied for a $250,000 grant.
Crystal Hill is now drivable on paved asphalt, and there is still one small section and a side path to be completed.
The side path had originally been designed for 8 feet, but now that there is a National Greenway designated for that area,
which would require widening a specific area (more on this later) to 12 feet.
The Club Manor corridor had $300,000 is still having the engineering being planned, but grant monies are currently
being applied to help with those cost.
The side path to Lake Willastein that ARDOT had given the city money to build a side path connecting to Club Manor.
Planning is still going through the process of waiting for approval of the 4 page plan by ARDOT.
The Food Court to be placed at the old Fire Station at Millwood and Maumelle Boulevard has been being planned by a steering committee.
Surveys have been sent to members of the city and planning is still going on, with an upcoming public meeting to be scheduled for citizen feedback.
The Master Bike and Pedestrian Plan has also received feedback and decided to do it October 17 through 21 that will included
consultants and several public meetings throughout the week. Inventory and analysis has been ongoing with our current system.
The Odom Crosswalk flashing beacons is another ongoing project, and state bidding and purchasing protocols have been completed,
and now purchase orders are being issued.
City Hall’s new sign has finally been installed after it was ordered “in the 1700s” to finally finish the renovation project.
A plan to study and access our current roads and to maintain them over a five year schedule has already had a change.
The plan to extend the lives of certain roads has pushed the overlays into year two and sealing into year one,
with the hopes that the costs for asphalt and overlays might decrease in the next year.
A couple of possible future projects being assessed for feasibility include a trail head and parking lot at the corner property
of the Center On the Lake. There have been complaints about a lack of parking at the Center now that the Covid crisis is over.
This would be one end of the Maumelle Mile that is proposed to connect with the Food Center at Millwood and Maumelle Boulevard.
Pickle Ball Courts is something that the Mayor has been hearing a lot of request for, and Phillip Raborn of Public Parks has been
looking for spot to place it. The area that is considered best is on the South Side of the Community Center, wrapping around to the backside.
Mayor Norris thought he would have a map to show the plan to the Council tonight, but it was not ready yet.
The last thing he wanted to discuss was a pair of boxes that Comcast was showing in the City Hall lobby for feedback. They were offering
a choice of tan as opposed to the previous choice of green. Whatever the Council decides will establish the color of boxes used through the entire state.
Council person Williams commented about how much she disliked the shade of green used for one.
Mayor Norris disliked both colors, for good reason. Neither had eye appeal (my observation--not his).
Council Member Mosley talked about how he would have preferred a darker green, and then asked about the sealant being used to waterproof
the roads and seal the cracks. Riverland is scheduled to be overlaid this month, and then will be striped.
Mike Hogan confirmed material is being moved in tomorrow and work should commence in the next two weeks.
The current status of the trails was also discussed, and how creating a base can damage trees, but not building on a base means the trails degrade much more quicky.
I was the Council’s representative to monitor the Planning Commission last month, and gave the following report.
Six different properties had a number of items before thePlanning Commission in August.
An Osage Hill replat at 4 Eagle Cove was previously made from 4 lots to 2, and was changed again from 2 to 3.
It was approved unanimously 4 residents spoke about their concerns over crowding as a result of the Stone Canyon Addition in North Maumelle
on the West side of Old Maumelle Road. This is an 86 acre section with 26 acres dedicated to open space and includes
recently annexed undeveloped land.
Both the Land Use amendment and the Zoning change from R1 to PRD were approved by votes of 6 to 1.
The proposed preliminary development plan and the proposed Preliminary Plat were both tabled until next
month to allow more time for research.
A proposed Preliminary Plat/Site Plan/Landscape Plan for the Business Part addition at 400 Sharky Drive and
All 3 were approved unanimously.
The Harris & Pfeifer property and the Triavictup Loti property located at Commerical Park Drive and Murphy
Drive is currently being considered by the Council for Rezoning.
The Commission unanimously approved their Preliminary Plat and the Grading Permit—the 1st permit issued under
the new ordinance—were unanimously approved, both contingent on Zoning approval.
The Newton Creek Commerical property is 236 acres East of the new 3rd entrance, and is part of a long-term plan to
connect White Oaks to Hwy 365 at Trapp Road, until Hudman Road can be upgraded to provide access.
Eventually the City Council will need to consider an amendment to the Master Street plan to make this happen.
But that is not coming before the council just yet. The Planning Commission unanimously approved the
Preliminary Plat. Eventually this property will be proposed for annexation—which will come before the Council.
An amendment to the City Code to require Commercial districts to require a Sit Plan Review passed unanimously
and is coming to the Council for consideration.
A Land Use amendment tied to ReZoning was tabled to enable changes to be made to refine the language.
Resolution 2022-40 approves a previously tabled Preliminary Development plan for the property titled “PH I & II,
Cypress Bend at Maumelle Crossing.
Council member Mosley asked the applicant Roy Andrews about how the original plans had called for private roads,
which has now been switched to public. Phase I was approved previously, and this request was for Phase II.
Member Mosley asked about the comment count from citizens, but Planning Director Grummer was not available because of an illness.
Roy Andrews explained that any complaints made by residents had been resolved with City Planning.
A design of the facade will be applied to better match with a higher value neighborhood across the street.
Resolution 222-40 passed by a vote of 5-3.
The second reading of Ordinance 1071 Amends the Maumelle Land Use Plan. Council Member Mosley asked if we knew what the
developer has in mind to build. The reply was No, the developer did not yet know. Roy Andrews mentioned that they would be
using the grading ordinance to take down a knoll at the front and moved across the road. The developer has 6 months to present a plan,
or he will be required to replant all the trees.
The second reading of Ordinance 1072 amends the current Zoning Map that goes with the property connected to Ordinance 1071.
City Attorney Krebbs asked about where the buffer would be. Roy Andrews said it would be placed on the Commerical side for landscaping purposes.
Resolution 2022-41 Authorizes the Purchase of Property Mayor Norris to purchase property namely Tract 2, SE ¼ SRC 34-T3N,
R13W, NO.668 in Pulaski County Arkansas. This is property the city has negotiated to purchase for approximately
$347,000 from Country Club of Arkansas to facilitate the construction of the Roundabout at White Oaks and Club Manor.
The Mayor commented that this was not a request for money, because it was already in place. North Little Rock will be
contributing 20% to the costs of this development.
Council Member Mosley asked about how the price was determined. Mayor Norris said this was the exact value according to the City’s appraisal.
Roy Andrews commented about how the land was zoned PRD and had a good value for commercial development, and with its proximity to the
Country Club and White Oaks Crossing. The Country Club is the current owner of the land.
I asked how soon construction would begin after approval. Mayor Norris said utilities relocation would begin right away.
Then approval of the Right of Way with the state would begin. There are two other parcels that need to be acquired,
but may have to be done by imminent domain. If everything goes well construction could begin at the end of the year.
He then added that “Nothing has gone well with this project.”
Council Member Mazzoni confirmed that grants and contributions by NLR would cover the majority of the roundabout's cost.
Council Member Mosley asked if we might save money by doing imminent domain, which the Mayor said could cost the city even more.
Country Club has not argued with our current appraisal. If we did imminent domain they could argue it was too low.
The resolution passed unanimously.
The first reading of Ordinance 1073 amends the current Land Use Plan. This is the Ordinance I spoke about in my Planning Commission report.
Council Member Mosley commented about how this reZoning was part of a plan to build high density townhouse in the area.
If it were not approved, the developer has said they would abandon the public area in the current plans and go back to
housing in the whole area, which would still create the same amount of traffic. Mosley is concerned about congestion developing
in the north part of the city creating traffic problems. He felt it would be the best benefit to the surrounding area to keep it R1.
With the character of the neighborhood and the increased density he encouraged the rest of the Council to vote No.
They Mayor mentioned that installing roundabout in the area is being considered to help traffic.
City Attorney Krebs said the Council is to review the proposed and use the guidelines used in the neighborhood,
concerns about changes to the neighborhood or residents, and challenges to any component of the proposal.
Council Member Gardner said how they were allowed with R1 to build 507 houses. The developer is proposing 450 developments.
Roy Andrews said the Hwy 365 could handle the traffic. With RI they are required to leave 20% green space,
but the current proposal included more that that.
Council Member Mazzoni asked about the impact on the Police and Fire Department. The Mayor said no assessment had been done.
Police Chief Pickard said that he was already planning to increase the number of officers per thousand served.
This was not because of this development, but was already planned.
Chief Bo Murphy of the Fire Department said his department was also looking to increase the staff in the next year.
City Attorney Krebs asked if the property remained R1, would the quarry be used. Roy Andrews said it would be ground down and developed.
R1 would allow duplexes and houses to be built there. But with a zoning change they could build quad-plexus and leave more land for open space.
The open space area would be for public use.
Council Member Mosley replied to Member Gardner about how we do not have a preliminary plat, and the people were
free to change their mind once they had the zoning. There would be free to change their mind, and felt that we were
“getting the cart way before the horse,” and proposed tabling the motion until we could see a plat.
He did not see the rush to change the Zoning.
Roy Andrews commented about the benefit with the PRD, the City Council has the right to turn down any plats,
and would actually give the Council more control over what was being built in the area.
Member Mosley said it was a good point, but still wanted to wait.
The first reading of Ordinance 1074 amends the current Zoning Map for the area in Ordinance 1073.
City Attorney Krebs said the purpose of zoning is to provide welfare, civil development,
prevent over-crowing and concentration of population, among other concerns.
The first reading of Ordinance 1075 amends MCC 94-101(b), amending the code to require Site Plan review
for building permits in commercial zoning districts.
When asked if this was an expansion of requirements, City Attorney Krebs said it was just expanded to the Commerical District structures only.
Resolution 2022-42 amends the 2022 Street Fund Budget for Crystal Hill Road Improvement. Since the remodeled Crystal Hill
Road had been selected to be a part of the Greenway Belt, the measure allots $12,000 to widen the current side path
from 8 feet wide to 12 feet. This was mentioned earlier in the Mayors comments about upcoming proposals.
In the area from Park On the River up to the Boulevard, Council Member Gardner asked why it was so cheap.
The Mayor replied that it was less expensive by doing it while we are also doing the road improvements.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-43 authorizes the City to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement with a national cooperative procurement organization.
The Mayor said that this agreement would result in approximately $9000 of annual savings over the agreement that the City is currently using.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
The Mayor then opened the floor for discussion on the color of the Comcast equipment boxes. Comcast has said that while they
would not be giving permission for residents to repaint them, neither would they be out looking for people who had done this.
There were examples of it having already been done with no repercussions.
The Green seemed to be the contentious choice that no one was happy with.
Council Member Holt spoke about the dog issue. Without discussing pluses and minuses, he wanted the Council to come together
to serve the constituents. He felt the Council should talk together and share our thoughts, put aside prejudices or whatever,
and asked that the Mayor establish a committee with someone influential to oversee it. He implored the Council to put down
their positions and pledge our allegiance to each other and the citizens and talk about the division that exists in our city.
Council Member Mosley also spoke on the dog attack issue. The City Attorney has already filed a petition to euthanize the
two dogs responsible for the attack. He felt this was a result of lifting the ban, and is worried about the safety and
welfare of the City and said he would be introducing a bill to re-introduce the Pit Bull ban. He asked if anyone on the
Council owned a Pit Bull. None of us do. He felt it was time to “Put it back on” and asked the City Attorney to send
photos of the attack to all the Council members.
Council Member Gardner asked about the types of breeds, and said if we do a ban we should ban all the types of dogs involved in attacks.
According to Council Member Shinn this would include, Akita, Shepard mix and other breeds.
On a personal note, when I was attacked as a child by a vicious dog, it was a German Shepard,
and was the third child the dog had attacked. And only last week I was challenged in my front yard by a Black Lab
that was aggressively barking at me, and the owner came running to pull the dog back while I walked to my mailbox.
So if there were a ban, it should apply to all breeds known to be a hazard to the public.
Council Member said he wanted to go back to the Ordinance the way it was written before.
Council Member Shinn argued against only doing a partial measure if we’re going to do a ban,
then we should ban all dogs that have recently been euthanized for attacking residents.
August 30, 2022 Update
The new Splash Car Wash at the corner of Club Manor and Audoban hosted a VIP tour tonight.
The tour included a behind the scenes look at their largest car wash in Arkansas,
while live music, food, drink, and even carnival games were provided.
August 23, 2022 Update
Ground was broken this morning for the new TSC (Tractor Supply Company) distribution center!
Maumelle welcomes them into our community!
This expansion in our commercial district will add 500 new jobs!
August 15, 2022 Update
Tonight’s Maumelle City Council meeting was one member short, so all unanimous votes will
show as 7 to 1, since absentees count as a No.
Finance Director Liz Mathis gave the Financial Report for July 2022.
The City is $263,000 ahead of budget. All taxes being collected are ahead of the prior year.
All of our department's income are ahead of budget and the prior year except for miscellaneous funds,
but that was because of last year’s amount was inflated for the final payment for a new fire engine.
Most departments continue to operate below budget.
We are currently $4.2 million over the required minimum reserve.
Removing ARPA funds held from the Covid improvement grant, we are around $2 million ahead of budget.
After presenting these numbers Ms. Mathis commented about how she likes giving these types of reports.
The auditors completed the onsite work on our 2020 audit and started on the 2021 audit onsite work.
Right at the end of their work Ms. Mathis caught Covid and missed two weeks, which has pushed
the timeline for audit completion back by two to four weeks.
The live date for the launch of our new Open.Gov software is next Monday, August 22, 2022.
This should save a considerable amount of administrative time.
Council Member Mosley asked about Animal Control Fees on the General Fund compared to the prior year,
wondering where those numbers came from. The answer was owner surrender and shelter fees.
They were not collecting donations last year.
He then discussed an email from a resident who felt capital assets needed to be inventoried.
Ms. Mathis said she has not yet had a chance to do this since she was hired but that it was already
scheduled to be done later this year. The inventory currently lists a lot of items that need to be
removed because the city has established a new $5000 threshold. Most of these have already been
depreciated to Zero. The Sanitation is the only department where we keep an annual report because
that is a business operation. That is the only department for which we are required to maintain an assets list.
Ordinance 1070 had its third reading repealing certain ordinances and providing for the amending of code readings.
This is an annual Ordiance to process recent changes. It passed unanimously
Resolution 2022-40 was tabled until the next meeting because the applicant had a scheduling conflict.
Ordinance 1071 that amends the Land Use Plan and Maps had its first reading. Council Member commented about
how this is on a lot in the Murphy Drive area and asked Planning Director Scott Grummer to elaborate.
Since work was being done on adjacent property on Commercial Park Drive, that owner felt it made this
lot more commercial and asked to rezone to C-2 so they can merge it with their lot on Commercial Park
Drive with an intent for commercial use. Gene Pfiefer is the applicant, and has the authorization from
the lot’s current owner to make the rezoning request.
The City Attorney confirmed that for Land Use that Planning and Zoning could make this request.
Application for reZoning can be initiated by the Planning Commission, the Mayor, or City Council.
Since they have the owner’s authorization, they can apply on his behalf.
Roy Andrews spoke for Mister Pfiefer on the question of what would go in the location.
He said that the property is long and skinny, and attaching it to the other property would make it more
viable real estate, but there are no current plans for what would be developed there.
The Mayor then commented that most reZoning requests were generally NOT done by the current owner,
but usually done by a prospective buyer.
City Attorney Krebbs then read the criteria for approving a Land Use change, and the factors that
should be taken in consideration for that decision. It should be in the best interest of the
community as a whole—taking into consideration public necessity and general welfare.
Ordinance 1072 amending the Maumelle Zoning map for this same property had its first reading.
The Mayor commented about how his Chief of Staff position is now filled by Jake Grelen.
He was a senior writer for the Governor’s Office and writer of a Sweet Tea column.
Council Member Mosley raised the idea of a workshop with the Planning Commission, feeling that
sometimes they do not understand the leanings of the Council, and that there are some important
issues coming up that the Council should be better informed about (I’ll discuss this in my upcoming
Planning Commission report). He also suggested we do a traffic study to compare to the effects of
high density housing that we often turn down when they approved it. So his suggestion was for a
two-way exchange of information. He complimentdc the “sharp people” on the commission.
I commented that there is a major proposal coming that the Council could use extra education that will
concern development of the third entrance, and which may entail the Council needing to address our
long-term planning for the city.
Council member Holt suggested that maybe such a meeting could help us do a better job for the residents.
August 9, 2022 Update
The window for filing petitions closed today, and it looks like incumbent Councilmen Jess Holt,
Chad Garner, and myself will be unopposed. Same thing for the new City Attorney Andrew Thornton
and incumbent City Clerk Tina Timmons. Mayor Caleb Norris is challenged by Jodie Mahoney, and two
people--Christine Gronwald and David Cole--are vying for the Ward 1 Council seat being vacated by long-serving Ken Saunders.
August 5, 2022 Update
It's official! My petition for re-election to the Maumelle City Council, Ward 3--Position 2, has been filed and
I will be on the November ballot hoping to continue in my role representing the voters of Maumelle. When I was
canvassing for my first term four years ago, I heard a litany of complaints from the residents and did my best to
address all of them. Despite the many unique challenges we've faced over the last four years, including a worldwide
epidemic, floods, and ice storms, I'm pleased that the responses I received this year were the complete opposite.
The major improvement projects we undertook are either complete or nearing completion, and the main concern from
voters was asking me if I could keep our regular mail carrier from taking days off (she is very good). I am very
pleased to throw my hat once again into the political area, and thank everyone for all the support and encouragement
I have received!
See you in November!
August 1, 2022 Update
Tonight’s City Council was fully attended for the first time in forever.
The gallery had heavier than normal attendance for the introduction of Maumelle’s new Fire Chief.
Fire Marshall Scott Eaton had served as the interim Chief Chief while a consulting firm assisted in the selection process.
Selected from a pool of five finalist candidates, Chief Bo Buford, formerly Assistant Chief of the
North Little Rock Fire Department with 29 previous years of service, was announced as Muamelle's new Fire Chief.
We had a second special guest from Entergy, Michael Johnson, the customer service rep who has talked
to the Council before. He discussed the outages that occurred around the middle of July and apologized to everyone affected by this outage.
Chris Brown, the operations director and person responsible for maintenance also addressed the Council.
He passed around a Outage Briefing report. It wad determined that a contractor doing an underground excavation
for a land developer without contacting 811 to check for underground lines damaged an underground switch gear,
which severely affected their ability to channel the demand load. While working to repair the switch, they had
a failure. They made the decision to do a patch until they could better repair the system later with proper notification.
Then another piece of equipment failed and created another outage, which then required them to make full repairs
at that time. More work is still planned on the switch in the future which will likely cause more outages in the
in the Ridgeland area. Customers will be notified in advance should this be needed.
Council Member Holt gave the Planning Commission report for July, which had six items on the agenda dealing with reZoning,
site, and landscape plans, plus replat and Master Use reZoning plans. They all passed and will come before the Council.
The second reading was given for Ordinance 1070 adopting supplemental provisions of the City code. There was no discussion.
The Mayor then gave an update about the Maumelle Blvd. widening with ARDOT. This is something they had promised
while soliciting to make the 1/2 tax permanent. They now have this project as an Operational Improvement of $20 Million
scheduled in the next 10 years.
After the resignation of the former MEMS representative the Mayor has selected former Police Chief Sam Williams to replace him.
Council Member Mosley asked for more details about the Boulevard widening. Both Mr. Mosley and I were in attendance at the
meeting where this was promised to happen right away, and they later backed off that promise once the tax was approved.
They Mayor had no more details to share.
Member Mosley also expressed concerns that some houses that were nearly flooded during the recent rains.
Council Member Holt mentioned the suggestion of a resident that the Council consider opening the Senior Center during future such events.
I asked about when NLR would begin their part of reconstruction the rest of Crystal Hill within their area.
The Mayor said he was unaware of any pending plans on the part of NLR.
Before the meeting began, I had a conversation with Police Chief Pickard concerning a resident’s complaint about a semi-truck
being parked in a residential area. She was told when she called that this was permitted, but the Chief agreed with me that
it was not. This should not have happened. To my knowledge it has not occurred again.
July 18, 2022 Update
This week’s City Council meeting was one member short. All unanimous votes will show
1 no vote since all absentee votes count as a No.
Director of Finance Ms. Mathis gave the financial report for June 2022. Tax Income is surpassing
that of the budget and previous year. Overall revenues are $1 million over budget and ahead of last year.
The General Fund is $4.2 million over the minimum required amount.
The auditors are on site working to catch up the City’s yearly audit, and did some testing. The auditors had
sent a pre-contact letter to all the Council. We will soon be caught up on audits, and the new software
conversion has begun, and we should go live next month on the new financial software.
Council member Mosley asked about the audit, and confirmed that we will be given a report in August. He asked if
we could go to legislative audit after 2021. A bond document taken out in 2015 by a previous City Council requires
the City to have third party audits.
First reading of Ordinance 1070 adopting enacting supplemental provisions of the City Code, providing for the repeal
of certain code and when new code will become effective. It includes all ordinance up to September 2021.
This is something that is done every year.
Council member Mosley asked if this year’s ordinance used new language, and found sentence 2 confusing. He read the line
in question. The Mayor said that this was language that has been included in all codification of all new ordinance.
The reference of Ordinance 1054 was questioned. City Attorney Krebbs later said that Ordinance 1054 amended fire inspection fees.
Resolution 2022-38 amended the 2022 General Fund Budget. This relates to the Fire Department that was totaled last year.
The replacement vehicle has finally arrived, but the previous contract was all we could include when the budget rolled over.
This Resolution asks for the extra money for the equipment needed specifically for the fire department.
The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-39 amending the 2022 General Fund Budget. This was an amendment requested by Council member Jess Holt.
He had taken a two hour visit to Animal Services, and notices how a vehicle they use has a loose timing chain.
Member Holt congratulated the effort being given to the City for a quality service.
They are currently borrowing a vehicle from public works.
Public Works director Mike Hogan mentioned how the price for the repairs are now in the area of $5500.
$2700 would come from their vehicle maintenance budget, and the additional $3000 in the Resolution
would cover the costs. The vehicle only has 127,000 Miles and suggested maintenance for the 2014
Ford Tahoe recommends to replace the chain every 120,000 miles.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Norris commented about how "Liz" and the Finance Department have “been kicking some tail.”
He also announced that Chief of Staff Sarah Smith was leaving Maumelle for another job.
The new Fire Chief will be announced at the next meeting.
Council member Mosley asked for an update on Crystal Hill.
Curbs and gutters are installed and they are working on the Counts Massie portion.
Asphalting should be done on Counts Massie this week.
Member Mosley also talked about a path going around the baseball field having bikers using it at speeds that have endangered hikers.
The Mayor said he was not opposed to adding signs to caution bikers.
July 7, 2022 Update
Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde issued a Burn Ban Order for Pulaski County yesterday, on July 6.
This is due to harzardous conditions from the extended dry weather and high temperatures.
July 5, 2022 Update
This week’s City Council was a member short. So any unanimous votes will show one No,
since all absentee votes count as a No.
Don Bates of Maumelle spoke about AT&T tearing up his driveway. The Mayor had assisted him
before when they had torn up his driveway. Now they have replaced the dug up parts of his
yard with dead grass. He is very irritated with AT&T. “They’re going to screw it up if
at all possible.” The Mayor assured him that his problems would be addressed.
Director of Human Resource Doreen Mattis announced a new hire in her department. And how they
are currently using multiple fragments of programming software that is being streamlined to the
new software package. Concerns last year were wage compression and employee retention. She was
pleased to announce that wages have increased, and despite employment competition from Amazon,
both these areas have improved in 2022. She also announced that Maumelle has promoted from within
the Police Department, giving Maumelle our first female captain in Shannon Giompoletti.
Council Member Mazzoni gave his Planning Commission report. There were a few changes to existing
building plans, none of which will be going to the Council
Resolution 2022-37 amends the General Fund Budget. It is a revenue neutral resolution. We have
received a little over $1000 in Animal services, which will be used to supplies and to pay for veterinary expenses.
Council Member Mosley asked about how volunteer groups had paid those fees in the past.
The Mayor confirmed that the City will now be paying for that in the future.
Director of Finance Liz Mathis commented how donations of food donations would not be recorded
on the books. Donations will be collected at Animal Services. In the past there was only one case
where someone donated $15 dollars directly to the City.
The Mayor confirmed that adoption fees were previously paid by Maumelle Friends of Animals. At that
time they were collecting donations. That is no longer the case.
The City Attorney discussed how some animals have medical issues that cannot be adopted out, in which
case they go to a volunteer group who might receive a fee when they adopt it out.
Side Note not discussed: The City does not euthanize unadapted animals.
The Mayor commented how donations and adoption fees previous when to Maumelle Friends of the Animals.
Previously the City sometimes collected money for them. Once this was realized to be happening,
the practice was stopped.
The City Attorney mentioned how the City provided funds to build the Animal Services facilities.
Council member Holt asked Ms. Mathis about the City’s about the additional expenses to do vaccinations,
heart worm testing and prevention, and spaying and neutering. He wanted to know the actual expenses.
Ms. Mathis said the $10,500 on the budget is anticipated to be a full year’s expense. But the cost for
each animal is not the same. The Donations shown are only what has been collected to date. As the money
continues to come in, the Council will continue to be approached with resolutions such as #2022-37, which
allows the Council to direct the monies received by donation back to the animals.
This Resolution will not affect the budget in any way. It is a net zero action.
The budget has already been established for the year’s expenses.
Member Holt talked about how over 150 animals were taken to Animal Services in the first part of the year,
and over 100 had been adopted.
Ms. Mathis said she did not have that information. Her priority at this time have been catching up with
Audits and reconciliation. In the future she will be creating a practice of double checking different operations within the City.
The Mayor said Animal Services could explain what happened to each dog brought in.
Member Holt insisted that the City do “everything we can” to know what is going on.
Member Mosley asked is anything might be amiss with taking cash donations.
Ms. Mathis replied that there is nothing like this she has seen in the City’s cash handling of fees,
and how there are multiple double checks and controls on the monies that the City handles.
All the City funds connected to Animal Services have been double checked and there is nothing
suspicious in what she has seen.
Member Mosley asked about an agreement with “Best Friends,” which was intended to help publicize what
animals the City has available for adoption in an effort to find them homes.
The Mayor pointed out that the city is not donating money to anyone.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
The Mayor then commented about streamlining things through the use of technology and the transition to
Open.Gov, and how were we sitting here, he and Director of Perits have already marked the permit for
his home to be inspected before the permit could be closed out. If we know of an issues, “we can track
it down to a patch of dead grass in one person’s yard.”
The parade for 4th Fest had more entries this years, and many people complimented the fireworks displays.
We had a total of 21 fireworks calls, 5 on July 2nd, 6 on 3rd, 10 on the 4th, five of which were after
the 10:30 deadline. No citations were written this year. This is because we do not have exact locations
in the complaints. There was one grass fire and one dumpster fire.
By contrast, last night in NLR every fire truck was out on scene and the police were running to pick up more
fire extinguishers at the station. So the allowing of a designated period within the city seems to have
reduced the instances of complaints.
The Mayor complimented Parks and Recreation’s handling of the Fireworks events,
and how by midday today the park already is looking good.
June 21, 2022 Update
In tonight's City Council meeting, Councilman Ken Saunders was back, but mentioned
up front that he might not make it through the whole meeting. Two other Council
members were absent.
Director of Finance Ms. Mathis gave the May Financial report. Adoption fees and
donations are revenue streams in and out of Animal Service that are currently being
gathered and become a budget item in the future. State Law requires that all donations
go into the General Fund. Resolutions dealing with this will be forthcoming in July. Most
departments revenues are ahead of budget and prior year.
The engagement of the 2020 and 2021 audit has been signed and the auditors will be on
site July 11.
Council Member Mosley discussed the changes in the Animal Services that started in
late November and Early December of last year. He asked for the auditors to target the
cash handling procedures of the MFOA prior to last year's change due to improprieties
that have led to criminal charges and a court trial is upcoming. Ms. Mathis said she
would make that request of the auditors.
Resolution 2022-34 regarding Surplus Property, approving the sale of a 2010 Dodge
Charger for the Police Department. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-35 amending the 2022 General Fund Budget to appropriate funds for
software in the Finance & HR departments. This is a result of the push to reconcile
outstanding outstanding audits and get the City current, which it has not been for many
years. The result of time dedicated to this project being prioritized meant that the
software conversion to Open.Gov software was not implemented in the time period that
was expected, and has required maintaining the previous software system at a time
when it was thought it would be discontinued. This is a one time situation.
Ms. Mathis gave a presentation of the situation. Right now Payroll is being manually
handled by hand and paper. The new software packages will make Human Resources
more efficient. Since we are not yet implementing the full software package we will
actually reduce our expenses, and the funds being appropriated are to initialize the
When Councilman Mosley questioned the matter, Ms. Mathis explained how the city was in
good financial shape to handle the expense. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-36 authorizing Permit Fees for Boring & Excavationsauthorizing fees
for review of permits for work in the City's rights-of way. Our fee schedule of $25 per
request, regardless of size, has been outdated for some time. The new schedule
compensates the City for the time taken by the Planning and Permits department to
safeguard the public from contractor error and provide proper oversight. The demand
for this has increased exponentially in recent years. The new schedule compensates the
City more fairly, and takes into consideration the size and scope of the permits being
requested. The old fee schedule of one size fits all was woefully outdated.
Director of Planning and Permits gave a presentation about how much more enabled the
City is in tracking and controlling contractors and utility companies operating in the
City. He mentioned how another water line was recently hit--which brings the recent
total to two. Right now we have 300,000 feet of pending requests of excavations from just one
telecom that have not yet been processed. The new fees will help to offset the time
spent in processing these requests and dealing with damages that are encountered.
Council Member Saunders asked if this would be retroactive. Mister Grummer confirmed
that this would be an increase going forward and would mainly affect telecoms. They are
the cause of most the work required.
The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Norris commented about how the Crime Statistics breakdown recently sent to Council
Members are trending lower except in Crimes Against Property.
Council Member Mosley again address the problems encountered with the MFOA and
wondered about how the City might have been involved. He encouraged the City not to
be involved with the organization.
Mayor Norris explained how a pause was put into effect as soon as rumors started to
circulate--before the police investigation and criminal charges were made. He felt the
"type of intertwining that accurred before" was ripe for misappropriation and a new
agreement has been entered into with them that protects against something like this
happening again. The Mayor felt "this has built a wall."
City Attorney Krebbs addressed the situation that had gone on prior to last year, and
mentioned how the previous arrangement might be considered different than what we
are used to seeing. MFOA had existed since 1992 and predates our current facilities. So
our city services have grown in relation with them, and the Attorney General has
said that State Statues allows a City to work with a humane service. Last
year's instance was the first irregularity that anyone is aware of. As a result of this
incident a new agreement was made with both MFOA and Care For Animals Inc. that
deals with animals that have not been adopted in over 60 days and might need to be put
down, animals that the city cannot afford the veterinary care. These are where the rescue
organizations step in. In the past we were facilitating adoptions and they handled the
paperwork. That has all changed.
Council Member Mosley asked if we had this type of agreement with other
organizations. The City Attorney said that in the past there were no agreements with
anyone, and now we have five written agreements in place.
Member Mosley encouraged the City to sever all relations with MFOA, and expressed
concerns about a recent email letter from a resident that felt the previous arrangement
was illegal. But the City Attorney affirmed that the previous arrangement was legal by
State Law. At the time in the past the MFOA was the adopting agency, and it was legal
for them to handle the funds at that time. This was changed when the misappropriation
came to light last year.
Mayor Norris asserted about how, as soon as the matter came to light, two police
investigations were launched and felony prosecution has begun. He expressed the
concerns that we continue to handle stray animals in a responsible manner and not
resort to euthanization. We have taken proper precautions going forward focusing on
the handling of monies and public safety.
Council Member Holt talked about how he had the court files of two people who are
about to come up to trail in public court. He was concerned about what will happen
when the news media "gets ahold of this." He does not want the City to appear weak. He
attended the last MFOA meeting and described it as very combative. His point was that
everyone now knows and are mad about this.
Council member Gardner talked about the number of people who have supported the
MFOA, and the strong support for helping animals that exists in the city. He did "not
feel we need to throw out the baby with the bath water." What happened was a "huge
oversight" and is happy about the steps that the Mayor and City Attorney have already
taken to deal with the matter. He did not feel the need to sever the relationship.
Council member Mosley spoke about how he had heard rumors that there was a "lot of
shared cash" at the Shelter, and asked the Finance Director to talk about how things
used to be handled there.
Ms. Mathis pointed out that this was before her time and that in the past that we were
only collecting certain fees that had receipt books that followed city procedures. There
was another cash book that MFOA handled, and the City was not aware of that
arrangement until December and was stopped once we were aware of it.
Mayor Norris talked about immediately securing the money box and inventoried with
multiple witnesses and was not acceptable under any circumstances. It was stopped
immediately--the day before Thanksgiving of last year. Those donations were all going
to the non-profit and not the city.
City Attorney Krebs said that by State Law that the appropriation of public funds for the
public funds are not unusual, and other cities have and do use similar structures. She
and everyone agreed that, even though legal, there are better ways of handling it.
The City made immediate changes once the situation was learned.
Council Member Mosley made a motion to suspend the current agreement with MFOA
for six months, seconded by Council Member Holt.
Council Member Mazzoni clarified that the monies in question were being donated
directly to the MFOA and not to the city. It was confirmed that the MFOA box was
separate from donations made to the City. Any funds donated to the city went to the
city. But MFOA as a charitable organization was getting the majority of donations.
Council Member Holt wanted to know the specific period about when the MFOA was
collecting fees. He clarified that the first he heard of this issue was a couple of weeks
Director Mathis said fees stopped being collected by MFOA the day the City became
aware of it in November. The city was not charging adoption fees. The receipts were
collected for MFOA.
Charlene Akers made a public comment as a representative for MFOA, discussing about
how the organization spent their funds collected on the animals.
Council Member Saunders talked about how most people would disagree with the way
things were handled in the past, and confirmed how changes have been made and the
city will no longer collect any monies for charitable organizations. He confirmed a new
arrangement is in place with MFOA at this time. He did not feel that there was anything
to be gained in doing a boycott since protections were already in place.
Council Member Mazzoni expressed concerns about what might happen to the animals
if a boycott was put in place.
Mayor Norris said that Animal Service Director Evans said his department would like to
contiinue to work with MFOA, but would manage if that changed.
I complimented the Mayor and City Attorney for have addressed this matter in such a
timely matter, and how criminal charges were already in place before the Council was
even aware of the matter.
Barbara Spar made a public comment as the whistle blower who first made this matter
public, and is concerned about an urge to punish the MFOA as a whole for the actions of
a couple of people. She spoke of the ongoing rescues that they are still doing the best
they can with what they have. She asked the Council not to blame the entire
organization for the actions of a couple of people.
The motion to terminate failed 2 to 4.
Member Mosley expressed his disappointment in having to deal with this matter.
City Clerk Timmons mentioned a meeting for the All Inclusive Playgournd June 30 at the
June 7, 2022 Update
If you've had your water shut off, or received a shut-off notice, Central Arkansas Water
has announced their participation in the Low-Income Water Assistance Program.
Administered by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Arkansas
Energy Office, this federally funded program offers up to $2,000 in assistance to qualified
applicants to help pay their residential water or wastewater past-due balances.
There is no charge for this service and the assistance does not need to be paid back.
This week's City Council meeting was one member short. All unanimous votes will be
recorded as 7 to 1, since all absentees count as No votes.
The Mayor shared that the health of Councill person Ken Saunders is improving and he
hopes to attend again in the near future.
The Youth Council, the Paytons, and Maryanne Scott Coney made awards to two
Stewards of the Youth Council. Stephen Bowlan won this years $1500 scholarship, and
Avery Champion was the Payton Award Winner. The message was that the youth of
Maumelle are our future.
Lyndsey Baker with EPG gave a presentation of the 2019 audit. The audit was
Council Member Mosley gave the Planning Commission report on three non-residential
matters. Plastics Inginuity is expanding their warehouse and site plan. These were
approved and will not come to the Council. A softball facility had a site and landscape
plan approved, which will not come to the Council. Ink Properties made a plan
modification that will be addressed later during this meeting.
The Third Reading of Ordinance 1066 Amending the compensation schedule for the
elected position of Mayor was passed unanimously.
The third Reading of Ordinance 1067 Amending the compensation schedule for the
elected position of city clerk/treasurer was passed unanimously.
The third Reading of Ordinance 1068 Amending the compensation schedule for the
elected position of city attorney was passed unanimously.
The third Reading of Ordinance 1069 Pinnacle Towing & Recovery, a company with
miniority ownership by Fire Department employee Patrick McIntire, to do business with
the City of Maumelle.
Zachery Henson of North Little Rock, whose company is on the current rotation stated
opposition to the approval, citing conflicts with the towing contracts as they are
currently written. He felt it wrong to have a government employee placed on the City rotation.
Council Member Mosley inquired about whether enough paperwork had already been
filed. Henson said that the contract requires a physical location within 15 miles of the
City, and are currently are doing towing in Maumelle using an unmarked vehicle. City
Clerk Timmons said these were serious accusations and that she would follow them up
should the Ordinance be passed.
Council Member Williams asked Mister McIntrye to address the matter. All the matters
addressed are pending the vote about to be taken. If it was passed then steps would be
taken so that all the regulations would be met. The City Attorney confirmed that they
are currently towing private individuals by request.
Council Member Mazzoni confirmed that this was his understanding.
Council Member Mosley said he was a No vote because an Arkansas Statute declares
that this would be a conflict of interest.
Mayor Norris added that we were following the procedure stated in the Statute on how to
handle matters of this nature.
Council Member Holt asked about what the conflict of interest was?
City Attorney Krebbs said that an example would be a police officer having the same
interest as Mr. McIntyre was working a wreck and encouraged dispatch to call his
company. That would be a conflict because he was financially benefiting.
Council Member Holt asked what would prevent McIntrye from doing this.
The Mayor replied that the City has a rotation list which is how the order of service calls
The Ordinance passed by a vote of 6 to 1.
Resolution 2022-30 approved a preliminary development plan for Ink Properties in the
Council Member Mosley asked their engineer to give a presentation.
Roy Andrews discussed how Ink did more than t-shirts, but a variety of things and are
looking to expand. Their last was 22 years ago, this was part of their future plans to
increase their warehouse another 13,000 square feet.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-31Amending the 2022 General Fund Budget to appropriate funds for
the replacement of the Fire Department's Station One roof that was storm damaged.
This is a net zero motion, for which insurance funds have already been received to make
the repairs. It was approved unanimously.
Resolution 2022-32 Amending the 2022 General Fund Budget to appropriate funds for
tablets for field inspections for the Code Enforcement and Public Works Department. As
we've changed how contractors do excavation work, we now have more demand for
inspectors to have tablets to verify their work on site.
This is something that they do need to preform the expanded duties. Planning Director
Grummer confirmed to me that this would be for a total of six tablets, four tablets
would be for Planning and two for Public Works.
Council Member Mosley also agreed with the need, but expressed concern about delving
into our General Fund, and pointed out a clerical error in the fund totals..
The Mayor made an amendment to correct a math error on the budget.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-33 Amending the 2022 General Fund Budget to appropriate funds to
cover the cost of travel of OpenGov staff for training purposes.
The same correction needed to be made on the fund balance as on the previous item.
This Resolution deals with the efforts currently being made to catch up on audits, which
has delayed our launch of the new OpenGov software. To play catchup OpenGov has
suggested a person be sent to Maumelle to help speed up the transition to this new
software. The plan had been to be completely switched at this point, so at this time we
are paying for both the old and new systems. The Resolution passed unanimously.
The Mayor commented about how City Offices will be closed on June 20, so the next
Council meeting will be on Tuesday June 21.
Council Member Mosley inquired about an issue with Maumelle Friends of the Animals.
City Attorney Krebbs explained that the organization has been involved with Animal
Control, and done inter-operation exchanges, like proving locator chips, finding homes
and helping with adoption fees, as well as storage of some items in Maumelle facilities.
Back in November it was discovered that an Officer of the group had misappropriated
funds from their organization and a police report started and felony charges filed in
Circuit Court, which is still pending. At the time of that November notification
operations between the the City and FOA were separated and their relationship with the
City spelled out with an Agreement between both parties in a formal relationship.
Mayor Norris addressed rumors that the City had tried to cover this matter up. He
pointed out that the City had immediately done an investigation, even though there had
been no formal request to do so. He felt the animals are the victims in this matter due
to the actions of a few people. The Animal Shelter is still looking for help and the
organization is still wanting to help with animals.
May 27, 2022 Update
The ongoing problems of installing high speed internet in Maumelle was covered on the
News. I know this is stressful for many residents, but Mayor Norris and the City
Planning Director deserve a lot of credit for their quick responses whenever these
problems crop up. You're not alone in dealing with the contractors or the utility. The
City has got your back and will help you whenever something does go wrong. Call City
Hall and ask for Planning Director Scott Grummer. And never hesitate to call myself or
your other City Council-person should you need help. In full disclosure about the news
story attached, in this particular case the underground utilities had been marked in the
wrong place. The contractor was working well away from the marked area, and the
disaster occurred. But again, the City is here to help and support you when something
like this happens.
May 25, 2022 Update
The Mayor called a special meeting of the City Council to consider a counter offer in a
lawsuit with a previous public works employee that has been going on since August
2018. The Council was two members short, but had enough for a quorum.
Resolution 2022-29 supports the settlement of the Jennifer Corriveau v. City of
Maumelle Lawsuit and appropriates the funds to do so.
The previous offer that the City Council rejected was for $33,000 plus attorney's fees
that would possibly be as high as $90,000, making the total outlay to the City as high
as $120,000 or more. My reaction at the time was that this was an unreasonable offer,
and commented that it was "Time to go to war" and voted No.
Offers had continued to go back and forth after that rejection by the Council.
This new offer was for $30,000 which is all inclusive. $10,000 would go to the plaintiff
and $20,000 to the attorneys.
I considered this far more reasonable and would end the City's potential liability. From
everything I learned about this matter, the City would most likely have won. But it would
have taken a huge amount of time, possibly an entire week out of the schedules for the
Mayor, City Attorney, and Public Works Director to fight it. Those were hidden costs to
continuing the fight. Plus there was the matter that anything could happen in the
courtroom. So I made a motion to accept the offer.
The motion passed unanimously.
May 16, 2022 Update
This week's City Council meeting was one member short. All unanimous votes will be
recorded as 7-1, since absentee votes count as a No.
Finance Director Liz Matthews gave the Financial Statement as of the end of April. We
are currently slightly behind budget, and because of the timing of payments that should
work itself out. Certain payments are coming in July that will put us in good shape. Overall
revenues are $460,000 ahead of last year, and are well ahead of last year.
The third reading of Ordinance 1062 confirmed the dedication of
streets and drainage associated with Pinnacle Heights. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
The third reading of ordinance 1063 confirmed the dedication of certain streets and
drainage associated with Osage Terrace Estate Phase 2B. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
The third reading of Ordinance 1064 confirmed the dedication of certain streets and
drainage associated with The Reserve at Country Club. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
The third reading of Ordinance 1065 amending the City Code to conform with Civil
Service Rules and Regulations passed uananimously.
Resolution 2022-21 updates the Uniform Employee Handbook to conform with the Civil
Service Rules and Regulation Changes. This Resolution had previously been Tabled. The
Resolution passed unanimously
The second reading of Ordinance 1066 that amends the compensation for the elected
position of mayor had no discussion.
The second reading of Ordinance 1067 that amends the compensation for the elected
position of city clerk/treasurer had no discussion.
The second reading of Ordinance 1068 that amends the compensation for the elected
position of city attorney had no discussion.
The second reading of Ordinance 1069 that permits Pinnacle Towing & Recovery, a
company owned by Fire Department employee Patrick McIntire, to do business with the
City of Maumelle. Mister McIntire was present to answer questions by Council member
Mosley. He owns 49% of the company. Mosley explained that he would probably vote No
because he felt this was a conflict of interest to have a City employee doing business
with the City. Council member Mazzoni confirmed that the police department calls for
tows in order of a list.
Resolution 2022- 23 approves a conditional use permit for the City of Maumelle for the
operation of an indoor batting facility in an Open Space Zoned district at the Diamond
Center. It will be paid for and built by the Maumelle Sports association and ceded over
to the City. Council member Mosley pointed out how the baseball association collected
$60,000 over a period of 15 years in order to make this happen, and praised them for
Facilities Board Confirmation of Tom Boothe, who was nominated by the Mayor. He was
the sole applicant. He was confirmed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-24 regarding Audit Services requires an annual audit to be performed
in accordance with the guidelines and format prescribed by the Governmental
Accounting Standards Board. Liz Matthews discussed the selection process. This will
become an annual process, and currently it is required by certain fidelity processes. The
council will select annually to do the audit and to select the firm. Currently this
Resolution is for two years since the City is still trying to catch up from the tardiness of
previous years and a previous director. BKD has a whole sector that focused on Public
Sector Audits and legislature changes in how the reporting is done. Ms. Matthews felt
they were an asset that would assist in staying in tune with the law.
David Coleman, a partner at BKD spoke about how all he does is Public Sector and
government audits, and has done other cities around the state and in Texas. Member
Mosley asked about different ways to do the audit. Mister Coleman stressed the importance
of the city becoming current in their audits.
Council member Mosley asked about what other firms had applied. Ms. Mathis said
there was one other that she felt did not have as extensive of qualifications as BKD. This
was a qualification selection, not a bidding process. A previous audit with Kraft was
$29,000, who did involve BKD in that process. The current resolution is for another
$84,000, which will be combined with previous resolutions for a total of four audits for
a total around $124,000. This will combine 2020 and 2021 into a single audit. In the
future this will be around a $65,000 annual expense that includes a compliance audit
($58,000 and $7,000) that is required for the use of Federal funds.
Our 2015 Bond documents require using an outside firm, which precludes doing a
Council member Holt confirmed that this will replace the firm that was doing the 2019
audit. And expressed how important it was to get caught up.
I asked Ms. Mathis when the audits would be completed. BKD promised on the record
that the audits would be finished this year in August or September.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-25 amends the 2022 General Fund budget to appropriate additional
funds for auditing services passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-26 approves an Economic Development Service Contract between the
City of Maumelle and Metro Little Rock Alliance (MLRA). Mister Jay Chester with the
MLRA discussed how their previous work for the City help bring in the Tractor Supply
development. He encouraged the City to continue to develop sites in advance in the
same manner was with done with TSC. This is the same agreement that the City as done
in previous years. The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-27 amends the 2022 General Fund Budget to appropriate funds for IT
backup services for the Police Department. This is to backup video evidence. The
Resolution was passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-28 expresses a willingness to utilize federal-aid transportation
program funds related to the Central Arkansas Regional Transportation. In October of
2020, Maumelle was awarded $1,275,000 in the CARTS Surface Transportation Program
Funds by the Metroplan Board for the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of
White Oak Crossing, Country Club Blvd., and Counts Massie. Construction costs have
gone up since then, and a new system has been put into place by Metroplan that
increases in costs that were once handled internally by them must now be applied for. Total
costs were previously estimated at $1.5 million and the new cost estimate is
$2,182,000. The difference that is not paid for by Metroplan will be split between
Maumelle and North Little Rock at a 75/25 split, since 75% of the impacted property lies
within Maumelle City limits. The Mayor felt we have a high likelihood of getting this
grant increase. The time frame on the application is to begin construction in January to
March next year, with rights of way handled prior to that. The resolution passed unanimously.
The Mayor then discussed water quality. Central Arkansas Water tested the water at the
house of the resident who complained about his water quality at the last meeting. It was
their determination that refrigerator filters remove chlorine and if they are not regularly
replaced, they can cause microbial growth-which resulted in the tube shaped structure
he found in his water.
Council member Gardner complimented Chief of Staff Sarah Smith about the job she did
when the third grade of the Charter School visited City Hall last week and did a pair of
mock City Council meetings.
Council member Mosley asked about the completion of construction on Crystal Hill.
Asphalt had been scheduled for one side of the road for today, but yesterday's rain
delayed that until tomorrow. June 10th was the original target date for completion.
Roy Andrews, an inspector on the project addressed the Council and said he was not
sure when the new date will be. Curb and gutter and gravel still need to be done on the
other side before asphalt is laid there.
Council member Mazzoni confirmed that the contract had been amended because of
delays caused by problems getting Entergy to move the power poles. The June date was
made after those had been resolved. Now we are dealing with rain delays.
May 10, 2022 Update
Today the Charter School did a tour of City Hall and participated in a pair of mock City Council
sessions. In both mocks the subject debated was building a new playground. Students filled the
roles of the Mayor, City Clerk, and the Council. Mayor Norris was on hand to guide the students
selected to be Mayor, City Clerk Tiny Timmons assisted the students filling her role, and Council
members Doug Shinn, Chad Gardner, and myself assisted the students filling each four-member
council. The students made up their own minds based on the evidence presented, and while one
group voted 3--1 in favor of building the new playground, the other voted it down 0--4 because
"it was too expensive."
The students were also given a tour of the other departments in City Hall, while a police car
and fire truck were both present on the parking lot to give presentations.
Tomorrow's City Leaders started their training today.
May 2, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was one member short. All unanimous votes will count
as 7-1 since all absent votes count as a No. You might want to pack a lunch before you
start reading this--because it was a long one.
Jennifer Long of Children's Protection Center and two friends talked about the River City
Festival on June 10-11 in Maumelle, a special entertainment even for children, which
benefits the Children's Protection Center, and is held on Lake Willastein.
She thanked the city for our support and expressed about how successful the event has
been. She also shared a volunteer-led video of the combined events where teams and
individuals compete for championships. Thirty-six teams are already confirmed and
more are invited to participate. Some of this year's teams are coming from Texas and Colorado.
Gary Childers made a public comment about his water sample and passed a sample
around the Council, that had a tubing formation in it. He also discussed the electrical
boxes being installed possibly by Fidelity too close to other boxes, only 14 inches, that
left no room to mow or weed-eat between. These were not the Comcast boxes.
Trisha Moran spoke about crime in Maumelle and car break-ins and how the number has
been increasing recent years, and is on track to double this year according to statistic
she found on the Police Department's website. She encouraged the police to post
information on Facebook on how to deal with this, and how to deal with thieves stealing
from local businesses.
Sam Williams, former Maumelle Chief of Police, spoke about the crime rate and to share
his experience. He felt the Mayor, Council, and Police Department are very conscious of
public safety and considers the Police Department to be second to none. He felt that
"sometimes when you worry about what's wrong, you forget about what's right." He
then quoted Bruce Springsteen who said, "There's a meanness in this world."
The Mayor then asked Chief Pickard to give a presentation. He stated that the
department gathered information over the weekend, and thanked Ms Moran for the
suggestions she had made and said the department is working to get more information
out to the public. He showed a 10 year comparison, with 172 vehicles being broken into in
2015 being the high. In 2021 they arrested 9 individuals related to vehicles break-in,
seven of which lived outside of Maumelle. He confirmed that there is a spike in break-
ins at this time, but a decline in actual vehicle theft. There are patrols assigned to go
into Lake Willastein and the ballparks to keep an eye on possible mischief. They will
release videos to help the public. The current pattern is a nationwide pattern, but with
Maumelle having a very small numbers, but the percentages are higher because of our
lower population. There is no pattern that they can discern beyond higher activity during
Council member Williams asked about the shoplifting problems. Chief said call 911 and
be a witness for the police, then contact the store. There have been 200 reports of
shoplifting in the last 10 years.
She also asked about the Citizen Police Academy, which the Chief hopes will return in the Fall.
Council member Holt asked what the citizens can do to assist the police and regulate
themselves. Chief said if you see something, say something. It is a partnership and they
rely on citizens to help them perform their duties.
I commented about my own problems in nearly 40 years of retailing in Little Rock
and North Little Rock and how shoplifters were the bane of my existence, and how the
200 reported cases are probably a fraction of actual occurrences. There are times that a
retailer has to report a shoplifter because they will steal every time they enter the
premises, and others as crazy as a grandmother teaching her grandchildren how to
steal. I asked if he had any idea how many of the 200 reports were repeat offenders, but
he did not have that statistic. I thanked him on behalf of all Maumelle businesses for
their fast response to reports, and encouraged citizens to help with reports of what they see.
Director of Parks and Recreation Phil Raborn gave a report. Right now they are fully staffed. The
rains have been putting them behind on mowing. This year's Easter egg hunt was held indoors
because of the rain. The pool is being prepped to open now. The Maumelle Baseball
association is purchasing an indoors batting cage that will be donated to the city. This
will enable people to practice during the winter. Drawings are being prepared to build
the park next to the Splash Pad. The Spash Pad should be opening in a week or so.
Council member Mosley asked about how long the Baseball Association had to save the
money to build the indoor batting building. It took a while. Mosley commended them for
their effort. Director Raborn said that the association had also recently purchased an
overhang for the front of the Concessions Center.
Council Member Shinn gave the Planning Commission report, which only dealt with the
Third Reading of Ordinance 1059 amended the current Land Use Plan.
Council Member Mosley confirmed a couple of changes that had been made on the map,
and a section was floodway. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
Third Reading of Ordinance 1060 amended the current Zoning Map. The Ordinance
Third Reading of Ordinance 1061 amended chapter 94 of the zoning regulations
regarding differing notification and advertising requirements for differing changes to
the use of real property. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
Second Reading of Ordinance 1062 accepting the dedication of certain streets and drainage
associated with Pinnacle Heights. There was no discussion.
Second Reading of Ordinance 1063 Accepting dedication of certain streets and drainage
associated with Osage Terrace State D. There was no discussion.
Second Reading of Ordinance 1064 accepting the dedication of certain streets and drainage
associated with the Reserve at Country Club. There was no discussion.
Second Reading of Ordinance 1065 amending City Code to conform with Civil Service Rules
and Regulations. There was no discussion.
Attorney's Jenna Adams and Ms. Gibson for the Municipal League discussed an
upcoming a trail about a former employee, who had made a settlement offer. The
Plaintiff, Ms Corvo was a former employee with the Public Works who claimed she had
worked overtime. She had previously returned a settlement check. She later rejected
another offer, and the Council rejected her counter-offer. Because of Covid, the trail has
been delayed since 2020. The plaintiff has now made another offer that, combined with
her attorney fees, would cost the City in excess of $120,000. They then gave different
scenarios in the event we rejected this. Without going into the legal descriptions of
possibilities and actions, in one scenario would be the City won and owed nothing. In
another the City might be ruled to owe $20,000. In scenario three the total loss could be
an estimated $128,000. In scenario four the total loss $150,000. In scenario five the
total loss could be $220,000. Anything can happen at trail.
I asked about the City Attorney's thoughts. She said the presentation had fairly well laid everything
out, and that their demand seemed high. The City's original offer of $15,000 included
attorney fees at that time.
There were considerable discussions about liabilities and how repeated offers had been
rejected, and how we had previously offered in excess of what the Department of Labor
felt might be owed in 2018. The Plaintoff rejected that and has continued to increase the
fees in hopes that the City will be paying them.
The Mayor spoke about how he was the Attorney for the City at the time, and that
offer had been most favorable to the plaintoff, and was nearly double what the
Department Labor had determined through an unknown process.
I was already previously familiar with this lawsuit. The issue here is that the plaintoff
took her lunch at her desk, and people would often ask her questions at that time, so
she considered it to be overtime retrospectively. She had also been written up for
working other unauthorized overtime and paid in full for all overtime at the time, and
told not to do it again. She said she did not report it previously because she was hoping
for a promotion. She was not promoted, and the lawsuit against the City was filed after
she was later terminated.
My thoughts were that the plaintoff has rejected the City's offer before, and the whole
time since the plaintoff has been jacking up the attorney's fees. I felt that we should not
waste any more time on this and "go to war" by taking this on to trail.
The Mayor and City Attorney felt the city has a good case.
The attorneys from the Municipal League expressed to Council Member Mazzoni that the
city had not acted in a willful manner and had made good faith efforts with the plaintoff.
Both members Mosley and Holt expressed desires to the Mayor and City Attorney to
make a suggestion and have the Council then vote.
A motion was made by Council to reject the the plaintoff's offer, which passed 6-1.
Civil Service Commission appointment Billy Herrington addressed the Council. He has
currently been on the commission for 15 years and was applying to be reappointed for
another term. The commission deals with any appeals made by members by the police
and fire departments service members. As the chairman of the commission in recent
years he served basically as a judge. That was the hard part. The fun part was the oral
presentations given by applicants for promotion, and watching them grow as
individuals. He felt we should be proud of our current police and fire department members.
Council member Gardner thanked him for his service.
Council member Mosley wished him well.
His appointment was approved unanimously.
The Elected Officials Salary Task Force Presentation was made by Jeff Van Patton.
Maumelle City Code requires a commission be established to do this on every even
numbered year. The commission consisted of Mr. Van Patton, the two newest elected
council members, and several members of the public. Comparisons were made with the
compensations and tax bases of several peer cities.
The recommendations for tonight would put the city at position #5 out of the 15 peer cities.
No raise was recommended for the City Council.
Because of the Covid pandemic, most, if not all of us had NOT accepted the last raise
from two years ago until this year.
First Reading of Ordinance 1066 amending the compensation for the elected position of
mayor to have a 3% increase each of the next two years. There was no discussion.
First Reading of Ordinance 1067 amending the compensation for the elected position of
city clerk/treasurer for a 6% increase for each of the next two years. There was no discussion.
First Reading of Ordinance 1068 amending the compensation for the elected position of
city attorney to increase by 8% each of the next two years. There was no discussion.
Resolution 2022-22 amends the 2022 General Fund to appropriate funds for
technology services and equipment. This provides for a new server to consolidate and
replace older servers. An audit has been done on the servers to delete obsolete software
and consolidate their use. City Clerk Timmons said that this would effectively prepare
the City for the future and make us more efficient and keep us up to date with State
software requirements and technologies have continued to be developed. The Mayor
commented that he did not realize until the recent audit how archaic our systems were,
which is why this was not addressed during this year's budget
discussion. One part of this is for a new $25,000 server and another is for a
subscription service that will provide a $13,000 IT warranty in the case of equipment failure.
Council member Mazzoni asked for a timeline about the current planning process for
the green belt/Club Manor corridor. The Mayor said his wish is to get public meetings
happening soon and optimistically start the actual process this Fall
The motion passed unanimously.
First Reading of Ordinance 1069 Pinnacle Towing & Recovery permitting Pinnacle Towing &
Recovery, a company owned by Fire Department employee Patrick McIntire,
to do business with the City
The City has a tow rotation list of 10 companies that are called in the event of
a wreck. This would add the company to the rotation list.
Typically a company will be called for a week and
then the police will cycle each following week to the next successive company on the list.
Mayor Norris gave an update on the Comcast pedestals. Planning Director Grummer said
that Comcast currently has 3 permits that are approved.
Mayor Norris also discussed the cove where a young man spoke about the condition of
the road was causing him difficulty riding his bike at the last meeting.
The audit book that was hoped to be given to the Council has now been delayed until
Council member Williams discussed how resident Grayson Moore would like to provide
her services to the city for addiction recovery.
City Clerk Timmons discussed that credit card payments in the courts can be taken
online, just not in person.
April 18, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council was one member short. All unanimous votes will show on the
record as 7-1, since all absentees count as a No vote.
A public comment was made by Michael Cotrow expressed concerns that he cannot ride
his bike or skateboard in the cul-de-sac on Platt Cove. He showed on his cell phone
pot holes that needed to be fixed and an area where a busted water pipe only had gravel
put over the repair area.
Council Member Holt complimented the young man on doing a great job in his presentation.
Director Liz Mathis gave the financial report for March 2022. We are now getting
reports from the State about rebates given on sales taxes. Previously that information
was not available, so downward swings were seen without explanation. The Senior
Center is seeing a significant upswing in usage. An increase in gas and oil has
sanitation expenses up.
Our 2019 audit has wrapped up on site work by the auditors, and the final report will
hopefully be presented at the next meeting. A selection process for the 2020 audit has
already started. Council member Mosley asked how many years the request would be for
with the new auditing firm. Ms. Mathis said engagements would be on an annual basis,
but the firm will probably be used to audit a three year period or more.
Ordinance 1036 establishing rights of way standards had its third and final reading. The
Ordinance passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1059 amending the Maumelle land use map. The Mayor explained that a gray
area Council member Mosley asked about during the last meeting was only a filter that
needed to be removed. This was the second reading.
Ordinance 1060 amending the Maumelle zoning map had its second reading.
Ordinance 1061 amending multiple sections of the Maumelle city code to change the
method of public notice of changes had its second reading.
One person made an applicantion to the Tree Board. Mister Dave Heinman addressed the
council about his admiration for our city and his interest in serving the
community. He feels that trees play a vital part of our environment. He has been a
homeowner in Maumelle since 2001. Council member Mosley expressed his support of
the tree board and volunteered his help if it should ever be needed. The appointment
was confirmed unanimously.
The meeting was then converted to a Board of Sign Appeals, as Splash Car Wash made a
presentation to request a variance in their business sign. A diagram of the proposal was
given to the council, and Nicole, the accounts manager made the request to install 5
signs on the building. The intent is to explain what the different bays are used to to
help direct traffic. They had reduced their square foot allowance to remain below city
requirements. The issue was not the size, but the number of signs to direct traffic. The
footage would be under 5%. This is the first car wash of this kind in the United States.
City Staff supported this change. Council Mosley commented that he will never vote
against code, so he would be a No vote. The appeal passed on a vote of 6-1.
Resolution 2022-16 amends the 2021 general fund for the purpose of allocating
Covid Relief funds that the City was given and using those monies to replace payments for
for Police and Fires salaries from last year, and adding those monies back to the general
fund. Ms. Mathew explained the timing was due to having waited for direction from the
Federal Government on how to apply these funds. The intent is to save time with
accounting to take the entire amount and applying them this way would save
accounting time and allow them to close out the account. The funds would then be
available in the General fund.
Council Member Garner expressed the concern about tracking the fund. Ms. Mathis said
that she had a spreadsheet to track it.
Council member Mosley commented how we were eliminating the AARP fund and our
fund numbers would change going forward. Ms. Mathis said that this was recommended
by the Municipal League to reduce work, and that there has been talk in Washington
about pulling the money back.
I asked how much this would create a bounce in the General fund. Ms. Mathis answered
that $2.7 million would be available after deducting funds appropriated to date.
The Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-17 amending previous resolutions approved to draw from the previous
fund to the General fund as approved in the previous Resolution. Passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-18 amending previous resolutions for the same purposes as the
previous. Member Mosley asked for confirmation on the $2.7 million balance. The
Resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-19 amending previous resolutions for the same purposes as the
previous. This was the final resolution clarifying the appropriation of finances.
Resolution 2022-20 amending the General Fund Budget, approves new expenses for
allocating monies to plan the city park and food truck park.
The mayor said people are already asking how to get a food truck into this proposed
location at the old fire station at Maumelle Blvd. and Millwood.
Council member Holt expressed concern about how prime that property is, and how
valuable that would be to the city. He felt it was the best piece of property in the city
and questioned this usage.
I asked for confirmation that it was $15,000 being allocated for this plan.
Council member Gardner commented to Member Holt about how the city would still own
the property and could do something down the road if any other use was considered
preferable in the future. He favored the plan as it, but acknowledged that this was prime
Member Holt wanted to continue to consider other options for the property.
Mayor Norris expressed his support for the food truck court, and that a Putt-Putt course
was trying to locate near this area.
Member Mosley like the idea of someone generating a lot of sales tax going into that
area, and wanted to keep our options open while doing current planning. If something
else should come along, he urged the Council to consider it, but liked the Food Court
plan in case nothing did.
The Resolution passed 6-1.
Ordinance 1062 accepting the dedication of streets and drainage for Pinnacle Heights
sub-division. This and the next three ordinances all deal with the development of
properties. First Reading.
Ordinance 1063 accepting dedication of streets and drainage for Osage States Phase B
had its first reading.
Ordinance 1064 accepting dedication of streets and drainage for the Reserve at Country
Club had its first reading.
Ordinance 1065 amending the Maumelle City code to insure that new uncertified police
officers have their probationary periods extended to two years as opposed to the current
one year. It will still be one year probation for officers that are already certified. This is
allowed by State Law, and has been adopted by North Little Rock. Chief Pickard answered
several questions about how this was staying in line with other cities. This ordinance
was tabled until after the third reading of another ordiance that would update the City code.
Mayor Norris gave an update on green boxes being installed by Comcast. He
commended Scott Grummer for advocating the complaints for residents, and has
instituted an intensive review process for excavation permits. We now have a whole
process that includes pre-construction meetings and a complaint process.
The stop work order that had been placed has since been rescinded when changes were
made by the contractor. It was also revealed that some of the contractors were using
"their best guess." That process has now been amended. Examples where the
installations were buried was because those were lines being connected and extended. A
regional rep from Comast toured the city and a new project manager is being brought in
to correct things that "were just flat wrong." They acknowledged that some installations
were done improperly. Signage is to be put in the work areas, but Comcast claimed that
they had previously gotten no call nor complaints during the time when there were no
signs. I would guess this will change with proper notification and a number provided for
where to call.
Member Holt discussed getting a call from a constituent had gotten a call from a
resident whose house on Rolling Oaks Drive was currently being dug, and thought that
all permits had been pulled. Mayor Norris clarified that this was only done with a
contractor who was doing their installations improperly. The other permits did not have
a stop order, but new permits are currently being held while options for "less ugly"
pedestals are being considered. If you contact Comcast and don't get a proper response,
then contact Maumelle's Planning and permits department.
Member Mosley complimented the city for their response to the Comcast issue.
Member Shinn commented about how car break ins have started up again and asked for
more night patrols. The Mayor said that the Police Department is working on processing
new hires to fully staff the department after training is completed. We have no vacancies
at this time.
April 11, 2022 Update
Mayor Norris provided an update about the new Comcast utilities boxes.
These were done because of a State Franchise agreement issued by the Secretary of State,
but Maumelle is currently withholding all new excavation permits to Comcast and stopped work
in one area because the installation crews were regularly violating private property and not
staying within established easements.
The City Attorney is currently in discussions with a consultant recommended by the Arkansas
Municipal League, and the Mayor is in contact with Comcast's Regional Manager of External Affairs.
If you are experiencing a problem due to this issue, contact the Maumelle Department of
Panning & Permits at 501-851-2500.
April 6, 2022 Update
Since the Mayor and at least one council member seemed skeptical when I explained the
public's interest in Maumelle adding an indoor pool--and how traffic on my website always
popped to around 30,000 hits whenever I mentioned this, here is a screenshot from my
website's Administrator page taken this morning. The traffic for April 6 is only for a few hours,
which is why that is such a small number. But you can see that traffic jumped slightly on the 4th
when I first posted my notes for Monday's City Council meeting near the end of the day, and had
a significant spike approaching 30,000 hits the next day.
An average day's use on my website is around 3500 hits, sometimes lower, sometimes higher.
April Fool's Day was an uncommonly slow day. It's rare I have a day that slow.
Every bit of evidence that I have seen and heard from the public is that an indoor pool is very
desired and important for our community.
Here are concrete facts that support that interest.
April 4, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was one member short, so all unanimous votes will
count as 7 to 1, since all absentees count as a No vote.
A matter of public concern was addressed tonight by Caleb McManus about the boxes
being installed in people's yards by Comcast. Some of the boxes being installed are
as high as four foot (shown below).
This is a matter I had previously contacted the mayor and city director of
planning about. The director and city attorney are now aware of this and they are
addressing the matter.
Apparently Comcast has been installing these in an accelerated manner. The first
anyone on the council heard about this matter was over the weekend.
Marie P. also addressed the matter. The boxes have not yet been installed in her yard
and she oes not want them.
Megan Griffith also addressed the matter. Her yard had been marked and she does not
want this to be installed without her permission. She asked at what point does this
become too much and property values decrease.
David Chesser also addressed the matter. He considered the Comcast boxes ugly and will
be hard to get used to, and asked if these will be going into all neighborhoods. The
mayor commented that Comcast had not applied for all areas yet.
Michael Tippen also addressed the matter, and quoted city ordinance about city
ordinance against anything considered to be offensive. He saw a post of someone who
who was considering buying a house but changed their mind because of one of
these new boxes. He had seen some places where they had not been installed so poorly
and felt that these should be underground.
Jonathan Lim also addressed the matter, asking about who handles the code when
something like this moves from easement into private property.
The Mayor said call 501-851-2500 and ask for Scott Grummer to deal with matters like this.
These should not be placed in the middle of the yard. You can also use See Fix Click app
your phone and please attach a photo if you do. Those are very helpful to deal with this.
Council Member Mosley asked about the permits being issued. The Mayor said these are
excavation permits, but that we cannot lawfully deny them. The City Attorney said the a
franchise agreement with Comcast has expired, and no agreed is active with them at
this time. Negotiations did not go well. She read the old agreement's language, that had
the understanding that it was not possible to put these underground, at that time. The
City Attorney wanted a number of changes during negotiations, but this was during the
time of Covid and communications did not go well. They wanted an agreement to
allow them to do these as above ground installations. They did not want to pay to
relocate if needed for expansion for the street. There were a dozen changes like this that
they would not agree to. In November of last year they were supposed to get back with
the City Attorney to set up another meeting. The Arkansas Video Services act gave the
Secretary of State authority in matters like this, and the State says that Comcast does
not have to have an agreement and is only controlled by State law. Comcast is subject to
our code only to a certain extent. The key issue here is IF THIS IS EQUIPMENT CANNOT
BE INSTALLED UNDERGROUND.
Council member Holt talked about a neighbor who had one put in the middle of his
yard, and somehow he managed to get it installed underground. Another neighbor said
how poor the grass was when they re-sodded their yard. It seems that the crews do
whatever is convenient for them.
One of the earlier speakers mentioned about how he bought the crew a case of beer and
managed to get a box relocated into a better spot.
Council member Shinn talked about how Comcast left a hole for months and how the
crews had broken water and gas lines all over the neighborhood and appears to be doing
The City Attorney said that the municipal league does offer a cable management service,
and she intends to reach out to them to inquire about the costs of their service.
Council member Mosley encouraged people to contact state representatives at a state
level, since their law was the one that superceded our own city codes.
I asked the City Attorney to further clarify on what the mayor mentioned about the
rights of a property owner in the instance of when Comcast wants to install one of these in
your yard and not in the easement area. She's clarified that if it is not in the easement it
is a trespass on your property. Call the city planner at city hall, 501-851-2500
and ask for Scott Grummer.
Council member Mazzoni also expressed concern about something like this being put
into a front yard. The mayor again urged anyone to call the city if they are affected in
The City Attorney also confirmed that she has seen what she considered to be "terrible"
installations. They mayor agreed that many of these did not make sense.
Council member Mosley followed up on my question about how if Comcast moves out
of the easement, then it is trespass.
Council member Williams commented about how Comcast should know where the easement
is, and it is not the same everywhere.
Council member Mazzoni than gave the planning commission report, which had seven
items, six of which was coming before the Council tonight. He gave a briefing on them,
but I will leave those discussions for when the actual ordinance and resolutions are
discussed. As he was speaking, the gallery crowd thinned, since most people attended
out of concern over the actions of Comcast. The only thing not on todays agenda will be
on the future schedule.
Ordinance 1036 establishing rights of way stands had its second reading. This provides
for the issuance of right of way permits. There was no discussion.
Resolution 2022-12 approved the preliminary development plan for Osage Terrace
phase 2D. Council Member Mosley talked about how another proposed road would
eventually connect with this property. City Planning Director Grummer confirmed that
this would end at the boundary of the City, and that the applicant did plan to add
secondary access to development beyond that point, but that the area being developed
here did not require a secondary access. The exception being approved was four
additional houses, and adjustments had been made in the past to accommodate this
exception. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-13 approved the preliminary development plan for the reserve at
Country Club. Council Member Mosley about how the walking trails that go along the
bayou would be connected into the neighborhood. Director Grummer confirmed that
they would be dedicated to the City, would have public access, and would connect to
the ball park area. An area on private land to the south would be maintenanced by a
Property Owners Association. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-15 grants a conditional use permit for a Lean-To style structure on an
area zoned Open Space. Trees will be added to create a buffer to this area being built on
the Maumelle Country Cluf, with the permit requested by Brad Fredrickson of the
Country Cluf. Terry Rouse spoke for the Cluf and said the lean-to is already exists, and
they are wanting to move it to protect equipment. The motion passed unanimously.
At this time the Mayor convened the Council into the Board of Sign Appeals.
The Splash Car Wash is request a change similar to that made for another business. The
Board approved it for a vote at the next meeting.
The Board then converted back to the City Council, and the Mayor's Chief of Staff gave
an address about the corner of Millwood and the Boulevard where the old Police Station
is located, proposing that the space be converted of a City Center Park with a Food
Truck and Farmers market in that area. The long term plan is to create a City Center
Park. At least 10 parcels of undeveloped property are within a mile of that location.
Sarah also discussed how small businesses employ 47% of the nation's workforce, and
how accessible that area is to vehicles, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic. It is also located
as part of the Central Arkansas Regional Greenways Plan, making this a trail hub. People
could park their cars and start their journey there. She gave examples of how other
towns around the country have done similar projects to benefit their communities.
The Mayor added that the conceptual drawing showed previously was just just a sample,
and no actual designing had yet taken place. The exact design has yet to be determined.
Council member Mosley asked about adding music on the weekends. Sarah said a
bandstand might also be added as the planning begins. It depends on what the
Council member Holt asked about the funding. That would be discussed more in the
Resolution 2022-14 adopts project expenses for the Club Manor corridor from the
American Rescue Act Funds to start the engineering by appropriating $300,000 given to
the city to help the city's heath and wellness as we recover from Covid-19.
Council member Mosley asked for a ballpark idea of the the total cost. The Mayor
estimated that the project itself would be around $2 to 3 million, for which grants would be
applied to pay. The goal is to engineer this in a manner that would "check the boxes" to
win the grants. The hope is for the City to only pay 20% of the total cost.
Ordinance 1059 updates the land use plan and map. There are not substantive changes.
This will only update the map with recent changes already approved by the City Council.
This will allow the city to post real-time accurate maps to the public. The last map was
updated in 2018. In the future it would be updated as changes were made. This was the
Ordinance 1060 amends the zoning map to show changes that have been previously
approved. This is the same situation as the previous Ordinance. Council member Mosley
asked what a gray area on the current map represented. Mr. Grummer said he did not
know, but would find out. It might be floodway. This was the first reading.
Ordinance 1061 amends chapter 94 of the City code to change the methods of
notification and advertising requirements for public notice for changes in the zoning
code, to standardize the process and ensure those affected would be given proper
notice. This was the first reading.
Council member Gardner mention who a meeting is being held at the White Oak bayou
in the south room of the Odom community center tomorrow at 4PM.
I discussed how, since it was mentioned earlier that ARPA money could be used for other
community projects, another project that should be considered is one that would be
part of the corridor upgrade. An indoor pool at the Senior Center had been proposed
once before, and I suggested that we consider it again as we continue to develop the
Club Manor corridor. The utility stubs are already in place at the Senior Center on Club
Manor, and Director Vogler is certified to operate it. I have already contacted her about
this and she expressed a strong interest in making this happen, and how it could be
made available to the entire community and not just the senior residents. Everything is
in place, and the money is available. A couple of other council members have expressed
their support for this idea. A couple of others are very hesitant.
I've started the discussion on this. Please let your Council representative and the Mayor
if this is something important to you that you would like to see happen.
March 23, 2022 Update
In discussing the Greenway project with Mayor Norris, I've learned that this would
consist of three sepearte projects; the Greenway belt/walkable and bikeable path along Club
Manor and Millwood; the gateway roundabout at Club Manor and South Odom; and the other
gateway project at Millwood and Maumelle Boulevard, which would include a park and the Food
Truck Court. This last project would be placed where the old police station building is located.
I have encouraged Mayor Norris to consider adding a fourth phase; an indoor swimming pool
located at the Senior Center.
Center director Nicole Vogler is already certified to manage such a facility and supports this
idea, including making the pool available at times to the rest of Maumelle--and not just to seniors.
What makes this idea work so well in this location is that it was planned to be there once before.
The utitlity stubs have already been installed.
If you think this is a good idea or bad, please feel free to share your thoughts with me, the
Mayor, and the rest of the Council. This is your city. Is this something you want to happen?
The project would be paid for by Covid grant money that has already been given to the City.
The Greenway Power Point presentation given to the Council on Monday has now been
made available to the public. Click this LINK or the image below to access it.
March 21, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was three members short. Had we been one more person
short we would not have had a quorum. So unanimous votes will show on the record as
5 to 3 since all absentees count as No votes.
Director of Fianance Ms Mathis gave the financial statement review for February 2022.
County taxes are up but City taxes are down because last year also had rebates applied.
Most departments are operating below budget. Wage compensation increases planned in
the current budget will make departmental expenses exceed the previous year, so
budget comparisons will be used for an accurate snapshot of operational expenses.
Ordinance 1036 establishing rights of way had its third reading. A new clause to allow
the city to reimburse utility owners in certain situations was passed unanimously.This
was a material changed that took the ordinance back to first reading.
Ordinance 1052 amending chapter 94 of the City code to allow for grading permits had
some rearrangements made to clarify certain details. These were approved unanimously,
but were not considered a material change and passed unanimously.
Mr. David Roberts updated the Council on a study done to rework the Club Manor
corridor in coordination with the State Greenways Plan for walkability and bikeability. It
will pass through Club Manor behind the commercial area as opposed to running the
whole way down the boulevard. The Plan proposes a roundabout at the intersection of
Odom South and following Club Manor past Lake Willastein Park up to Millwood and
then back over to the Boulevard where a Food Truck Court would be. A sidewalk path
would tie the Lake Willastein trail into to pathway. Road crossings would be built in the
Town Center intersections in the Carnahan area. Images of these details will be posted
on the City website. Plans are to apply for Grant money to pay for much of this proposal.
The Mayor may propose the City pay for engineering planning to facilitate this. The plan
is to turn this stretch of Club Manor into a "Main Street." Economic developments tend
to follow green trackways where they have been built in other cities. The gateway Food
truck Court and greenway are two different projects planned in concert with each other.
The roundabout has not yet been planned, and is subject to much further discussion.
Resolution 2022-10 appropriates funds the City was given for Covid relief and applies
$300,000 to a playground project with the plan of then applying for federal matching
funds to complete a $600,000 projected cost. This would be a state tourism fund grant
application that would be 50/50, and the city needed to put the money up first. The
location is at Lake Point Place and already includes the Splash Pad. The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-11 amended the street fund budget to purchase a new snow plow
blade and a new sand spreader. The motion passed unanimously.
City Clerk announced that there is an opening on the tree board.
March 7, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was one member short, so any unanimous votes will
show as 7-1, since absentees count as a No vote. The meeting did start two members
short, but one showed late.
The Mayor's December 2021 Employee of the Month was Gordon Borst of Parks and
Recreation for 30 years. March 11 is Gordon Borst day in Maumelle.
Chief Pickard gave a department report for the Maumelle police Department. This year 9-
1-1 is being consolidated with other Pulaski County departments. We have seen a drop
in nearly every category in crime for Maumelle. In 2020 crimes against person was 25%
persons on average thoughout the country. In 2021 Maumelle that average ws 15%. The
area of increase in 2020 was Fraud, mostly unemployment fraud, but that number
dropped 57% in 2021.
Council Member Shinn gave a report on the Planning Commission, many items of which
will be coming before the Council, some will stay with the Commission because of
Ordinance 1052 for ammending Maumelle City code to provide for a grading permit
process had its third reading. Council member Mosley discussed his understanding of
the need for people needing to be able to be able to do a grading process at an early
time, but was concerned with the wording of one item dealing with rules about what
type of tree need to be replaced, and those that do not. He suggested that one sentence
was cloudy and needed to be removed. City Director Grummer agreed with the removal.
The Mayor commented that this was a remnant that remained when other elements were
moved. Council member Mosley made a motion to remove the line. The motion passed
unanimously. The City Attorney discussed with Mr Grummer how there was no other
section that dealt with the part that had been removed, but State requirements should
address the matter. City Attorney Krebs felt this was a material change. It was proposed
to reinsert the sentence in another spot where it would be a stand alone paragraph. The
City Attorney suggested the matter be tabled until the next meeting so it could be
determined if this is a significant change that would require restarting the whole
approval process. A motion was to table until the next meeting passed on a split vote. It
will be back on the next meeting.
Ordinance 1036 establishing right of way in the public interest and to provide for the
issuance and regulation of right of way permits. City Attorney Krebs mentioned how this
ordinance was opposed by Entergy, claiming that their utilities existed before Maumelle
was a city. She determined that they were constructed around 1969, and according to
the Country Attorney that there is another order which made those poles part of the
country. Entergy then changed their argument that it was not properly described in the
franchise agreement. The issue is they want the city to pay for any pole relocation (even
though a recent rate increase cited this need as the reason for the increase). She
suggested the ordinance be rewritten similar to that of Bryant. In this instance the city
would be paying a portion of the expenses. Previously the ordinance had been written
similar to one for Cabot, but Entergy said they had never been served notice about that
change and had not yet had an opportunity to oppose it. A motion was made to table
this ordinance to the next meeting to allow time to do refinements.
Resolution 2022-09 approving the preliminary development plan for Devoe Bend Phase
II. The motion carried unanimously
Mayor Norris recognized who Maumelle, the County, and other agencies had dealt with a
recent incident in which one Maumelle police vehicle was struck was by gunfire and
corrections department officer Joshua Caudell died while protecting our community.
Council member Shinn asked about creating a way to route a pedestrian trail and bicycle
path to the public schools. Mayor Norris said it had been brought up in discussions and
will be included in a new master bike plan that will soon be opened to the public for
Council Member Mosley apologized about how he tries to be the council member who
provides the most analysis, and that personal family issues have impacted his time,
otherwise he would have asked about the grading ordinance change at an earlier time.
City Attorney also asked for the fallen officer to be kept in prayers, and to keep the
consideration of all our serving officers always in mind.
February 22, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council was short one member again, so all unanimous votes will count as 7-1.
The meeting took place as scheduled despite City Hall having been closed today because of a
water main break near the building.
The Mayor gave his annual State of the City report. I won't detail his entire 43 minutes of this
very thorough report, which will be repeated during an upcoming Maumelle Chamber of
Commerce luncheon, but certain points dealing with Maumelle's future deserve special attention.
Maumelle enjoyed a 12% increase with the latest census, which was the highest percentage of
growth in Pulaski County.
A presentation will be made soon to the Council dealing with Club Manor that will connect to the
Greenway belt, and renovate Club Manor from Odom South to Millwood and the old police
station, which will be converted to a food truck court. Walkability will be a key focus of this plan,
which will be funded with Grant money. Nothing was said during the Mayor's report about
dealing with the hazardous intersection of South Odom and Club Manor, but it is my expectation
that this proposal will include a plan to deal with this problem area.
Improvements are still being made to the Adaptive Traffic Light System. If you encounter an area
with problems, please report them on the Clickit/Fixit phone app that you can also use to report
most any public works issue, from burned out street lights to road kill.
Mr. Kraft presented the 2018 audit. He opened that he would read each page line by line in
order to have equal time--which drew laughter. He discussed how the current processes in
dealing with bank statement reconciliations have improved under new Finance Director Liz
Matthews. In his opinion her efforts have not just been to "fix the numbers, but to fix the
system" and she is doing the things that need to be done in order to generate accurate and
timely reports. He anticipates completing the audit on 2019 in a more timely manner. His
presentation lasted only half the time of the Mayor's speech. The Council voted to accept the audit.
Director of Finance Liz Matthews gave the City's current, 2022 finances.
Ordinance 1057 to amend the zoning map had its third reading. This dealt with the property on
Crystal Hill where the proposed O'Reilly Senior Center would be placed. Council member Mosley
moved to table this until after the next part dealing with the same property.
His proposal passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-05 dealt with issuing a conditional use permit to deal with the number of beds
in the O'Reilly Senior Center. Council Member Mosley mentioned how he would be a Yes vote this time
around, and how his constituents supported it (as do mine). The measure passed by a vote of 6-1.
Ordinance 1057 then came back before the Council. The Ordinance passed 6-1.
Ordinance 1058 redistricting City Wards following the 2020 Census had its third reading.
Council Member Mosley commented about how all the comments about the proposal all seemed
to be coming from one person, and asked if anyone else had made a comment. There were
none that anyone was aware of. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1052 regarding grading and to allow permits had its second reading. The single
biggest change is to provide an alternate method to provide grading in the early stages of
The Mayor announced the semi-annual compensation committee to review wages and proposed
Council Member Shin and Mazzoni be the two council representatives.
He also discussed the new systematic road repairs by category of urgency, determined by a
Council Member Shin discussed the problem intersection of South Odom and Club Manor (see
my earlier notes in the State of the City), and the mayor said when the crosswalk system was
being installed they would get with public works to consideri placing one in that area. At this
point the Mayor did say that he will be presenting a roundabout proposal for that intersection as
part of the Club Manor/Greenway proposal.
One problem with a proposal of placing a speed bump on South Odom is how it would
interfere with the fire truck from Station #2 having difficulty crossing them when trying to
respond to emergency calls.
February 7, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council was two members short, so all unanimous votes will be recorded
as 6 to 2, since all absent votes are automatically recorded as Nos.
Finance Department Director Liz Mathis gave the City's financial review for 2021 and
year-end review. Expenses should all be booked, but some income accrual that falls
within the 60 window may still be added. By the end of that window all numbers should
be finalized. An example of that is how County tax receipts are ahead of budget even with
one more month still to be received.
Overall income was $1.1 million over budget $1.6 million over expenses.
The 2018 annual Audit process is complete and the 2019 in process. The years for 2020
and 2021 will be put up for bid soon, with 2020 hopefully completed by June.
All bank accounts are current.
The Planning Commission Report was given by Council Member Gardner.
Ordinance 1058 to amend the Zoning map for the O'Reilly Senior Community had its
Council Member Mazzoni asked for confirmation on the details of the map and the
zoning from Planning Director Grummer, and if there might be any future changes. He
asked the same questions from the O'Reilly representative. They could think of nothing.
In the Council packet they had previously included a comprehensive report detailing the
positive impact on job and finances that this development should have on the City.
Ordinance 1058 redistricting City Wards had its second reading, but no discussion.
Two positions on the Planning Commission had opened up, both expiring in 2026, and
two of the four applicants were present. The fourth, Charles Lowe is recovering from
Covid, but submitted his resume earlier in the day.
Craig Johnson (no relation to former Mayor Burch Johnson) was the first person
interviewed, followed by Patricia (Pat) Landes.
Craig Johnson was voted to retain his seat in Position 1.
Pat Landes was voted to Position 2.
Our Thanks go out to those who also expressed an ineterst in serving our community
but did not win!
Ordinance 1052 amends the City code to provide a grading permit and emergency
clause. The biggest change from the last time this was proposed is the addition of an
approval step that is not connected to the building permit, allowing grading work to be
performed at an earlier stage than previously. Harsh penalties are included in the event
that a developer "scalp" a property. Penalties include a 5 to 1 replacement of trees. This
was the first reading.
Resolution 2022-07 concerned a prelimary development plan for Isabelle Court, aka
Brock Townhomes. Council member Gardner spoke about the reasons why the Planning
Commission had approved the three variances involved in this plan. This would be 29
owner occupied residences in a townhome setting. He favored the design. Council
member Mazzoni and I were the only No votes as the motion failed on a vote of 4 to 4
because of the absent members. Mayor Norris chose to vote to break the tie and voted
Yes, making this Resolution pass. His reasoning was that some commercial entities
interested in the land pass because they prefer roads with higher traffic counts that what
County Club Parkway has. In contrast, I voted No in order to keep the traffic counts
down--and was concerned about high-density housing creating heavy traffic loads.
Resolution 2022-08 authorizes the Mayor to participate in Opiod Litigation. The City
Attorney spoke in favor. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Norris then talked about the audit and the good job done by City Services during
the recent Snow/Sleet storm, and how he heard many accolades about the work they had done.
The Mayor also updated us on the Crystal Hill Road project, and announced a June 10th
finish date. This could change, but that is the current target.
Council Member Holt talked about how our representative on the Quorum Court
had declared his support for the Tractor Supply development.
City Clerk Timmons at email@example.com will be happy to include anyone who
requests to be on her distribution list about upcoming events.
Ms Timmons also encouraged residents to look at the new Ward map that will be voted on
during the next meeting, which will be on a Tuesday due to President's Day.
January 26, 2022 Update
Maumelle is growing as we welcome Tractor Supply to our industrial park! Credit goes
to former head of Economic Development for Maumelle, Judy Keller, for getting the land
certified as a select site and helping to bring hundreds of new jobs to the City!
This is the unnamed property owner involved in the January 19 Resolution 2022-4 (see below)
that was discussed in my December 18, 2021 Planning Commision report.
January 19, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was very short-handed. Mayor Norris was out of town
for a scheduled meeting, which required Council person Steve Mosley to serve as
temporary Mayor in his stead. City Clerk Timmons was exposed to a person who was
revealed to have a positive Covid test, so she was absent as well. With Council person
Saunders still absent with an undiagnosed illness, the Council was two members short.
All unanimous votes count as a No, so any unanimous votes will be recorded as 6 to 2.
The Financial Statement review for December was delayed until the next meeting
because Ms. Mathis was busy closing out the Year End reports.
Ordinance 1036 to establish right of way standards was on its third reading.
This reading was previously delayed. The City Attorney asked that the
Ordinance be delayed one month so the Mayor could be present.
The motion passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-4 certifying local business endorsement to participate in the tax back
incentive endorsement for a distribution center to be placed in Maumelle. City Attorney
Krebs said that this is something the City has often done to welcome and encourage
business in Maumelle. The name of the business was specifically requested to be
withheld until a formal announcement could be made. The motion passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1057 amending the zoning map for the O'Reilly Senior Center to be located
on Crystal Hill had its first reading. This is a request to go from PCD to C2, with a
conditional use. City Director Grummer, City Staff, and the Planning Commission have
all given this proposal a Do Pass Recommendation. With a C2 with a conditional use the
property would remain Commercial zoned, but would require any high density
developments to be approved by the City Council. This conditional use is for a senior
Council member Mazzoni expressed concern about developing commercial land with a
project that will not generate the tax revenues that a typical business would.
Resolution 2022-5 granting a conditional permit dealing with the O'Reily property was
proposed to be delayed until the third reading of Ordinance 1057.
The motion passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1058 redistricting City Wards to the map selected during the previous
Council meeting had its first reading.
Resolution 2022-6 amending the general fund budget dealt with setting up a personnell
recruiting line item in the budget in order to hire a new Fire Chief. The line item will be
for $10,000. The resolution passed unanimously.
A going away reception for Fire Chief Ezell will be held Friday, January 24 at the Jesse
Odom Community Center from 2 to 4.
The City Clerk had asked that the Council be sure to read a letter sent by a resident
expressing her concerns with the 2022 Budget (primarily with wage increases).
I mentioned about the great job City Services had done dealing with the flooding issue
on Hornrimme Court. The problem had been determined to be bags of leaves that had
been placed in the street instead of behind the curb, and then washed into the storm
drain and clogging the pipe. The first time they came out didn't completely resolve the
issue, but when the cul-de-sac flooded again they were right back out with another
truck equipped with a jet sweep to address the issue.
Public Works asks that everyone please remember to:
put yard trash behind the curb and not in the street.
January 7, 2022 Update
During the last City Council meeting I brought up the subject of recent flooding on the
cul-de-sac at Hornerimme Loop. Public Works inspected the situation the very next day and the
determined the problem was yard waste bags that had blocked the 18" storm drain during a
recent rain event. They brought out a truck with a jet spray the following day and cleared the
To avoid a similar situation happening again or elsewhere, Public Works asks that residents put
their yard waste "BAGS BEHIND THE CURB AND NOT IN THE STREET."
I've seen many neighbors regularly putting their bags in the street. Not only does this create
the potential hazard of clogged storm drains, it also makes life difficult for mail carriers having
to weave around them as they move from mailbox to mailbox.
My thanks go out to the residents who alerted me to the problem, and Public Works who
quickly addressed the situation.
photo by Lindsay Diaz
January 3, 2022 Update
Tonight's City Council meeting was one member short, so any unanimous votes will
record the absentee as a No vote. Council member Saunders has an undiagnosed health
issue that has affected his attendance. He shared that he is hoping to get a diagnosis
soon to enable his return.
Fire Chief Ezell gave a report on the Fire Department. They set a record with 2038 calls
in 2021, roughly 200 more than the previous record. 63% were medical. Over One Million
dollars in property were lost in fires, most of that resulting from two significant fires. So
far they have had no staffing difficulties. After seven years, January 21st will be Chief
Ezell's last day in Maumelle. He will be returning to his hometown of Joplin, MIssouri.
He feels the department is in good hands until a replacement is found.
The council gave him our thanks and a round of applause.
Resolution 2022-1 approving the preliminary development plan for the property formerly
known as the Water Treatment plant.
Brian Ashcraft, the applicant, spoke about how the Maumelle Country Club had
generated another letter to clarify their position. The letter was made available when we
first arrived. It was a brief letter that detailed that favorable discussions were moving
forward. Mister Ashcraft said that he planned on doing no harm to the M.C.C. He said
he had contacted the club before he even purchased the land, and had offered to do
infrastructure improvements to the Club. Part of the land would be sliced off and used
to expand the driving range, and he would be improving their parking situation. He also
addressed the main concern of community impact from having a commercial
development on the backside of the MCC. He anticipates only filling the Event Center two
or three times a month. There would also be weddings scheduled at times that are
intended to avoid a traffic crunch. He felt that this would generate less traffic than the
15,000 passes that he estimated would be generated from the previously approved five
houses in a cul-de-sac (he did not explain how he arrived at this high estimate or what
the time period).
Council member Mosley said he had spoken with club membership and agreed with their
opinion that this would be favorable to the club, and he would be voting Yes.
When Council Member Holt asked about the intent of the Center, Mr. Ashcraft said that
there were people in the club who were not favorable to the plan, but that he felt all
resistance had been dealt with. The plan is to host weddings, corporate events, and
other seated service events. Mr. Ashcroft talked about how valuable that
piece of land was (something the MCC did not feel in their failed offers to purchase it.
Council Member Shin asked if they really planned to only host events a couple of times
a month. Mr. Ashcraft said that because of the location, he felt that the Center would be
able to command top dollar and that he was comfortable with his business plan.
Council member Gardner asked if the existing easement would be widened. City Director
said it would have to be brought up to City standards, and widened from 18 to 24 feet
to be up to Code (something the MCC had previously said was unacceptable).
Council member Mazzoni expressed his support "for good responsible growth."
I asked about where they came up with the math for 15,000 cars resulting from 5
houses. Co-appplicant Chris Ashcroft said that he estimated over a year period. I asked
what kind of traffic they planned on generating. They have 37 spots, and estimated that
they would have 30 events a year, generating 3000 cars passing the pro shop. That
number does not include the people who would be parking in the CCM parking lot.
Council member Gardner said he did not consider the traffic in front of the pro shop to
have been an issue, either before or now.
I asked a follow up question about what kind of traffic they anticipated being generated
for the MCC parking lot. They said it would be a count of 150 multiplied by 30.
(Adding this 4500 to the other 3000 equals 7500--which, being their esitmates probably
are low, but they would likely generate less or no more traffic than the five houses would have--
the only problem would be that most of this traffic would be concentrated in short bursts.
This consideration made me really hesitate to support this. But if the poeple most affected,
the MCC, supports it ...)
The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-02 granting a conditional use permit for an event center as a planned
commercial district passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1055 amending the Maumelle Land Use plan had its third reading. This
dealing with the same property as the previous Resolutions. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
Ordinance 1056 amending the Maumelle Zoning Map dealing with the same property had
its third reading. The Ordinance passed unanimously.
Resolution 2022-03 approves a revised exhibit map showing rights of way and public
easements for the recently annexed land known as "The Bradley Property." According to
Planning Director Grummer the County had requested the City provide a map
showing this information. The Resolution passed unanimously.
The City Council decided on the protocols that would dictate how Council meetings will
be conducted. This is determined during the first meeting of every new year. No
changes were suggested from the current format.
The reZoning of the Maumelle Voting Wards based on the recent census was the next topic.
Mister Gardner favored the City staff generated map.
I motioned in favor of the map that Council Member Mosley and I had generated, which
met all the criteria that had been expressed as being necessary.
Council member Garner was not in favor of the Tierney-Mosley plan, feeling it divided
neighborhoods and he favored the City staff map.
Council Member Shin asked the City Attorney her opinion, and she felt the Tierney-
Mosley did a better job keeping neighborhoods intact within Wards than did the city plan.
Council member Mosley spoke about how the Tierney-Mosley plan did a better job
keeping neighborhoods intact within the Wards.
Mayor Norris said he did not favor the Tierney-Mosley map. I disagree with his
assessment that it did not accomplish the goals set forth. He was in favor of the City
A vote was taken to use the Tierney-Mosley map, but failed 4-3 because it was a tie
when the absentee is added as a No.
Council member Gardner motioned to vote on the City staff proposal.
I pointed out how that map has constitutional problems because of the way it divides
Ward 1, with only a tiny strip of connecting land that according to the City Attorney is in
violation of Supreme Court guidelines.
The City Attorney agreed, but the Mayor disagreed with her on the matter.
Council member Mosley agreed with me on the City Staff map, and said he would prefer
a map generated by Council member Williams over the City staff map, although he
preferred the map he and I generated.
Council member Gardner said he might consider the Williams map.
Council member Holt said he would like changes made in the City staff map.
Council member Mosley said we might need another workshop to work on the tweaks.
Mayor Norris then discussed Council member Williams' map. He liked the map but felt
the connection of boundaries might be a little too jagged.
Council member Williams discussed her map and the compromises it made.
The motion by Council member Garner to use the City staff map went to a vote and
failed by a vote of 3 to 4 (5 with the absentee vote).
Council member Williams made a motion to use the map she had prepared. Council
member Gardner switched his support to her proposal. The motion passed.
This map will be published and public feedback solicited.
It will become an Ordinance with the next meeting.
Mayor Norris said that he would not be able to attend the next meeting and that the Council
should vote on a temporary replacement from the Council.
Council member Mosley proposed that the meeting be postponed until the fifth Monday
of the month.
Council member Gardner asked if we had to hold the meeting at that time, but the City
Attorney said the Council could move it if they chose.
The vote to move the meeting failed by a vote of 4-3, called a tie because the absentee
counts as a No.
Council member Mosley was voted temporary Mayor for the meeting at the original
Mayor Norris then discussed his surprise at the departure of Chief Ezell and the goal
to appoint an interim Chief while a new Chief is selected.
I discussed about how the Mayor has now elected to remove the requirement that all leaf
pickup collected by a contractor be hauled away by a contractor. No one knows how
that rule came around, and that rule now no longer applies. The City is working on
communicating accurate information about this. Tree Service and Construction
contractors are still required to haul away their waste. This change applies only to yard waste.
Council Member Mosley discussed about the good information being provided to the
Council by Director Grummer, the City Attorney, and their staffs.
I then asked about recent flooding problems on the cul-de-sac at Hornrimme Court.
Apparently a storm drain is blocked and according to one resident she was told that the
Public Works equipment needed to do the repair was broken. The Mayor had no
knowledge of this and said he would investigate and get back to me on the matter. I had
shared photos sent to me shortly before the meeting.
City Clerk Tina Timmons announced that the next meeting would be on a Tuesday, and
that a four year position on the Planning Commission would be voted on then.
If anyone is interested in joining the Planning Commission, please send your resume to
City Clerk Timmon's.
The State of Arkansas has it's own long-range planning, called Long Range Intermodal Transportation Plan (LRITP), with a vision that reaches to 2040. You can access the public record of this plan on the following link: