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Maumelle City Seal Michael for Maumelle City Council Great Seal of Arkansas

Maumelle City Council
2020


Michael city council

February 24th, 2020 Update

The City of Maumelle has created a poll for residents to vote their preferences in connection
to a Roundabout being built to deal with congestions at the
intersection at Country Club Parkway and Counts Massey/White Oaks.
With the new 3rd Entrance now open, this area is seeing accelerated traffic growth,
and some residents have complained about excessive wait times to make turns off
Country Club Parkway and onto Counts Massey/White Oaks
during the rush hour periods of 8AM and 5PM.

This proposed Roundabout would deal with that problem.
Please consider taking a minute to answer a few questions and let your thoughts be known.
Click HERE or on the image below to get started.

Roundabout Survey

February 18th, 2020 Update

Since Monday was the President's Day holiday, this meeting of the City Council was held on Tuesday.
The Council was one member short, so all unanimous votes will be recorded as 7 to 1.

Captain Austin Woody of the Fire Department was proclaimed February's Employee of the Month.

Ordinance 993, which proposed changes to Maumelle Business License fee schedule had its first reading.
The was a resolution that I proposed, and attached here are the notes I used to
explain the Resolution to the other Council Members.

A number of years ago I volunteered to help rewrite Little Rock's business license fee schedule.
After joining the Maumelle City Council, I discovered some parallels with Little Rock's situation.

One of those similarities was scofflaw businesses, people who do not pay their business
license fee. I've been told that this averages between 20 and 25 percent, which was the
same rate that Little Rock used to suffer. One of the changes our committee made was
to convert the business license fee into a funding source for the Police and Fire
Departments. This not only reduced the percentage of scofflaws, it helped make those
departments the highest paid in this area.

The other problem Little Rock had was that it's codebook was seriously outdated,
still listing categories for industries like mule skinners and hide tanners.
While Maumelle doesn't have a problem with obsolete industries like Little Rock,
our Business License Schedule became outdated when the Community Service Fee was
replaced by a half cent sales tax.

That's when the part of the annual business license fee that calculated a the square
footage of every business simply went away. We basically stopped collecting the
majority of the fee for doing business in Maumelle.

So, what I'm proposing here is not a new tax, but to recoup those fees we
stopped collecting, and putting them into the police and fire funds.

Even with this increase, the rates being charged businesses will still be far lower than
all other cities--except Conway, which only charges ice cream vendors.

To use my own businesses as a comparison, the rates would go from 10% of what it
costs to do business in LR or NLR to 20%.

A drop in the bucket.


There were several questions, including proposals to put the fees to others uses.
Generally there was surprise that our fees were so low when compared to the rest of the state.

Resolution 2020-1 authorizes the sale of deed restriction options for 3 acres of City owned
property in the White Oaks Bayou wetlands.

This resolution ties with Ordinance 986 that was discussed in last year's notes for October 21st,
which dealt with selling the option on 2 other acres of City owned wetlands,
in order to facilliate the sale of a larger tract of unrestricted wetlands for industrial development.
Since that time the tracts being considered have been even larger than anticipated,
and it was determined that more acreage was required.
Resolution 2020-1 passed unanimously.

Resolution 2020-2 proposed an updatee to the city budge to allocate $10,000 for
planting new trees on city properties.
This was an item that was removed during last year's budget discussions.
Since that time tax revenues appear to be trending higher than expected, and the
Coucil voted unanimously to add the program back into the budget.

New Council Camber under construction


After the council session ended, the Mayor gave a tour of the renovations being made to City Hall.
The picture above shows the new Council Chamber.
All the renovations are estimated to be completed mid to late April, which will
include a facelift to the building's main entrance.

February 3rd, 2020 Update

Keisha Walker was introduced at tonight's Council meeting as the new Director of Human Resources.
Her previous job was as the Benefits Coordinator for Goodwill, and she has a lengthy resume.
Everyone welcomed her to Maumelle!

Ordinance 991 was tabled for a minimum of 3 months, until the city can get a ruling from
the Attorney General as to the exact parameters of a state statute limiting the number of
hours that a police officer can accrue of sick leave.

Odinance 992 was about to be introduced, but since it deals with the number of hours
that a fire fighter can acrue for a retirement payout, it was also tabled for 3 months.

State Representative Mark Lowery has offered to assist in the research being done on these issues,
and they may be back on the agenda with first readings for both in May.

Mayor Norris and City Attorney Krebs also gave updates on the progress for the Crystal Hill Road
renovations, and easement issues are close to being resolved.
Also, Central Arkansas Water should have a main water pipe moved by the end of July.
The pace of work should accelerate after that is completed.

A feasibility study is doing a poll about installing a roundabout at
White Oaks and Country Club Parkway, which should be up by the end of the week.
This survery will allow citizens to indicate their preferences on how the city should proceed.
There is a possibility that this roundabout could be built with funding from a grant.

The Mayor also updated the Council on how the intersection of Club Manor and South Odom
is still be evaluated for options. Another meeting is scheduled later this week.

I reiterated my support to install a traffic signal at Club Manor and South Odom,
and also about how I have heard complaints about the difficulty some drivers are having
accessing White Oaks from Country Club Parkway during peak traffic periods.

January 22nd, 2020 Update

Mayor Norris announced City Communications Coordinator Rachel Hall as Employee of the Month.

Ordinance 991 was the only one on the agenda, which had its second reading.

This subject generated a considerable amount of discussion.
City Attorney Krebs mentioned that creating an Emergency Bank for the hours that the
police would otherwise lose by adopting state mandated limits was a doable idea,
but would be a complicated matter to arrange.

At one point I seconded a motion to table the ordinance until later, but withdrew it
as the motion was withdrawn after the City Attorney made more options known.

I later made a motion to rewrite Ordinance 991 to grandfather in the officer's current
accumulated hours, but failed to get a second.

I feel confident that a motion like this will pass during the next Council meeting,
when another ordinance is also in place to replace their future lost benefits.
The Council seems to collectively agree that the officers should NOT lose their hours.

January 8th, 2020 Update

A Little Rock Air Force Base Compatable Use Study had been launched, which could affect Maumelle.

Here are the details pulled from their website:

What is the Little Rock Air Foce Base Compatible Use Study?

The Little Rock AFB Compatible Use Study (CUS) is a cooperative planning effort
conducted as a joint venture between Little Rock AFB, Pulaski County, White County,
Lonoke County, Cabot, Jacksonville, Sherwood and other jurisdictions and stakeholders
in proximity to the base. The study is administered by the Jacksonville Economic
Development and Cultural Alliance and co-funded through a grant from the Department
of Defense (DOD), Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).

What is the purpose of the Compatible Use Study?

The Little Rock Air Force Base Compatible Use Study is aimed to benefit both the Air
Force and the surrounding region by:

Preserving long-term land use compatibility between the installation and the surrounding communities;
Sustaining the operational mission of the Air Force in nearby communities while
protecting the quality of life of nearby residents and businesses;

Enhancing communication and coordination among local and regional stakeholders; and
Integrating the growth plans of the communities in the region with Air Force plans and mission operations.

The purpose of the Compatible Use Study is to identify means of promoting responsible
land use near Little Rock AFB, to accommodate compatible growth and economic
development in the region, to protect public safety and quality of life, and to sustain the
mission of the Air Force in the region for the long-term. The Compatible Use Study will
evaluate ways to enhance communication and coordination among local and regional
stakeholders with the goal being to protect land use compatibility as both the
community and the Air Force plan for the future. The Compatible Use Study will not
result in changes to land use, zoning, or how a property owner may use their property,
though it may identify regulatory changes for the community to consider.

What does the CUS address?

The Compatible Use Study will provide:

An assessment of existing land use conditions near Little Rock AFB, Camp Robinson,
and the Blackjack Drop Zone;
An assessment of potential future civilian and military land use conditions, to include
projected incompatible uses; and
Strategies to promote compatible land use planning around Little Rock AFB and the
surrounding communities.

Compatible land use planning can be defined as the balance between the needs and
interests of the community and the needs and interests of the Air Force installation. In
order to assess compatibility, the project team will identify current or potential
encroachment issues, which include noise, endangered species/critical habitat, safety/
security, air or water quality, regional airspace management, energy development, and
frequency spectrum interference, among other issues.

The Little Rock Air Force Base Compatible Use Study is expected to be completed in
early 2021. Implementation of any actions recommended in the Compatible Use Study,
should the community wish to take that step, would follow completion of the study and
would follow community-wide consideration and input and action by local decision-makers.

Who will guide the development of the Compatible Use Study?

While the Jacksonville Economic Development and Cultural Alliance will act as the fiscal
agent and project manager for the Compatible Use Study, the development of the
Compatible Use Study will be guided by two steering committees with input from the
general public. The Policy Committee is composed of elected and public administrative
officials representing jurisdictions in the study area and Air Force leadership. The Policy
Committee is responsible for guiding the direction of the Compatible Use Study and for
managing implementation actions. The Technical Advisory Committee is comprised of
staff members from local governmental agencies, the Air Force, and other entities, and
will identify and address local land use matters, provide feedback on documents
prepared by the consultants, and assist the Policy Committee in the development and
evaluation of implementation strategies and tools.

The project is overseen by the Compatible Use Study consulting team of White & Smith
Planning and Law Group, Marstel-Day, LLC, and Benchmark Planning. This team has
completed numerous Compatible Use Study projects around the country.

What are the opportunities for public input?

There will be multiple opportunities for public input throughout the development of the
Compatible Use Study. The project team will hold a number of public meetings to
provide Compatible Use Study project updates and to seek input into the process and
deliverables. More information on public meetings can be found on the Process tab
above.

Also, the general public will be able to provide input through a public survey, the results
of which will provide the Compatible Use Study steering committees and project team
insights into community attitudes regarding regional Air Force activities.

Finally, the public will be able to provide input on the project through the Little Rock
Compatible Use Study Facebook page, or by emailing us at the contact information provided below:

Robert Price
Director/Project Manager
Jacksonville Economic Development and Cultural Alliance
rprice@cityofjacksonville.net
(501) 681-2288

January 3rd, 2020 Update

There was no carryover of old business from 2019, and only one new matter was brought
before the first Council meeting of 2020.

But it is a thorny matter.

Ordinance 991 adopts provisions for the number of hours of sick leave that police officers can accure.
While working on a new employee handbook, the city became aware that the number of hours currently
allowed are in direct violation of 1985 State Ordinance 14-52-107.
The problem in bringing the department into compliance is that three-fourths of the force has already
accumlated sick hours maxed out at the old system, and bringing them into compliance would result in
them losing a significant amount of those accumulated hours.

It was asked if we could simply ignore the state ordinance, but failure to adhere to state law,
especially after we are already aware that the City is in violation, could bring a lawsuit against the City.

Many suggestions and questions were discussed, trying to find a palatable path to compliance.
My suggestion was for the creation of a "Catastrophe Bank" where those excess hours would be saved in case
of an emergency, to be used by all members of the force.
That way the hours earned would not be lost.

This option and several others will be evaluated by the Mayor and City Attorney.

The second reading of this Ordinance will be held on January 20th, and the vote taken on February 3rd.
More to come on this matter.


2019 City Council Notes:

Here is a link to all my notes pertaining to Maumelle's City Council during 2019.
Maumelle 3rd Entrance under construction

Here is a link to my 2018 Campaign page.
Michael for Maumelle City Council

photo by Shannon Odom

MAUMELLE Zoning MAP

Click on the map below to find your Zoning:

Maumelle Zoning Map

MAUMELLE WARD MAP

Click on the map below to find your voting ward:

Maumelle Ward 3 Map

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:


http://www.arkansashighways.com/Trans_Plan_PolicyARDOT_LRITP_ExecSummary_Final.pdf


Here is Maumelle's current long-range plan.


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