Here’s the play-by-play of what happened at the QC’s County Services Subcommittee meeting on 10/2:
Voted AGAINST: JPs David Wilson, District 2; Kyle Lyons, District 5; and Robert Dennis, District 10.
ABSENT: JPs Coleman Taylor, District 1; Sean Simons, District 3; and Lisa Ecke, District 6.
→ Minute 34:08: JP Charles Dean’s ordinance banning the release of engine brakes (has an exception for emergencies) was tabled until next month’s County Services meeting.
→ Minute 6:30: Even though I’ve asked multiple times since January, the sheriff refuses to provide more detailed data and statistics from the jail. He says the public can get the information online. It’s not fair to think that the general public will be able to, or will know how to, retrieve that data. If this is this transparency, it’s the bare minimum.
→ Minute 21:50: I asked the judge to include monthly reports from the Crisis Stabilization Unit in our County Services agenda. He told me to do that - to contact Kristin McAlister with UAMS to provide these reports. Did he not run his campaign on a platform of transparency in government? This is his opportunity to deliver on that promise. This detail should come from his office. He should have this information readily available to share. I will attempt to arrange for those reports to be presented.
WC Election Commission met Thursday, 10/5.
I could not attend this meeting. Watch the full meeting here…
Where we need YOU this week!
WC QC FINANCE & BUDGET COMMITTEE MEETING, Tuesday, 10/1 @ 6:00 PM, Quorum Courtroom, WC Courthouse. IN PERSON ONLY. It will also be live streamed here, but to participate, you must attend the meeting.
Here’s the full meeting agenda, but I’ll be keeping my eyes on these items:
→ Item 7.1: WC received a SCAAP FY2022 Grant award in the amount of $101,820 and this ordinance is to accept that grant. Every time this comes up I speak against it because of what we have to do to get that money. It’s bad and we shouldn’t be involved with it. I believe our participation in this program creates fear and distrust among our immigrant friends and neighbors. It can lead to deportation of people on minor traffic offenses and other misdemeanors.
How bad is it? I don’t know exactly because the sheriff won’t share statistics and ICE has not answered my FOIA request from last year.
→ Item 10: An ordinance to accept the $550,000 mental health court grant. Great to see progress being made on this!
→ Item 12: 2024 Budget Overview and Finalization. JPs were notified 10/2 that Judge Deakins wanted to finalize the 2024 budget at Tuesday’s meeting. On Friday, 10/6, we were notified that they were still working on the process.
As of 8:45 PM 10/7/23, we do not have the packet and I will be very much against rushing through to approve millions of dollars in spending without proper study and preparation. We have plenty of time to approve the 2024 budget and there is no reason for anyone (including Comptroller Story) and certainly not the QC, to be pressured into pushing through millions of dollars in spending without proper preparation.
THERE ARE NO ADDITIONAL MEETINGS SCHEDULED AT THIS TIME ON THE COUNTY CALENDAR. I don’t know what this means with regard to the CJCC subcommittee meetings. I hope it doesn’t mean they’re not meeting. STAY TUNED!
We NEED Your Help!
ATTEND the Finance & Budget meeting Tuesday evening.
If you or someone you know has been affected by deportation or separation from family after being incarcerated in the WC Detention Center, speak up and tell us about your experiences, if you are comfortable doing so.
There will be a twelve minute public comment period before we vote on any ordinance or resolution and an additional twelve minute public comment time period at the end of the meeting where you may address the court. That’s 24 minutes of public comment time. Very important to use it all.
Contact your JP and set up a time to meet them for coffee or just to get together. Become a regular voice in their ear and urge them to vote for criminal justice reform and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. I write this each week, but it really is important. That’s how I got started advocating to the court back in 2019.
Share this Newsletter with your friends and neighbors!
Write letters to the editor.
I welcome your questions and comments, also suggestions you have for any county related business. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call 479-306-9994.
Here’s the link to email addresses and telephone numbers for JPs, County Judge, and others.
See you at the courthouse!