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JP Coger's Washington County News & Update 3/24/24




UPCOMING PUBLIC MEETINGS THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON COUNTY GOVERNMENT:

🌟Washington County Jobs Evaluation Salary Administration Program (JESAP) meets Monday 3/25/24 at 3:30pm, Fifth Floor Conference Room, WC Courthouse.  In person only.  Here’s the agenda for JESAP.  This will be an important meeting as it contains the first public (at least as far as I know) view of the newly proposed Drug & Alcohol Free Workplace Policy.  Read more here.






🌟Washington County Library Board meets Thursday, 3/28/24 3:30 PM.  Apparently this is a Zoom only meeting because no location is listed on the calendar except to register for the Zoom. Public Zoom Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ByYvp-kDQXeDaTVyg4jE4A  The meeting should also be live-streamed on the county’s YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar   NO AGENDA PROVIDED.


🌟 Washington County Planning & Zoning Board meeting 3/28/24 5:00 pm, Washington County Courthouse, 280 N. College Avenue, Fayetteville.  Read the agenda here.  Here’s a summary of the agenda items.  Our planning and zoning rules are about to change.  The quorum court has not been provided any information except that the judge wants it done.  People, pay attention because any zoning and planning will have an impact on our county for decades going forward.  People who live and own property in unincorporated areas of the county, especially, need to stay informed about this. Current Board Members: https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-f-z/planning/the-planning-board/current-board-members

 

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THINGS TO KNOW AND THINGS TO DO:


  The Quorum Court held its regular monthly meeting Thursday, 3/21/24.  You can watch the meeting here:  https://www.youtube.com/live/3vk-_hY6Grc?si=73rzywm7LUudbtX3

Here’s more on what happened at the meeting, but I urge you to watch the entire video to see how your JP and all JPs voted on items that will be impacting the county.     



  I am working with Arkansas Citizens for Transparency (ACT) to get an initiated act and a constitutional amendment on the November ballot to strengthen and protect our Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (AFOIA)?  I will be collecting signatures each Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and each Thursday, 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, in the parking lot at 224 N East Avenue, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville.  IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SIGNED, PLEASE DO AND PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO SIGN.    Want to know more?  



  Go to YouTube and sign up for Washington County’s YouTube channel.  Subscribe and be informed.  You can do that here: https://www.youtube.com/@washcoar

  • Go back and watch meetings at your leisure and make notes.  If you have questions, ask me.

  • We need to grow our audience.

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  As of 3/23/24, there are 735 people incarcerated in the WC Detention Center.   78 of those are listed as unsheltered individuals.   Wanna know more?

Here’s a link to my google spreadsheet where you can click on columns and play around with the data:  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mNNMLBBcwtJCiOZsmyciEFd-5Q9sKbs2/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=103549546239687116712&rtpof=true&sd=true


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COUNTY BIDS/REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS:

  There’s one new bid 2024-07 for a 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit 4x4 for the Assessor’s office.  Here’s the bid packet if anyone is interested:  https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/Home/Components/RFP/RFP/314/1117




 

WANT TO BECOME INVOLVED?

  • ATTEND AS MANY MEETINGS OF THE QUORUM COURT AS YOU CAN.  CHECK MY WEBSITE WWW.BETHCOGER.COM FOR DATES AND TIMES.   

  •  Continue to ask Judge Deakins to appoint members to the CJCC and get that group up and running! This is too important. If you haven’t called, please do so, or send email, or go by the courthouse and speak to the judge in person.  THE MAJORITY ON THE COURT VOTED AGAINST MY ORDINANCE TO EXPAND THE BASE FOR CJCC MEMBERSHIP.  WHAT’S NEXT?  WHY WON’T JUDGE DEAKINS APPOINT MEMBERS AND ACTIVATE THIS COMMITTEE AND LET IT GET TO WORK?  ASK HIM.

  • 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 support criminal justice reform and be good stewards of taxpayer dollars.  That’s how I got started advocating to the court back in 2019. CAN YOU TAKE AN HOUR OR TWO AND MEET WITH YOUR JP AND SHARE YOUR CONCERNS OR COMMENTS, OR WHATEVER YOUR THOUGHTS ARE.

  • Share this Newsletter with your friends and neighbors!

  • Write letters to the editor.  letters@nwadg.com

  • Do you have a court date in Benton or Washington County? Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition (AJRC)  has a program to train volunteers to offer practical, procedural, and emotional support during your court hearing. From a reassuring check-in before your court date, to standing by your side on the day of court. Everyone deserves to be heard, supported, and understood.

  • To request a Court Support Volunteer, please fill out the Courtside Support Request Form. Questions? Concerns? Reach out to us at arkansasjusticereform@gmail.org.

  • To become a volunteer, contact AJRC at 479-345-1150 or the above email.  They provide training that will help make you a great Court Support Volunteer.

  • Here's link to contact your elected representatives and other county officials: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tx_nJbsWcStPPtVIzPjzZxd5CBLC06BOUaNuG09JF0c/edit?usp=sharing

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