top of page

JP COGER'S WEEKLY WASHINGTON COUNTY WINDOW 4/14/24

Updated: Apr 14




🌟  MEETINGS FROM LAST WEEK

 Here’s the link to the complete video of the Finance & Budget meeting on 4/9/24, and I urge you to listen to the entire meeting:   Washington County Finance and Budget Committee Meeting 4/9/24



🚩At 3:18 in the video, JP Lyons makes a motion to combine all items into a consent agenda.  This was before the ordinances had even been read.  I spoke against this and voted against it, but the motion passed.  So what’s the problem??   Several, but mainly does away with 12 minutes of public comment time before we vote on any ordinance or resolution.  Bad precedent.  There’s additional information about all that in my summary and opinion.


COUNTY MEETINGS COMING THIS WEEK



🌟Regular meeting of the Washington County Quorum Court meets Thursday 4/18/24 at 6:00 pm, Quorum Court Room, WC Courthouse.  In person only.  The meeting will be livestreamed on the county’s YouTube channel here:   https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar


AGENDA  


Agenda Item 9 which is on its third and final reading is the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for CDS Motorsports.  Here’s the applicant’s CUP application.  Much of the discussion around this CUP is the danger of storing such high octane racing fuel in the building, the noise generated by the revving up of engine motors, and whether it’ safe for the community to allow for the transportation of the fuel.  The project is located at 16139 E Black Oak Road, WC 57.

 _______________________________________________________________


THINGS TO KNOW AND THINGS TO DO:


🚩Judge Deakins said at last week’s Finance & Budget meeting that the revival of the Crisis Stabilization Unit is a “dead thought.”  I say, "it’s not dead yet, but it’s getting there." (if you know, you know) So many things we should be doing, mainly actively and aggressively seeking a new vendor to operate the CSU.  Despite what has been said by the judge and others, I have been told there is funding from the state for the next fiscal year.  Let’s run with that!


The CSU was never meant to be a money maker.  Just like fire stations aren’t expected to turn a profit.  However, investing in mental health care can lead to long-term benefits, including improved productivity, reduced healthcare costs, reduced numbers of mass incarceration, and a healthier population overall.





Why is Washington County’s CSU closing when the other CSUs are thriving, especially Pulaski County and Sebastian County CSUs?  Read more here.  Why is everyone else sucessful and we are not?














  The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act is often called the "Sunshine Law" because it aims to bring transparency to government activities by allowing citizens to access government records and information AND attend government meetings. The term "Sunshine" symbolizes openness and visibility, highlighting the act's goal of shedding light on government actions and what our elected officials are doing. Why they make the decisions they make.



Unfortunately, many of our elected officials had rather we have darkness instead of sunshine when it comes to these matters.






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?  



  PLEASE 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.


________________________________________________________________





   As of 4/12/24, there are at least 743 people incarcerated in the WC Detention Center.  There may be more as this likely does not include what the sheriff calls “restricted bookings” and they can average 100+.  We’re holding 254 people for “other departments.”  One young man was recently held for over three weeks on a hold from Texas. Wanna know more?

Here’s a link to my google spreadsheet where you can click on columns and play around with the data.   


________________________________________________________________


COUNTY BIDS/REQUESTS FOR PROPOSALS and COUNTY JOB OPENINGS


  There’s a new bid for 3M Peltor ComTac V1 Headset for Emergency Management.  Bidding closes 4/29/24 at 4:00 AM.  Bids will be opened 4/30/24 9:30 PM.  (These are likely typos and it should be closing at 4:00 PM and opening at 9:30 AM, but you never know, so I’ll check on that tomorrow.  Here’s the bid packet if you know anyone interested.  




  This Bid 2024-09 is for K9 Grass for our Animal Shelter.  This was approved in our 2024 budget and it’s really needed at the shelter.  If you know anyone or any business dealing with synthetic grass “Forever Lawn K9Grass Classic+”  please let them know about this bid. 



  Here’s a link to current job openings in the Washington County government.  These opportunities include a sheriff’s maintenance technician at $23.32/HR; a help desk manager for the sheriff’s IT department at $51,967 to $58,463, depending on experience, an equipment operator and more.  You can always check the county’s website under “Human Resources” https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-f-z/human-resources/job-postings

You can fill out an online application, see salary ranges and more.   



 

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.   

  • CONTACT JUDGE DEAKINS AND TELL HIM YOU WANT OUR CRISIS STABILIZATION UNIT TO REMAIN OPEN AND ASK HIM TO GET TO WORK ON FINDING ANOTHER VENDOR BECAUSE WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.

  •  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

35 views0 comments

Commenti


bottom of page