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JP COGER’S WEEKLY WASHINGTON COUNTY WINDOW 5/12/24



COUNTY MEETINGS THIS WEEK


🌟 WASHINGTON COUNTY QUORUM COURT REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING Thursday, 5/16/24, 6:00 PM, Washington County Courthouse.  In person meeting only. The meeting will be livestreamed on the county’s YouTube channel:   https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar


Here’s the agenda for this week’s meeting.  Should be a short meeting unless there’s a last minute add-on.  Read my summary here.



THINGS THAT WE CAN AND SHOULD DO

WHY?  BECAUSE WE MUST SPEAK UP FOR THOSE 

WHO CANNOT SPEAK UP FOR THEMSELVES

 




SAVE OUR NWA CRISIS STABILIZATION UNIT!  State funding is available for FY2025 in the same amount as this year.  Without leaders who want our CSU to not only exist, but thrive, and who will support it and work to go out and find another vendor, it won’t be here and we will lose that very valuable asset.  Our most vulnerable community members will lose the life saving services provided by the CSU.





SAVE THE NWA COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS CENTER (CCC) a/k/a the “Womens’ Prison” located on College Avenue.  The CCC a/k/a women’s prison here in our community is an amazing place.  It is actually, among other things, a real addiction treatment center, but it’s so much more.  I will have more on this in the coming days, but here’s a short history and update.



HELP BRING BACK THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COMMITTEE.   The CJCC is vital to making progress with criminal justice reform.  Read more here


WHAT CAN YOU DO?  I’ll tell you.  Contact the County Judge, all Justices of the Peace, Sheriff Cantrell, and community leaders.   Let them know how important it is to you that the CSU, CCC and CJCC remain open and operating in our community.  Tell them your personal stories, if you’re comfortable doing so.  We want to see Washington County move forward - not back.


Meet with the judge (keep calling until he talks to you), sheriff and your JP and any community leaders you know.  Ask for their help.  Tell them to step up and listen to the people they represent!  That’s what we’re supposed to do.


Attend county meetings.


Speak during public comment time. 



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



🌟 THE WASHINGTON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD SPECIAL MEETING held Thursday 5/9/24, 3:30 PM. may be viewed here:  https://www.youtube.com/live/ZAgBWD_lDak?si=Rzsv2GiLgWThqy_n



COUNTY ZONING PROPOSAL (ORDINANCE, RULES & REGULATIONS)






ZONING MAP FOR WASHINGTON COUNTY:  We got our first look at the proposed zoning map for Washington County.  With credit and thanks to JP Evelyn Rios Stafford for this explanation:  “In the attached maps, the white parcels would be zoned commercial - these mainly follow along state highways and the interstate.  The blue parcens would be zoned industrial - these include existing dirt mines and quarries…To see the proposed zoning on the interactive map, select “Layer List” from the top menu and click the box for “County Zoning Map 2024.”


To get a copy of the proposed planning ordinances, please check the Planning Department Ordinances and Regulations page, as shown in the image below.

 

Here are the links to the zoning districts webmap draft and the planning ordinances draft (PDF also attached).


PLEASE REACH OUT TO ME WITH QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, INFORMATION, WHATEVER YOU WANT TO SHARE OR LEARN CONCERNING THE PROPOSED ZONING MAP AND ORDINANCE.  My email is:  ejcoger@gmail.com (it’s best to not use my county email because it’s hard for me to access and respond there).  My number is 479-306-9994.  Please call and/or text.


Read an editorial about this matter from last week here.  


NTY JOB OPENINGS THIS WEEK (5/12/24)

 🌟 Here’s the link to the current Washington County Job Openings as posted on the HR website: https://www.washingtoncountyar.gov/government/departments-f-z/human-resources/job-postings

 There you’ll be able to complete an online application, see salary ranges and more.  

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THINGS TO KNOW AND THINGS TO DO:


 IF YOU HAVE NOT YET SIGNED THE PETITIONS TO SAVE TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT, PLEASE DO AND PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO SIGN. I will be collecting signatures each Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the parking lot at 224 N East Avenue, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Fayetteville.     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.

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WANT TO BECOME INVOLVED?

  • ATTEND AS MANY MEETINGS OF THE QUORUM COURT AND ITS SUBCOMMITTEES 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 Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee 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.  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.

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