→ Prosecutor Matt Durrett, co-chair of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC), received a letter from County Judge Deakins stating Deakins has “determined that all members are outside of their statutory terms of service” and directed Durrett to suspend all CJCC meetings planned or scheduled until further notice.
→ Why do you think Deakins is doing this? The full CJCC voted to go forward with the recommendations for pretrial services. It was to be brought to the November Finance & Budget meeting. We aren’t sure if anyone from CJCC will bring it forward anyway.
→ This move is offensive to those who have served on the CJCC since November of 2020, and to those of us in the community who have advocated so fiercely, and who have worked so hard to reform our justice system. Why? Because it makes all that have no value.
→ The CJCC was created by an ordinance. It is the duty of the County Judge to see that ordinances passed by the Quorum Court are implemented and carried out.
We need YOU to email Patrick Deakins, Brian Lester, and the Full Quorum Court to advocate for the current CJCC to continue their work!
WC FINANCE & BUDGET SUBCOMMITTEE met Tuesday 10/10. Watch the entire meeting here. We discussed the 2024 budget. The next regularly scheduled F&B meeting is November 14. This turned out to be a warning about some hard budget decisions we’re going to have to make.
Where we need YOU this week!
WC QC QUORUM COURT REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING, Thursday, 10/19 @ 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. Agenda items to watch:
Item 8.1: An ordinance denying the conditional use permit for Beaver Lake Tiny Homes is on its second reading. There has been lots of community opposition to this project due to its close proximity to our water supply.
Item 9.1: This ordinance would increase the County Attorney’s budget by $20K for the remainder of this year. The county has already spent at least $10K fighting my two AFOIA lawsuits where two different judges have ruled the county violated AFOIA. Now I have three judgments against the county. It will be hard for me financially to fight the county on this, but I will do it even if it means going back to work! Want to know more?
Item 10.1: An ordinance ratifying conditional use permit for Myers Boys Garage. It’s on its second reading.
Item 11.5: Accepting $550K grant for establishment of mental health court.
Item 12.1: This is the ordinance to accept the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) grant. Want a different viewpoint? Please contact Sheriff Jay Cantrell, PH: 479-444-5700, Sheriff Cantrell and ask him why he participates in this program. Want to know more?
Item 13.1: JP Evelyn Rios Stafford’s resolution to support the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? See No. 9.1 above! Great effort by JP Stafford and I hope it passes.
We NEED Your Help!
ATTEND the full Quorum Court meeting Tuesday evening.
ASK Judge Deakins during public comment to appoint members to the CJCC and to do so immediately and take necessary steps to see the CJCC is properly appointed and operational.
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 fifteen minute public comment period at the beginning of the meeting. These are precious minutes where you can address the court with concerns and issues affecting you, or issues that you feel strongly about. We need to hear from you!
There will be a twelve minute public comment period before we vote on any ordinance or resolution.
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!