Updated: May 30
The Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee (CJCC) met Thursday. Thanks to the efforts of the Arkansas Justice Reform Coalition, you can view the recording of the meeting HERE.
Unfortunately, the county does not livestream these meetings.
The Jobs Evaluation Salary Administration Program (JESAP) met Monday afternoon which included the following:
(a) Judge Christi Beaumont presented information on a grant for six Peer Support Specialists to be funded originally with a grant by the state for one year.
(b) Sheriff Jay Cantrell brought forth a motion to hire a full-time mechanic to service some of the approximately 200 units at the Sheriff’s Office at a salary of $41,820.00. Sheriff Cantrell stated they spend between $60,000 to $120,000 on outside maintenance that is funded out of the jail.
(c ) Sheriff Cantrell also asked to delete a Corporal position from his department and replace it with a Human Resource person to help recruit employees. He told us the detention center is short 25 people, and the enforcement division is down six positions.
(d) Circuit Clerk Kyle Sylvester reported he was promoting two employees in his office and they would have more responsibility.
All the above were voted on and will move forward to the next Finance & Budget meeting.
I sent this letter to Judge Deakins and the Quorum Court Secretary last week, which included a proposed ordinance that I prepared, to allow those nonprofits that were denied American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to come to the court and present their case for why their applications were wrongfully denied. My request was that this be placed on the agenda for County Services. I included new evidence and information that had not been previously considered. I cited federal rules and Treasury Guidelines to support my allegations of eligibility for these nonprofits. I was kind and professional and thorough. This was Judge Deakins’ response: that my proposal is “...absurd and baseless.”
He cited no facts.
This is the fourth time the judge, who is also chair of both Quorum Court Committees, has refused to place items on the agenda for me. He ran on a ticket of transparency and collaboration. That is not how he is operating now that he’s in office.
As of this posting, there is only one county meeting this week and that’s the County Services Committee of the Washington County Quorum Court scheduled for 6:00 PM Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at the Washington County Courthouse.
If you want to get a feel for some of the important things happening in our county, just look at the reports that are included in the agenda packet, especially the WC Juvenile Detention Center, Sheriff’s Office, and court systems.
Tuesday’s meeting includes:
1. My ordinance to require online publication of all Washington County ordinances and resolutions is on the agenda. Again. I have been trying to get this ordinance passed since January. I’d really appreciate anyone who can come to the meeting Tuesday and speak in support of this ordinance. The majority of JPs have repeatedly tabled my ordinance.
2. I have asked Jim Petty, the developer of the Patriot Park development, to come and give us an update on that project. Constituents have reached out to me with concerns and if this project is ever going to be completed. The county signed a lease in February of 2020, and no work has been done.
3. An ordinance to allow appeals from the County Planning Board to go directly to Washington County Circuit Court, bypassing Quorum Court.
I welcome your questions and comments, also suggestions you have for any county-related business. You can reach me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or text or call 479-306-9994.
See you at the courthouse!
Keep these links handy!
Live streams (when available) - https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar