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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON COUNTY THIS WEEK? BE INFORMED - KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

COUNTY MEETINGS THIS WEEK:

  1. County Services Committee and Finance & Budget joint meeting this month on Tuesday, 1/9/24, 6:00 PM @ Washington County Courthouse.

  2. Planning & Zoning Board meets Thursday, 1/11/24, 5:00 PM @ Washington County Courthouse.

  Both meetings are in person only (you must be present to participate), but will be livestreamed here:  https://www.youtube.com/user/washcoar

THINGS TO KNOW:

 Remember last January when I introduced AN ORDINANCE FOR THE ONLINE PUBLICATION OF RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES AND CONTRACTS? It languished for several months and I was never able to get the majority votes to pass it. One of the stated reasons by the Republicans on the QC was that, “We can’t tell other elected officials what to do.” Now there’s an Attorney General Opinion that says “Yes, the quorum court may lawfully require the county clerk to publish ordinances, resolutions, and contracts of the county online.” I attempted to get the ordinance on Tuesday’s Agenda, but Judge Deakins refused. Here’s more on that.


 You can read the correspondence here between myself and Deakins and Lester where Judge Deakins references me: “At some point the definition of insanity has to take over…”  “Why does everything you do have to be so caustic and confrontational?”  “You are ate up by cynicism and pride.”


Everyone, I'm only trying to do my job. I see things in our county that need doing and I try to get them done. I refuse to be silenced because that also silences my constituents and disenfranchises the voters of Washington County.



ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES.

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COUNTY SERVICES/FINANCE & BUDGET COMMITTEE AGENDA ITEMS TO WATCH:

  1. Item 12 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2023-135 TO AMEND THE BUDGET CONTROLS.  This will amend our original 2024 Budget Control Ordinance to limit it to only two times each year – at the March and July QC meetings – when personnel positions, salary changes, title changes, grade changes, etc. and requests for new personnel positions may be brought forward to the full QC.  I’m not sure this is a good idea, but I will be reaching out to elected officials for their input.  What do you think?  Should we limit these changes to only twice yearly?



  1. Item 15.1 AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2017-44.  As you know, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee has been suspended since early last fall.  I reached out to Judge Deakins two months ago for an update and, having received zero response, I have prepared and drafted with the help of County Attorney Lester, an amendment to the original ordinance which will provide for an expanded membership base.  Read more here.

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WC Planning Board meeting 1/11/23, 5:00 pm 1/11/23 has a full agenda.   Read the agenda to see all items, but:

There’s one variance hearing on property at 14206 Mineral Springs WC 30, West Fork, AR.

Conditional Use Permit Hearings include:

  1.  Kindness in Motion CUP, a mobile pet hospital, location 15570 Quail Road, Fayetteville

Land Development Hearings include:

  • Replat Highland View Estates Lot 1, 14206 Mineral Springs Road, West Fork, AR

  • Replat Tisdale Addition Subdivision Lot B, 18761 Lake Sequoyah WC 50, Fayetteville, AR

  • Blackberry Ridge Final Subdivision Phase II, 3442 N Sweet Osage Lane, Fayetteville, AR

  • Replat Bethel Elm Subdivision Lots 7 & 8, 12329 Little Elm WC 19, Farmington, AR

  • Deer Valley Preliminary Subdivision, 263 Fiori St., WC 853, Springdale, AR

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We NEED Your Help!

  • ATTEND THE COUNTY SERVICES/FINANCE & BUDGET MEETING TUESDAY EVENING 1/9/24  6:00 PM. Speak up during public comment time. Visit with the JPs and let them know you do not want your tax dollars spent on jail expansion. Instead you want us to pursue justice reforms: pretrial services; drug addiction treatment; expanded drug court and veterans courts; access to mental health care, more public defenders, better paid public defenders. Read the 2020 Criminal Justice Assessment Study here and learn more.

  • STILL NO PUBLIC ACTION TO APPOINT MEMBERS TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE COORDINATING COMMITTEE. Continue to ask Judge Deakins to appoint members to the CJCC and to do so immediately and take necessary steps to see the CJCC is properly appointed and operational.  The CJCC wants to bring a pretrial services program to the quorum court for funding, but it must exist in order to do that or anything else. 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. His door is “always open…” that’s what he said during his campaign.  SEE ABOVE FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT AN AMENDMENT TO THE ORDINANCE THAT CREATED THE CJCC TO ALLOW FOR MORE MEMBERSHIP OPTIONS.

  • 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.  THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.  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.  

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