Welcome to another edition of the Jonesboro City Council Explication Project, a project by a political nerd for political nerds or anyone who wants to learn more about their city government. Remember that municipal (city council), county (quorum court), and state government (state legislature) bodies have a bigger impact on your day to day life than the president. You can watch the meetings live on the city’s Facebook page at City of Jonesboro, AR – Government.
If you would like me to email you when these posts go live message me and share what email I should use (only I will ever see it).
A special note: it’s not for this committee’s work, but it will be up when the next committee (Public Services) meets on 2021/09/21 and will therefore potentially be in the full city council for consideration early next month!
RES-21:167: A resolution declaring Jonesboro, Arkansas, a pro-life city.
Commentary: This is Bobby Long’s work and it really benefits from a full reading to recognize it’s nothing but shallow political theater. It doesn’t take a genius to look up when Mr. Long’s term expires (December 31, 2022), which means he’s up for election in 2022! What a coincidence that he’s doing some virtue signaling as an election year approaches and he needs to fire up that base! Let’s see what his (empty, non-actionable) resolution says:
Whereas, the city of Jonesboro, Arkansas, in accordance with Act 392, enacted into Law by the 93rd General Assembly of the State of Arkansas, wishes to affirm and dedicate itself as a “Pro-Life City”.
Whereas, the Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, including the right to life;
Whereas, the United States Constitution declares in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that no person shall be deprived of life without due process and equal protection of the law;
Whereas, the Arkansas Constitution, Amendment 68 declares the policy of the state is to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth;
Whereas, it is the duty of local government to protect the unalienable right to life of every person within its jurisdiction, regardless of what higher ranking civil authorities may decree;
Therefore, without hesitation, inhibition, or compromise, The City of Jonesboro, Arkansas resolves to provide equal protection for life at all stages from conception until natural death and will be known in action and deed, recognized, and designated as a “Pro-Life City.”
Anyway, my recommendation for this is: write to the council and tell them to turf this nonsense.
1. Call to Order 4:00PM
2. Roll Call
3. Approval of Minutes
MIN-21:071: Minutes for the Finance Committee meeting on August 10, 2021
Commentary: As per usual, if all you can do for these meetings is read the minutes, then you should absolutely read the minutes.
4. New Business
ORD-21:039: An ordinance to approve an assessment for the downtown business improvement district for commercial property owners in the district as approved and requested by commissioners and a majority in value of the members of the district.
Commentary: This word salad is about the Downtown Jonesboro Improvement District No. 1 and is a discussion about how to allocate funds, anywhere from $200,000 to $250,000. It’s a 5% (business stuff), 70% (the actual development), 25% (the grab bag category with money for building, landscaping and also paying artists) split on where the money can go. The document is available here.
ORD-21:040:An ordinance creating a Property Assessed Clean Energy Improvement District Coextensive with the city of Jonesboro to facilitate a PACE program and adopting certain provisions related thereto.
Commentary: I always want to tell people who say there’s so much going on and they never know what the council is talking about: “I have no heckin’ clue what this means but I know how to read and can google anything.” I literally know nothing about most items the council covers! It’s okay! There’s always totally niche stuff. But learning is fun.
- PACE is: “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is a financing mechanism that enables low-cost, long-term funding for energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation projects.” Here’s some data about them and here’s the Wikipedia page.
RES-21:169: A resolution of the city of Jonesboro, Arkansas to contract with Colson Group for sponsorship of one athletic field at the Joe Mack Campbell Sports Complex.
Commentary: Extreme amount of fancy legal words so a company can have advertising at the park.
RES-21:171: A resolution to enter into a contract with AXON Enterprises, inc for the purchase of AXON body cameras, tasers, modem equipment and supporting AXON services.
Commentary: More stuff for cops! And this time, it’s not just passive equipment like body cams (so we can inevitably have the lynching video when one of the cops here kills a Black person) but also tasers! The way it’s LISTED! “Yeah, we just need some body cams, modem equipment, and a few tasers.” ONE OF THESE THINGS IS NOT LIKE THE OTHER.
- How much are we paying for this? $2,822,043.57! Cool that we can’t afford a shelter/community center to redress some of the problems that resolve crime, though.
RES-21:172: A resolution to enter into a contract with Voiance Language Services LLC for E-911 Call Interpretation Services.
Commentary: I had a friend who did this work (people often didn’t know they were there at all.) From this company’s website: “Phone interpretation is a three-way phone conversation with a human interpreter. The interpreter facilitates meaning-for-meaning communication between a limited-English proficient person and your English-speaking staff.”