Mays sponsors mayor’s proposed parks commission appointments

Mayor Debe Hollingsworth has put together a roster of her proposed appointees to an expanded and reorganized Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation Commission, and Alderman Steven Mays is leading an effort to gain the city council’s approval of the candidates.

A Mays-sponsored ordinance on the matter is due for its initial reading at Monday’s 5:30 p.m. council meeting at the civic center.

The nominees include four current board members — Christopher Blunt, Carson Fields, chairwoman Kami Mays Hunt and Jeffrey Pulliam. Hunt’s new term would expire May 31, 2014. Pulliam’s would end May 31, 2015, and Blunt’s and Fields’ appointments would cease on May 31, 2017.

The new appointees and the dates on which their terms would expire would be Krandon Henry and Roy Tolson, May 31, 2014; and Duke Fakouri, Jonathan Frazier and Fabian Fontenot, May 31, 2016. The proposed appointments were arranged by number so that current commissioners would be able to complete their previous terms.

Positions 1 through 3 are for one-year terms. Position 4 carries a two-year assignment. Positions 5, 6 and 7 have three-year terms. Positions 8 and 9 are four-year seats. New terms are slated to begin June 1.

After assuming her duties on Jan. 1, Hollingsworth sought to have the troubled commission dissolved and the parks and rec department brought under the charge of the mayor’s office. That effort was blocked, and Hollingsworth then sought to have the panel’s membership increased from five to 13. After council discussions, that number was whittled to 11 and then nine. The commission was also advised of its responsibilities and put on probation.

The council will also be considering five resolutions and nine other ordinances.

Ordinances slated for their third and final readings call for:

• Specifying that an occupant load notice be posted in a room or space used for an assembly; and

• Adopting a continuity of operations plan for city government in the event of a disaster.

Ordinances scheduled for second readings call for:

• Amending current guidance to provide a penalty for failure to abate a public nuisance; and

• Amending current guidance on meetings, officers and term lengths of the Pine Bluff Commission on Children and Youth.

Additional ordinances marked for first readings call for:

• Addressing residency requirements for city department heads;

• Defining “fixed assets” of the city and directing that all municipal agencies and departments create and maintain a list of such;

• Closing a portion of an alley north of West Fourth Avenue between Larch and Juniper streets;

• Providing for the rezoning of 2.5 acres on Texas Street; and

• Closing West 15th Avenue between Taft and Redbud streets.

The resolutions call for:

• Encouraging city department heads and key employees to participate and engage with community outreach and neighborhood watch groups;

• Authorizing the mayor to contract with the Reed Architectural Firm of Pine Bluff for professional services regarding the remodeling of and addition to the city’s animal shelter;

• Authorizing the mayor to execute an amendment to the city’s basic agreement with McClelland Consulting Engineers Inc. of Little Rock regarding the Dew Drop drain reconstruction project here;

• Authorizing the mayor to agree with the Reed Architectural Firm for a study on improvements to the Merrill Center; and

• Approving a planned renovation of baseball fields and related facilities at Townsend Park and approving use of an estimated, nonbinding budget for planning and related purposes.

A public safety committee meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Monday and the ordinances and resolutions and ways and means committees will meet at 5.