Town hall meeting set Monday


Pine Bluff’s second town hall meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m. Monday at the convention center.

The first such event — as promoted by first-term Mayor Debe Hollingsworth during her successful campaign for the office — was held last month.

Hollingsworth said Friday that there will be “some changes” to the meeting’s format. Because Hollingsworth won’t be making a state of the city address as was the case last month, more time will be allotted for public comments and questions. The mayor said she and council members will have an opportunity to address attendees and also possibly discuss some issues on their own.

Among citizens who registered to speak at the meeting are four youth who want to address gun violence.

“I think it’s wonderful that we’ve got some young people wanting to share their thoughts and opinions,” Hollingsworth said. “I think we’re going to start seeing a real upswing in youth participation here. That’s a goal that I want to see fulfilled. I’m afraid that some young people might not think that their outlooks and feelings on issues here count as much as those of older residents or would be received well by the older folk, but the reality is just the opposite.

“We need young, fresh ideas and approaches, especially when we’re dealing with so many old, stale problems,” she said. “If you want to see this city come alive with some big energy, encourage our young people to get involved and stay involved. That’s one of the best bridges to the future that I can think of.”

Hollingsworth said she anticipates “a good crowd” at the meeting.

“I’ve heard a lot of positive comments on our first town hall meeting and I get the impression that a number of citizens are looking forward to this next one,” she said. “From what I’m told, our citizens truly appreciate the opportunity for dialogue with their elected leaders, and I can assure you that the council members and I find it helpful to converse with our constituents.”