Town hall meeting slated Monday

Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth will host her eighth monthly town hall meeting Monday at the Pine Bluff Convention Center. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Unlike previous meetings, the September gathering will not have a theme.

“There’s so much going on with schools getting back in session and summer drawing to a close that everyone has probably been too busy to truly focus on just one or two or even three subjects,” Hollingsworth said Friday. “So, my staff and I decided that we wouldn’t have a specific theme. Instead, we’re going to have an old-fashioned sound-off, which I trust will remain positive.

“Everyone benefits from open communication,” she continued. “No one will have to register to speak. Anyone who cares to sound off on whatever they feel needs to be discussed can share their thoughts and opinions with everyone else. And, of course, the city’s department heads will be on hand to speak on the latest developments and also to receive questions and provide answers.”

Hollingsworth said there’s no shortage of “good news” that might be addressed.

“Thanks to the hard work of our police department and its growing relationship with the public and neighborhood watch groups, we haven’t had a homicide in three months,” she pointed out. “Our fire rating just recently achieved a higher mark, which will result in lower insurance rates. Great things are happening at our airport, which I think will translate into a big boost to our future. And we’ve been having some wonderful events that have been enjoyed by our citizens and tourists alike. Plus, we just had a citywide church revival that got a lot of attention in helping our residents to move forward together. There’s a lot of things going on of which we can be proud.”

Public agencies wishing to “get the word out” on their services can utilize town hall meetings for distributing information, the mayor stressed.

“We want everyone to attend and take part in these meetings,” she said.

Several city council members have previously participated, meeting constituents, answering questions and sharing their views on local issues.