When common sense walks out, chaos walks in. Believe that! It’s something to think about as we move toward a town hall meeting. Permanent decisions should never be made based on temporary emotions and everyone should take a step back, remove the emotions and race from this picture and sit down and reason together.
Supporters of Mayor Debe Hollingsworth and non-supporters must realize the mayor has to make decisions that are best for the city of Pine Bluff which may mean not always getting what we want as a person, group or organization. Those who want the best for Pine Bluff need to realize that Mayor Hollingsworth is new at this job and will make some rookie mistakes. However we must also understand the issues are not always cut and dried. As a community we should not dig in our heels and get prepared for fight.
“We must all learn to live together as brothers — or we will all perish together as fools.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Supporters must realize sometimes elected officials must re-evaluate and rethink their positions by asking themselves, how does my decision affect the people that elected me or how does it benefit the unity in our city? If it impacts in a negative way, adjustments must be made and this must be done in posthaste fashion. Today the interim chief position is not about winning; it’s about the health and perception of this city of Pine Bluff. The bottom line is where there is no compromise, decisions turn into chaos.
City business is the people’s business and every decision made should benefit the people. As Pine Bluff tries to move forward, issues should not be about race but about advancing the agenda of the people. Elected officials who put personalities, race or concluded elections in front of the people’s business should be replaced. City business should be about winning for the people. Presently, there are very few jobs for the people; poverty is high among the people, and so are homicides.
Streets flood. There is poor lighting in the majority of neighborhoods. Drugs are marketed in the open air. There are open ditches, narrow streets, no sidewalks for the safety of children. This city lacks meaningful recreational facilities for youngsters, and community parks lack the resources and equipment to keep them in top shape.
These are a few of the basic services that the people need; yet some of our council members are pushing personal agendas that do not benefit the people. Gentle reader, look outside your window and see if your neighborhood is clean and attractive. Are there abandoned cars? Are there boarded-up houses? This is the neighborhood you live in so ask yourself this question. Who is my council member and what are they working on as a council member? If they are not focused on getting rid of some of these eyesores, then it’s time to get rid of them. The people don’t need to live in a trashed-up city where drugs run rampant and homicides have become the new normal.
The Pine Bluff City Council should not create ordinances/laws that they will not support when administrations change. First, the council should never have “winked” when the residential requirement law was disregarded by the Redus administration. Now, today, some have a problem. Tell me who complains when the law is followed and everyone is treated equally? Answer, no one. “Residency requirements” for all department heads is the law.
With the exception of interim department heads, they don’t have to live in the city because a primacy was established with Interim Police Chief Collier Hill, who lives in Arizona, but more importantly, they are temporary. The Civil Service Commission was abolished by the council giving the mayor sole authority to hire and fire police and fire chiefs; that’s the standing law until it is changed.
City laws should never be made to give friends the advantage because that same law may one day come back and bite.
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Pastor Jesse C. Turner is the pastor of Elm Grove Baptist Church in Pine Bluff.