Higher salaries recommended
Maumelle Mayor, Clerk and City Attorney to get bump in 2023, Business After Hours is tonight, Early voting starts Monday and Graduations are coming, plus headlines
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Death toll keeps increasing
As the total number of dead Americans from the ongoing pandemic topped 1 million this week, it served as a stark reminder that Covid is not yet done in this country or this state.
In Arkansas, the weekly death toll was at 26, and an increase from last week’s 17.
The total number of dead Arkansans is now at 11,403
As for the national trends, the forecast numbers from the Centers for Disease Control are below and through May 28.
Most of the forecasts are around 11,500 total deaths in the next four weeks.
If you don’t want to get sick and die, there’s some things you can do: Get vaccinated Get boosted Wear a mask Avoid crowds
Upcoming meetings: The School Board for the North Little Rock School District will have a special meeting and workshop at 5:30 p.m. tonight and the School Board for the Pulaski County Special School District will have its meeting at 6 p.m. next Tuesday. The North Little Rock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday.
Upcoming events: Dance Matters will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight The event is presented by North Little Rock High School and will be held at the school’s auditorium. For more information, or to buy tickets, click here. | Wizard of Oz in North Little Rock: The run of The Wizard of Oz continues through Sunday and to buy tickets to any of the shows, click here.
There’s now a one-stop shop to learn about vaccination sites and other Covid related information. Click here to learn more.
Travs on the road
The Arkansas Travelers road swing continues though this week and next with the Boys of Summer returning on Tuesday, May, 17.
Today ... 6:35 p.m. ... at Frisco; Friday .. 6:35 p.m. ... at Frisco; Saturday ... 6:35 p.m. ... at Frisco; Sunday … 4:05 p.m. ... at Frisco | Tuesday ... May 10 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio; Wednesday ... May 11 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio; Thursday ... May 12 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio; Friday ... May 13 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio; Saturday ... May 14 ... 7:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio and Sunday ... May 15 … 2:05 p.m. ... at San Antonio
Tuesday, May 17... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. NW Arkansas; Promotions: Mug Club
Wednesday ... May 18... 6:35 p.m. ... vs. NW Arkansas; Promotions: Dog Days Of Summer
Thursday ... May 19 … 6:35 p.m …. vs. NW Arkansas ... 6:35 p.m.; Promotions: $3 Thirsty Thursday and Strike Out Stroke
Friday ... May 20 … 7:05 p.m. ... vs. NW Arkansas; Promotions: Fireworks
Saturday ... May 21 … 7:05 p.m. … vs. NW Arkansas; Promotions: Healthcare Workers Appreciation Night and Noche De Diamantes
Sunday ... May 22 … 1:35 p.m. ... vs. NW Arkansas; Promotions: Operation: Military Appreciation and Family Sunday
Maumelle: City Council report
This week’s headlines: Splash Pad opening this weekend; city council rejects settlement offer regarding litigation with former employee; Elected Official Salary Task Force makes recommendations for salaries
This was a lengthy council meeting with multiple agenda items that were “administrative” in nature, so I’ll skip a detailed report on those and focus on the main items that were discussed at length during the meeting.
The meeting began with a few individuals addressing crime in our city, particularly recent events that have been shared on social media regarding car break-ins at Lake Willastein. Police Chief Cory Pickard addressed these incidents afterwards and shared statistics on how Maumelle has less crime than surrounding communities and how our police department is constantly patrolling these areas but they can’t be in every location 100% of the time.
Personally, I visit Lake Willastein often with my kids and I started thinking about how it’s rare to not see a patrol car cruise through while I’m there. Almost always, I’ll see Maumelle Police patrol the area multiple times while I’m in the park. One tip to help prevent break-ins is to put away all valuables in your car so that a person can’t walk past your car and see something in plain sight. This will attract thieves if valuables are left out in the open.
Phillip Raborn, Director of Parks and Recreation gave a report on how his department is gearing up for Summer with baseball season kicking into high gear as well as summer camps and the opening of the pool and splash pad. The splash pad will be available for Saturday/Sunday use beginning this weekend.
On Saturday, May 21, the splash pad will be open and available 7 days a week.
In unfinished business, a few administrative ordinances passed and adopted included an update to our Land Use and Zoning Maps as well as an ordinance to amend notification requirements for changes to the use of real property.
Moving to new business, the first item was a lengthy discussion regarding a lawsuit filed by Jennifer Corriveau against the city. I’ve followed this case since it was filed back in 2018 and am loosely familiar with the case.
Corriveau claims she is owed overtime for additional hours she says she worked for the city. It’s my understanding the city has a strong case that would prove otherwise. Our attorneys from the Arkansas Municipal League presented several different scenarios of how this could play out at trial next month and asked the council if we’d like to accept Corriveau’s latest settlement offer ($33,000 plus attorney’s fees). After a lot of back-and-forth discussion surrounding possible scenarios, I made a motion to reject her offer and this passed by a 6-2 vote of the council. The discussion then turned to whether or not the city would like to make a different settlement offer to Corriveau but there was no desire among anyone on the council to make an offer of settlement. This suit is scheduled to go to trial on June 6.
In other new business, the council approved a reappointment of Billy Herrington to serve on the Civil Service Commission. Mr. Herrington has served the city on this commission for many years and truly enjoys his service there. I’m thankful for his experience and desire to continue giving back to Maumelle by serving in this capacity.
The Elected Officials Salary Task Force committee presented their findings this week and made recommendations for elected officials’ salaries to begin Jan. 1, 2023. These salaries would be in effect for 2023 and 2024. Thanks to Jeff Van Patten for chairing this committee along with Maumelle residents Michelle Elliott, Eric Jones, Justin Simpson, Patti Robinson, Council Member Doug Shinn, and Council Member RJ Mazzoni. Their recommendations are as follows:
Mayor’s current salary: $99,700. new salary: $102,691
City Clerk/Treasurer’s current salary: $63,654; new salary: $67,473
City Attorney’s current salary: $97,224; new salary: $105,002
City Council: No changes to current salary of $7,500.
These recommendations have now been presented to the council in ordinance form and will be discussed and voted on at the June 6 council meeting.
The council approved a budget resolution by a 6-2 vote to appropriate $51,000 to go towards the purchase of new servers to help the city upgrade our technology. Our city’s IT has been a patchwork of many old solutions and we’re undertaking a years-long process to identify areas in which we can upgrade and improve our network. This is one step in what I expect to be several others in years to come to improve the way Maumelle manages our IT which in turn will provide better access and services to our residents.
Lastly, the council had the first reading of an ordinance that would allow a city employee, Patrick McIntire, to do business with the city.
McIntire has ownership in a local towing company that is purchasing another towing company that is already approved to do business with the city. There are a number of tow services that do business in our city already and as long as you meet Maumelle’s requirements for being a towing vendor, then your company can be placed on our dispatch list for a weekly rotation. Since McIntire’s company is purchasing a towing company that already does business in Maumelle, that’s the reason for this ordinance which would show transparency of a city employee who will do business here. The impression I was given was that Maumelle does not make many calls for towing services anyway as a city. Seeing as how anyone can do business in the city as long as they meet our requirements for being a vendor, I don’t have any issues with this since McIntire’s company will be one of many that we allow to service Maumelle and they already do so on a set weekly rotation.
That’s all for the week. Be sure to take your kids or grandkids over to the Splash Pad this weekend for the first time this year. Let me know if I can ever be of service.
Chad, 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maumelle: Civil Service Commission meeting on Monday
The Maumelle Civil Service Commission will have its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. this Monday.
A public hearing is scheduled before the meeting’s start to discuss proposed changes to rules and regulations.
The meeting will be in City Council chambers at City Hall and for the agenda, click here.
Early voting starts Monday
Early voting for May 24’s primary will start on Monday.
The main early voting location is the Pulaski County Regional Building in downtown Little Rock with dates that run through next Monday, through Monday, May 23.
Times there are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week with 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Any registered voter in Pulaski County can early vote at any location and times for the other early polling sites are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
The Jess Odom Community Center and the main branch of North Little Rock’s Laman Library are North of the River early voting locations with the others being:
Sue Cowan Williams Library, 1800 S Chester St., Little Rock
John Gould Fletcher Library, 823 Buchanan St., Little Rock
Bethel Baptist Church, 112 N Jeff Davis St., Jacksonville
Dee Brown Library, 6325 Baseline Road, Little Rock
Adolphine Fletcher Terry Library, 2015 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock
Roosevelt Thompson Library, 38 Rahling Circle, Little Rock
Hillary Clinton Children’s Library, 4800 W 10th St., Little Rock
First Christian Church of Sherwood, 2803 Kiehl Ave., Sherwood
Sidney S. McMath Library, 2100 John Barrow Road, Little Rock
College, high school graduations are coming
Shorter College will have its commencement ceremony at 11 a.m. this Saturday at the school’s North Little Rock campus.
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will celebrate its spring 2022 graduates with three commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 14, at the Jack Stephens Center.
The first ceremony is at 10 a.m. and is for undergraduate students in the College of Business, Health, and Human Services and undergraduate students in the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Next up is a 3 p.m. ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, and Education; graduate students in the College of Business, Health, and Human Services; and graduate students in the Donaghey College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The last ceremony is at 7 p.m. and will be for graduates of the William H. Bowen School of Law.
High school graduations are also set.
Maumelle High School will have its ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 21 at the Jack Stephens Center.
Other Pulaski County schools will also be graduating that day with the schedule being:
Joe T. Robinson at 10:30 a.m.
Sylvan Hills at 1:00 p.m.
Mills University Studies at 2:30 p.m.
North Little Rock High School will have its graduation starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17 at Simmons Bank Arena while Maumelle Charter will have its commencement on Friday, May 13.
It will start at 6:30 p.m. and be held at the school’s gym.
Lanterns burns bright, sets records
The annual Lanterns at Wildwood Festival last week was not only a return to normalcy during this ongoing pandemic but a smashing success, said Wildwood’s Executive Director Dr. Bevan Keating.
The three-day festival had a total of nearly 9,000 attendees and raised more than $100,000 to support the center’s scholarships and arts education programs.
“We are incredibly grateful to the business community and guests who participated in this year’s Lanterns Festival,” Keating said. “Not only did our community turn out to support the park in record numbers as guests and volunteers, we broke a fundraising record for Lanterns - a whole year of educational programming and scholarships. We cannot wait to put this generosity to good use as we grow into west Little Rock’s cultural center, providing access to nature and the arts for Arkansans of all ages.”
Keating noted that Holly Judd served as the festival’s chair as well as the hundreds of volunteers and sponsors who made this year’s event a success.