The Maumelle City Council meeting this week started off by recognizing this year’s Maumelle Youth Council award recipients. Avery Champion was recognized as this year’s Peyton Award recipient. Champion plans to attend Brigham Young University in the Fall. Stephan Bolan was the recipient of the Peyton-Scott Scholarship and he plans to attend the University of Arkansas. Congrats to both students! They were very deserving of their awards.
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The council reviewed and approved the financial audit for 2019 at this week’s meeting. The auditors noted that everything appeared to be in order with our city’s finances. You may recall the city just completed the 2018 audit a few months ago. Additionally, the city has plans to complete the 2020 and 2021 audits later this year. Our finance department has made tremendous strides getting everything in order so that we can have timely financial reporting going forward. I greatly appreciate all the work they’ve done over the past several years to get us to this point.
Under old business, the council voted to approve elected official salaries for the 2023 and 2024 calendar years. The recommended salaries were proposed by a committee of residents after studying peer cities to Maumelle. Effective January 1, 2023, the elected official salaries will be as follows:
Mayor - $102,691
City Clerk / Treasurer - $67,473
City Attorney - $105,002
City Council - $7,500 (no change from previous years)
Also under old business, the council approved Patrick McIntire (a Maumelle firefighter) to be allowed to seek a permit for his towing company to do business in the city. The towing company he’s an owner in will be one of many companies allowed to do business in the city.
In new business, the council approved a preliminary development plan for Ink Properties to expand their facility in Maumelle’s Industrial Park. Ink has been a long-time resident in Maumelle and it’s great to see their business growing and doing well. This expansion will add additional warehouse space for their business.
In an administrative budget resolution, the council accepted insurance funds used to replace the roof on Fire Station 1. These repairs to the fire station have already been completed.
The council also approved a small budget resolution that will purchase six tablets to be used out in the city by Public Works and Code Enforcement. This will allow our city employees to monitor permitted activities out in the field and log their reports real-time rather than having to come back to the office to review and file their reports. As our city grows and more activity takes place, this will save a lot of time and allow for quicker response times to those doing work in our city as well as faster resolution for residents in monitoring permitted activities.
Lastly, the council approved another small budget resolution to cover travel for OpenGov.org employees to travel to Maumelle later this Summer. OpenGov is Maumelle’s vendor for our new financial software and they will be here to train our finance employees on the software and help with the onboarding and conversion from our existing financial software.
During council member comments, Council Member Steve Mosley mentioned the recent news regarding felony theft charges being filed against two board members with Maumelle Friends of the Animals. He asked the city attorney to speak about this and how the city might be involved due to MFOA’s involvement in supporting Maumelle Animal Services. The following is my understanding of this matter after I spoke with our city attorney a few weeks ago:
In late 2021, city officials became aware that board members with MFOA admitted to stealing approximately $50,000 in funds donated to the organization over the last several years. While MFOA had not requested an investigation, the Maumelle police department immediately began looking into this matter along with the city attorney. After law enforcement and the city attorney completed their review, the file was handed over to the Pulaski County Prosecutor’s office for review.
Due to a backlog in the Prosecutor’s office, this review took several months before charges were filed in May. Ultimately, two board members with MFOA were charged for felony theft.
Please note that this does not involve any city or taxpayer funds and this is a private matter between a charitable organization and two of its board members. That said, MFOA has had a long history of helping Maumelle Animal Services with medical and adoption expenses for animals in our shelter. Additionally, this charitable organization has been greatly supported by the residents of our community so it’s disappointing to learn of this abuse of trust with donated funds. I know our residents care deeply about their pets as well as the well-being of the animals in the shelter and want to continue helping however they can.
Please note you can always make donations of goods directly to Maumelle Animal Services, but I would encourage you to call ahead to Maumelle Animal Services (501-851-6219) and ask what would be most helpful before you donate an item. Also, feel free to share your time. Maumelle Animal Services strongly encourages residents to come in and spend a few minutes with animals helping them socialize. This helps tremendously since shelter animals aren’t able to get as much socialization as they normally would. So giving 10-20 minutes of your time to come and sit and play with the animals would be an invaluable gift that will help greatly.
That’s all for the week. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Chad. 501-529-1336, email@example.com