Maumelle: City Council Report

This week’s agenda was light, but we started off the meeting reviewing May’s financials. Through five months of the year, the city’s finances continue in a strong position. Revenue has exceeded budget for the year and expenses are below budget through May. 

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The council approved the sale of a 2010 model police car that is no longer used and the cost to repair is more than it’s worth.

The second agenda item was a budget resolution to purchase cloud-based software that the city will use for Human Resources and Payroll functions. Maumelle currently uses paper for many of these payroll and HR functions and it’s important that we modernize how we do business. This transition to cloud-based software will offer tremendous time-savings as well since payroll is currently prepared manually by multiple city staff and department heads. This resolution passed unanimously.

The last agenda item was a resolution to change the issuance and fee structure for boring, excavations, and/or cuts in city rights-of-way. Our existing permit process was a simple $25 fee no matter how large or small the project. Due to all the broadband work currently going on in Maumelle, city staff has had to spend a large amount of time following up on permits and it’s clear our current fee structure isn’t covering the city’s costs. The new fee schedule more accurately reflects the cost for city staff to review and follow-up on permits. This was approved unanimously.

During council member comments, there was another lengthy discussion regarding the city’s relationship with Maumelle Friends of the Animals (MFOA). 

Mayor Caleb Norris explained how the city immediately began an investigation once they learned of the accusations of funds being stolen from this local non-profit in late 2021. He said the city also has safeguards in place to make sure we are not collecting donations for MFOA so that there’s no confusion among city residents who think they might be donating to Maumelle Animal Services. Council Member Steve Mosley made a motion that we sever all ties with MFOA for a period of at least 6 months. This generated a lot of discussion among all the council members.

Personally, I felt that punishing MFOA would be placing the blame on volunteers who had nothing to do with the alleged crimes. Numerous Maumelle residents support our animal shelter and other animal organizations. They have a heart to serve the animals in our community and many of those volunteers attended the meeting this week. They did nothing wrong and want to continue helping with our animal shelter. The individuals accused of stealing money from MFOA will have their day in court, but I don’t think it’s necessary to punish the other volunteers who want to continue serving. Severing ties with MFOA would only make it more difficult for the city to take care of our animals and find adoptive homes for them. Most of the other council members made similar comments.

Ultimately, Council Member Mosley’s motion to sever ties with MFOA failed by a 2-6 vote.

One final note from the meeting I’ll share is that the All-Inclusive Playground Committee will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, June 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Jess Odom Community Center. This meeting will be held to solicit feedback on proposed designs for the all-inclusive playground as well as receive input on what residents want to see included in this new park. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the splash pad and all-inclusive playground project and look forward to seeing this completed soon. Please come to the meeting next week if you’d like to see the proposed design and offer input.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Chad, 501-529-1336, chad4maumelle@gmail.com