By Ray King

A resolution sponsored by Pine Bluff City Council member Ivan Whitfield that wants Mayor Shirley Washington to ask the Saracen Casino Annex to delay their opening for 30 days will be discussed and voted on when the council meets Monday at 5:30 p.m.

The casino annex is currently set to open May 18.

Appearing on the Oldies 101.3 morning show with Greg Horne and Will Jenkins Thursday, Council member Win Trafford said he didn’t know if Whitfield was “100 percent for it (the resolution) or against it.”

“Just because you’re a sponsor means you put legislation before the council,” Trafford said. “That does not necessarily dictate your stance on it.”

Asked why Whitfield would introduce the resolution if he wasn’t in favor of it, Trafford said:

He was also asked his stance on the resolution:

Trafford described the issue as a “balancing act. You have to protect everyone, but we also have to keep the economy going and yes, I believe people are more important than the economy, but it takes the economy to keep the people going.”

A second member of the council, Joni Alexander, said she was not in favor of the resolution and would not support it.

“That’s not our call,” she said. “As long as they follow the Governor’s recommendations, who are we to say which businesses in Phase 1 can and cannot open.”

Trafford said he hoped the resolution would not pass but even if it did and the Mayor did ask the Saracen Casino Annex to delay opening, “it is not mandatory that they do it.”

The council meeting Monday will be conducted remotely on Zoom and Trafford said he hoped that the council will in the near future be able to go back to meetings at the Pine Bluff Convention Center while maintaining social distancing.