Pine Bluff City Council member Joni Alexander said on Wednesday that it is time for the council to get back to normal and get away from the meetings on ZOOM.
Appearing on the Oldies 101.3 morning show with Greg Horne and Will Jenkins, Alexander said at the last meeting of the council Monday, Mayor Shirley Washington said she would be updating members on future plans for meetings.
“I look forward to hearing it,” Alexander said.
She described legislation asking Washington to ask the Saracen Casino Annex to delay opening for 30 days as “feel good legislation.”
Alexander went on to describe the council as “a joke collectively.”
She said one of the problems with the way things are currently done is that some members of the council are not business people, while others are “petty,” particularly when it comes to Go Forward Pine Bluff.
Washington received 76 percent of the votes in the March Mayoral primary election and was very supportive of Go Forward while her two challengers built their campaigns around opposition to Go Forward. With those numbers, Alexander was asked why the issue of Go Forward wasn’t put to bed.
She said that the city’s Community Development Department previously was over the housing program but because they receive state money, they have to charge for other services and $10,000 had been allocated to pay for those services. Alexander said Go Forward offered to take over the program at no cost, meaning that the additional $10,000 would be available for the program.
“The money is not Go Forward money,” Alexander said. It’s in the city’s account. Steve (Miller) who is the director of Finance would have to be the one to move it so what’s the big freaking deal?”
She said when she worked for former Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, council meetings were televised by the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff but those stopped when the University upgraded to H.D. (high definition) and the city chose not to.
“People across the state were watching our meetings like a reality TV show,” Alexander said.
In closing, Alexander was asked if there were enough votes on the council to continue to move the city forward.