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Hope City Board

By Staff, 09/1/20 7:29 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their first meeting of September.  Following the pledge, approval of minutes, and financial report, the board moved to some proposed update on the use of force by the police department.  Police Chief J.R. Wilson presented some proposed policy changes on the use of force.  He explained how the changes would be taught to the police and talked about officers are expected to determine the use of force.  The Chief said basically officers have to ask themselves is the force necessary to protect themselves or someone else.  He also noted the public can film policemen and the officers know not to try to prohibit bystanders from filming officers.  He also talked about how officers should respond to wholly verbal challenges.  The board members asked questions such as policies in using tasers.  The changes were approved by the board.

The board looked at an update on the “street scape” project.  City Manager Catherine Cook noted the Tourism Commission has agreed to fund $60,000 towards this and Hope Water and Light has agreed to contribute $60,000.  Cook asked to submit the revised plan to the Arkansas Department of Transportation for review.  The board approved this.  Cook also said she’d talked to Tarona Armstrong if the Clinton Birthplace considering the location for the driveway off 2nd Street and noted Armstrong is excited about the street scape program.

The board entered into Executive Session at 7:27 pm to discuss the city manager’s  performance evaluation.  The board reconvened at 8:44pm.  The board voted to extend the City Manager’s contract and extra year and in a separate motion the board raised her annual salary by $6,000.

Cook gave an update on work on 6th Street.  She said the gas company is working there now and they hope to bid the street work in October.  She noted the rain is hindering the rail spur project.  She gave an update on the landfill work and noted overlay work for the street program should begin this month.  Cook said September is traditionally the time to begin working on the budget.  She also suggested the city plan the annual city tour of facilities.  Cook also noted Chief J.R. Wilson has been named to the Municipal League Advisory Council and she has been reappointed to the Executive Committee.

The urban deer hunt was discussed and it was noted no one has signed up yet.  The sign at the Hub was discussed and it was noted the plaque for the property has been ordered.  Also the backflow at the Hub was causing a leak.  It has been replaced.

Book member Kiffenea Talley asked about the swimming pool.  Cook noted it will probably be drained after the first frost and then have tiles fixed.  The meeting then adjourned.