The Fifty Six City Council met at its regular time last Monday despite Mayor Barbara Wallace announcing a postponement. She remains on medical leave and did not attend the meeting, nor did council member Oma Jean Balentine. About 25 members of the community attended.
The three remaining council members – Johnny Jones, Jerry Butler and Cindy Branscum – discussed a financial review from Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC) for the year 2012, which had been received in March but was not made public.
Council members read the findings in the report, which involved the lack of an accounting system, handling of delinquent water accounts, including the mayor’s, delinquency on its ANRC loan and other issues.
The council appointed two new members to fill vacancies. Tabitha Hampton was appointed to fill the position left vacant by Clint Jason, and Carolyn McCoy was appointed following the council’s acceptance of Branscum’s resignation, which she submitted in December but continued to serve because there was no one else for the position. County Judge Stacey Avey swore the two new members into office.
Reading from a prepared statement to conclude the meeting, Jones said Wallace has used deception to get her way.
“I ask that she would let go of her stranglehold on our town, do the only right and honorable thing – resign – and give our town a fresh start.”
See the complete story in the July 17 issue of the Leader.