Quorum Court passes resolution opposing school consolidation
HARRISBURG - In its first order of business here, on Monday, March 10, the Poinsett County Quorum Court passed Resolution No. 2003-01. The resolution which concerned consolidation in the county was sponsored by Justice of the Peace Carmack Sanders.
The resolution addressed Gov. Mike Huckabee's plan to improve schools with consolidation for schools with less than 1,500 students. The resolution states that East Poinsett County, Harrisburg, Marked Tree and Weiner schools "continued operation is in the best interest of public education in this (Poinsett) county, the economics of our county and local communities, and are vital to the maintenance of our local civic and community life."
The resolution directed Poinsett County Judge Doyle Hillis to send a copy of the resolution to the Governor, State Representative Wayne Nichols, State Senator Steve Bryles, the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
The council first voted to amend the resolution so that it didn't include Trumann schools, which does have more than 1,500 students and then voted to adopt it. Eight members voted for the resolution and three members voted not to pass the resolution.
Before the members voted on the resolution, Tyronza resident Charles Glover spoke to the council urging them to vote no to the resolution. Glover had been invited to speak by Hillis.
The council voted on an ordinance to transfer $392,254.52 from a Sales and Use Tax bond money to the County General fund which will be used to build a new detention center.
An appropriations balance was then passed which allows $1,000 for landfill secretary salary adjustment, $1,200 for an added part-time landfill position, $168.30 for Social Security matching amount for salary changes, $100 for a retirement amount for salary changes, $8,000 for a new computer purchase at the county library, $17,560.62 for an added communications officer position, $1,343.39 for Social Security matching amount for a new salary position and $1,756.06 for a retirement amount for a new salary position. The total for the appropriations was $35,478.37.
In other business, tax assessor Johnny Rye, Jr. communicated to the board that adjustments were made to the budget to make up for a projected $7 per parcel grant for the county in which the county only received $6.78 per parcel. The council voted that the finance committee should go over the budget with Rye for final approval.
The council then approved two recommendations by the personnel committee in which wording in the employees' handbook was changed to cut down on the occurrences of workmen's compensation abuses and sick leave was changed from five days to 10 days a year in which the employee must present a note from a doctor if sick leave for pay is taken for more than two days. The council also voted to allow a county employee to keep his insurance for his family while he is on active duty in the military. The employee must continue to pay his share of the insurance.
Hillis then spoke to the council requesting $200,000 be appropriated to buy equipment for the county road department. The council approved a motion six to five for the request to go before the road and finance committees before the money is appropriated.