There have been several speakers at Eureka Springs city council meetings recently claiming city government has been lax or ineffective in attempts to comply with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the problem goes back through previous administrations. As a result, Mayor Butch Berry named Assistant to the Mayor Kim Stryker to be the coordinator for complaints related to ADA matters, and appointed a committee comprised of alderman Bob Thomas, Justice of the Peace Lamont Richie, and Jane Stephens to consider the complaints.
Stryker said criteria for being on the committee included people with familiarity of the disabled, working information on the ADA, or a connection to a person with a disability. The committee met for the first time June 28.
Purpose of the first meeting was to consider Stryker’s proposed complaint review process. City council will eventually consider adopting their final formal complaint procedure into City Code. She suggested once a formal complaint is received, she would call a committee meeting which hopefully would include the complainant, with a quick turnaround from time the complaint is received and the meeting. The committee would compare the facts with what is required by ADA and arrive at a response. If the city needed to make changes to be compliant, it would recommend those steps.
Stryker said she received the first formal complaint before the committee was formed from Joyce Knowles, who had complained it was not clear in contracts regarding events at the Auditorium who, whether the city or the promoter, was responsible for which aspect of compliance at Auditorium events. Stryker said she amended the Auditorium contract to take care of it.
The committee will meet only when there are complaints to consider.