Public’s turn at the mike at council meeting


Linda McBride again mentioned parking problems in the residential section of Spring Street where she lives. She said it had been seven months since she suggested striping parking spaces as a solution and she has seen no progress toward resolving a solvable problem. She asked for leadership, and claimed she takes a cab to events in town at night because she has no place to park when she returns.

McBride told aldermen they were elected to promote the health, safety and welfare of the public, and they need to start somewhere solving this welfare and safety issue for citizens. Mayor Butch Berry said that Public Works has this on its agenda.

James DeVito said he was interested in filling the vacant seat on council. He said he has been elected to council five times, and living in the middle of town he knows what his constituents need. He said he was proud of his part of the passage of Ordinance 2223 which established Eureka Springs as a non-discrimination town, and is still aware of topics concerning citizens around town.

Pat Matsukis wanted council to know she had spoken with Public Works about the ice problem and water flow on Mountain Street. She claimed the curb cut had not solved the problem. She said recently there was an ice swath more than two feet wide in the middle of the street. She also announced she had thrown her name into the ring for the vacant council seat. She would bring something different to council because she has done so many kinds of jobs during her time in Eureka Springs. She commented she is drawn toward politics because it is how the city spends its money, and she wants to help drive the city in a positive direction.

Council voted the seat to Melissa Greene.

Cameron DeNoewer commented Eurekans pride themselves on the town’s history, which allows citizens to learn from past mistakes and is therefore a useful tool in making decisions going forward. In particular, he said the city should pay attention to the leadership of the Community Center. He cited problems with leadership, “strange money, stacked boards and questionable ethics.” He implored council to remember history before “jumping into bed” with private organizations that want to use taxpayer money to fund private projects.

Council comments

Alderman David Mitchell said the mayor and council started a process for complying with requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act “in a manner that was both financially prudent and of quality.” Nevertheless, two citizens took it upon themselves “to engage in a self-serving crusade under the guise of meeting ADA standards.” Mitchell listed his objections to demands made of the city and to behavior in public toward the Assistant to the Mayor in spite of the fact she has been very supportive of the goal of meeting ADA requirements. Mitchell also mentioned the citizens purchased a billboard outside of Clifty “that visually demeans the city of Eureka Springs.”

“My purpose in these comments is to expose the two citizens’ guerilla tactics used against my fellow council persons, mayor, city employees and citizens. These two citizens could have been a force in helping achieve ADA compliance, [but] instead they chose a fallacious, egotistic crusade that appears more in line with their own interests and recognition than that of ADA compliance.”

Other business

  • Aldermen voted unanimously to re-seat Woodie Acord to the Planning Commission.
  • Berry noted there are vacancies on the Planning, Hospital and the City Advertising and Promotion Commissions.
  • Council approved the third reading of Ordinance 2263 which clarifies that all votes needed to pass any action by city commissions, boards or sub-entities would require a majority vote of the whole number of the members of the commission, board or sub-entities unless otherwise required by State or Federal law.
  • Mitchell and alderman Terry McClung were re-appointed as council representatives to the CAPC.
  • Council unanimously voted to discontinue broadcasting videos of city meetings. The recorded video would be for a record of the proceedings only. McClung said he had been informed that time spent transcribing video recordings in preparation for broadcasts had become too expensive. There was no discussion, so he moved to discontinue broadcasting recordings of meetings and vote to approve his motion was unanimous.

Next meeting will be Monday, Jan. 22, at 6 p.m.