Bend Council rejects mayor's recommendation
The appointment of a city councilman turned into a heated argument between the appointee, a city councilman and the mayor at the Aug. 16 Horseshoe Bend City Council meeting.
Mayor Bob Spear opened the meeting by suggesting to the council that they appoint Daniel Grover to the Ward 1 Position 2 seat vacated by Owen Cluts.
Spear opened the floor to questions from the city council regarding Grover. Ward 1 Position 1 Alderman Smiley Lenhard began by chastising Grover over the appearance of his yard.
"People of this council have to be leaders and follow city ordinances. I've never been proud of the appearance of your yard," Lenhard said to Grover. He then went on to say that he (Lenhard) has been on the council for 10 years and the cleanliness of the city was his number one priority. He cited several objects in Grover's yard that violate city ordinances.
An angry Grover responded to Lenhard's accusations.
"Unless you want to live my life, then stay the hell out of my life," Grover said.
At this point Mayor Spear leaped out of his chair and told Grover to compose himself. "I will eject you from this council floor," Spear said to Grover.
Spear then told Grover that at one time or another everyone has said things that make others angry, but as a councilman he would have to be dignified and respectful of city laws and other government officials.
After the heated exchanges the council voted 5-2 not to appoint Grover to Cluts' vacated seat. Spear said he was sorry the appointment couldn't be made at this time.
He noted that Grover is the only candidate from Ward 1 Position 2 in the November general election, and if only one person votes for him, Grover will be the alderman from that ward starting in January.
In other council business, the council passed a resolution concerning a walking trail next to the new library. Resolution 2004-02 gives the mayor authority to file for a Trails for Life grant with the Arkansas Parks and Tourism Commission.
Spear said the city has already filed for the grant, worth $35,000, but a shakeup in Parks and Tourism's administration has slowed down the application process. He said an administrator with Parks and Tourism told him it would be quicker if the city reapplied for the grant.
The council vote 4-3 to appoint Tina Barnes to fill Shirley Walker's vacated MRID seat. Walker resigned from the MRID because of health concerns in her family. Barnes was selected over Avis Kalinowski, who was applying for a position on the MRID for the third time.
Spear told the council that a proposal before the MRID to draw down Crown Lake by three feet was defeated Aug. 12 at the MRID meeting. He said Ed Sac, the owner of Boxhound Marina who asked for the drawdown, is seeking another way to repair his boat dock.
The council voted to terminate the contract held by Kohn-Batterton Construction to re-finish the inside of the Horseshoe Bend City Council chambers.
Spear said Kohn-Batterton had contacted him and said they would be unable to complete the project. Spear said the work could be done by city workers on bad weather days.
The city council unanimously passed an ordinance that eliminates a clause in the building code that requires home builders to seek approval from the Planning Commission. Spear said the clause was unnecessary and time consuming.
The council approved the forming of a committee to examine the impending ambulance problem. In February, Baxter Regional will stop its ambulance service in Horseshoe Bend. Spear said Baxter Regional has lost an average of $190,000 a year since it started service in Horseshoe Bend.
Spear said he doesn't support raising taxes, but an initiative to raise an assessment for ambulance service may be placed on the November ballot.