Selection of the new MRID commissioners dominated the agenda at the Horseshoe Bend City Council meeting Feb. 16. Jim Thompson, a member of the MRID commission, turned in his letter of resignation effective April 1. Horseshoe Bend Mayor Bob Spears rejected the resignation letter initially, saying that Thompson's experience was needed during this time of transition for the MRID. At the council meeting Spears expressed regret that Thompson wouldn't stay on for a while longer, but said he respected the decision of Thompson and submitted his resignation to the council. Spears thanked Thompson for his service and wished him well in the future.
Thompson's spot wasn't the only MRID commissioner position that had to be filled by the council. In a previous session, the Arkansas Legislature enacted Arkansas Code 14-92-232. This code stipulates, among other things, that MRID commissions, in cities where they are appointed, not elected, would be increased from three to five members in April of 2004. Three of the six candidates for the MRID's three available spots were interviewed before the regular meeting began. At the March meeting three other candidates will be interviewed and the council will fill the vacant positions.
Two other resignations were tendered to the council during the meeting. Terry Smith, a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee, turned his resignation effective Feb. 1. He said his increased work load at the MRID office necessitated his resignation. Myrom Parsons, a member of the sewer, library, and planning commissions, also turned in his letter of resignation effective in March. Parsons said he regretted having to leave these commissions but he is moving out of state and will no longer own property within Horseshoe Bend. Spears thanked both men for their service and wished them well in their future endeavors.
In other council news, Spears reported that an application for a walking trail, filed with the Arkansas Parks and Tourism on behalf of the city, has reached the interview stage. This interview will take place March 4. Spears said he is going to contact Brian Keller of the Arkansas Parks and Tourism to see if the city needs to have representation at this meeting. If the city needs a representative, Spears said he would gladly do it.
The library board reported that the first phase of the new library is almost complete. All that remains of this phase is some electrical work. It was also reported by the library board that state Rep. Paul Miller of Melbourne donated $200 toward the new library.
The MRID commission submitted a request to the council for a $100 donation from the city for a sign to be located at the golf course. Sally Pohl, recorder/treasurer for the city, said she had spoken with the city's auditors and the expense couldn't be justified because it didn't help the community. Spears, along with the council, agreed with the auditor's assessment of the inappropriateness of the expenditure, but they volunteered to donate $100 in the name of the city out of their own pockets.