Tuesday, March 15, 2011

HWH Budget Battles Continue; Four Alderman Halting Progress

HELENA-WEST HELENA- The City of Helena-West Helena still has no budget after four city councilmen refused an offer from the council majority to finish budget discussions and try to reach a compromise at last night's meeting.

Arnell "The Mayuh" Willis
The budget discussion began with the City Attorney opining that there still was no budget in place.  Alderman Marvin Jarrett had argued that he could sign Resolution 9-2011 in the absence of Mayor Arnell Willis from that meeting.  Mitchell said that Jarrett could authenticate it, but that he could not make it law.

After that, Alderman Jay Hollowell made a motion to hold a budget workshop on March 21, 2011.  Alderman Don Etherly said, "We can adopt a budget right here, right now.  Tell us what your concerns are and what your sticking point is."  Alderman Christopher Franklin agreed saying, "Let's do it right now."  Hollowell angrily retorted, "I ain't doing it."  Hollowell's motion failed 6-4.  Another motion to hold a workshop on the 24th also failed by the same margin.

Alderman Joe St. Columbia revealed the intentions of the minority, which consists of himself, Hollowell, Daniel Strickland and Eddie Clark when he said, "Nothing will happen until we make it happen."

A court case on this issue, Pride et al vs. Willis, is pending in Phillips County Circuit Court.  Willis is seeking to deny the majority of the City Council legal representation for that case.

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