The Helena-West Helena City Council will meet on Tuesday January 15th at 6:00 p.m. to continue discussions regarding adoption of a 2013 operating budget. The council is expected to hear from various departments including Courts and Code Enforcement. There may be additional discussions about other departments, particularly Parks and Recreation. The Parks department has been operating without a director since its department head was arrested and charged with sexual assault. The Director was placed on suspension by Mayor Arnell Willis but the suspension was with pay. The council voted to stop paying him while on suspension at its first meeting of the year. However, that action was vetoed less than twenty-four hours later by Mayor Willis.
Other issues that may be addressed include contracts for the City Attorney's office, a cleaning contract, recording of meetings, and computer services. Some of the agreements had been entered into by the city without council approval. The city was cited for unapproved contracts without proper bidding in the 2011 audit. The City Council must adopt an operating budget on or before February 1st.