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Jonesboro City Council says no to pay raises for elected officials, passes alcohol permit ordinance

Oct 17, 2017

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Elected officials in Jonesboro will NOT receive a pay raise at this time.

The Jonesboro City Council amended an ordinance last night that called for six-percent pay raises for elected officials in Jonesboro.  The original ordinance called for all elected officials to receive a raise, but alderman made the change that took the city council out of consideration.  They then voted on whether or not Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin, City Attorney Carol Duncan, and City Clerk Donna Jackson would receive a six percent raise.  That was voted down 10 to one. 

Alderman Gene Vance suggested that in the future, alderman consider a long-term pay scale plan that would be similar to one that was approved for all Jonesboro workers. He said such a proposal could be worked on in a committee and all concerns about elected officials pay could be resolved while the plan is being drafted. 

As previously stated, most on the council stated they wanted any money to go toward needed projects in Jonesboro instead of raises. 

Also,  the Jonesboro City Council has passed a procedure that changes the way alcohol licenses are granted in Jonesboro. 

The State Legislature put the ball in the courts of municipalities in how to address the issuing of alcohol licenses.  Instead of the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control board approving the permits and licenses first, the city of Jonesboro now has the first step of deciding those licenses. 

Under the ordinance passed last night, an eight page application form would be filed out, which would then be submitted to the Jonesboro Police Department.  City planners would also review the application to see if all adequacies have been met, such as proximity to schools and churches. The city council would also have a large say in the matter, because Craighead County is a dry county. 

Alderman Bobby Long expressed concerns about how to put more teeth into the ordinance, making it harder for permits to be issued in Craighead County.  City Attorney Carol Duncan told Long the ordinance as it stands already provides standards that must be met and a hefty review process.  She said that if additional criteria were to be added, that could be done in the very near future.  Long stated he would look to add such criteria and draft an amended ordinance.  The new law in Jonesboro takes effect  in 30 days.