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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Citizens address city council regarding conduct, teamwork

  • For some, Helena-West Helena City Council sessions have shed some light on current issues of the city. But for others they have become a disgrace to the citizens that that councilman and women represent. Last Tuesday night some concerned citizens requested the council to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Rev. ...
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  • For some, Helena-West Helena City Council sessions have shed some light on current issues of the city. But for others they have become a disgrace to the citizens that that councilman and women represent. Last Tuesday night some concerned citizens requested the council to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Rev. Michael Jenkins, Bishop LeRoy Carter and Elijah Mondy, owner of KJIW radio station, addressed the council concerning their conduct and lack of team work in moving the city forward. Jenkins voiced his concern about the last three council sessions that left him upset and heartbroken as he witnessed the disgrace that was presented at the table. “What is the city council here for?” He asked. “Our problems are here and we should be working together to have a city we can live in.” Jenkins said that he understands that each member of the council is not going to agree on everything but they should be able to disagree with love. “You were elected to work as a team,” continued Jenkins. “We need to realize that not one of us is more important than the other.” Jenkins stressed that there should be three things to consider before speaking, “Is it kind, is it the truth and is it necessary.” Carter agreed stating that the council should have respect for one another because they are the leaders of the city and as adults they should represent the citizens as a whole regardless of personal agendas or animosity toward one another. “Before the cities of Helena West Helena consolidated, I offered to broadcast the city council sessions on the KJIW radio station airwaves so that the citizens could get a better look into what is really happening in our city,” commented station owner Elijah Mondy. Mondy said the last city council meeting was a disgrace and disrespectful to the vision of transparent form of professional government. Mondy has offered broadcast time for a number of years free of charge – his way of making a contribution to the city. “My only stipulation was that the city would purchase the broadcasting equipment to make it possible and that a speaker system would be purchased so that many could hear the sessions,” he said. At one point, Mondy said, the sessions were moments of airing out the city's dirt laundry. “What we need to do is clear up some of this dirty laundry that is broadcast to the public,” commented Mondy. “Enough is enough, the last council session was a disgrace,” Mondy continued. “I have gotten numerous complaints from the very citizens you serve and represent and it's time to clean up the 'stink' that is presented at this table that unfortunately reflects the lack of respect and the team effort that this city needs to move forward.” Mondy asked the council for their help in cleaning up the airwaves and asked what they propose to do for their broadcast. “People all over the world are hearing the loss of the city,” he said. “Many are leaving and all the hard work to try to promote the good in our community will fail if we don't come up with some type of solution tonight.” Council member Don Etherly agreed that the council should be able to put on a smile and present themselves in a professional manner. However, he felt that there was some indifference to the presentation as it reflected a “blanket of blame” pointing fingers at the council as a whole. “I think that you need to speak to each of us individually and find out what drives us or causes us to say or do whatever we do,” commented Etherly. “I can agree that there are some things that have come apart that need to be fixed. We need to be cordially civil to one another in government at this council because the solution has to come from this body.” The council agreed that each member at the table should begin to police his or her behavior. Mondy suggested that the next time the conversation seems to get out of hand or too heated, call a recess so that the session can reconvene in a more civilized manner.

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