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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Mayor's veto overridden; Jones reinstated again

  • For the second time in as many meetings, the Helena-
    West Helena City Council convened in executive session to discuss the status of sanitation department head Bobby Jones.
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  • For the second time in as many meetings, the Helena-
    West Helena City Council convened in executive session to discuss the status of sanitation department head Bobby Jones.
    Jones was terminated by the mayor several months ago and was reinstated by the city council last month when the council went into executive session to discuss the matter. That decision was overturned by a veto by the mayor the following day. Tuesday night, the issue was brought back before the council.
    When the council went into executive session at the last session to discuss the personnel issue, councilmen Don Etherley, John Huff, and Christopher Franklin walked out of the meeting.
    Tuesday night, as Jones and his attorney approached the council, Franklin noted, "I want the facts and want to know what happened. I did leave the meeting that night. I was called a coward for leaving."
    To catch Franklin up on the proceedings and discussions that were brought up in the previous executive session that he walked out of, a motion was made and passed to force the council back into executive session to discuss the same details with Jones and his lawyer as was discussed two weeks before.
    Following another lengthy executive session, the council reconvened to vote to over ride Willis' veto. Bobby Jones was reinstated as department head, again, of the sanitation department, including the payment of back pay to Jones.
    "The circumstances surrounding Bobby Jones' situation is a classical example of democracy in action in America,” Willis commented Wednesday morning. “I made a decision to terminate his employment with the city and I stand by my decision. The city council voted to reinstate him. History will reflect that I stood on the right side of this issue and the city council was wrong. I just hope the general public will remember this action taken by the city council."

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