Jonesboro city council discusses new positions, grants for the city

Jonesboro city council discusses new positions, grants for the city

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Jonesboro City Council considered adding new positions for the city at their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night.

The council approved adding a transit route supervisor for JETS and an office manager position for the city attorney's office.

However, when it came to adding a Sex Offender Registration Specialist at the police department, some aldermen had questions about it being a civilian position as the job would sometimes require speaking with sex offenders at their homes.

Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott assured aldermen the person would be safe and have adequate police support if need be.

Elliott also said making it a civilian position would keep from depleting an already short staff.

"It's not necessarily a police officer position, though it's been handled by police officers for all this period of time," Chief Elliott said. "I'm trying to free up police officers to do other duties related to this as far as working on the Internet Crimes Against Children."

The council did later unanimously approve the position.

The only job to not be approved Tuesday night was that of Communications Director for the city.

Alderman Chris Moore said he wanted to hear from Mayor Harold Perrin about the job before the council voted.

Mayor Harold Perrin was not at the council meeting due to an illness.

The position is expected to be discussed at the next city council meeting.

Other business discussed Tuesday night revolved around grants for the city.

The council did approve acceptance of a $145,000 grant from the Blue & You Foundation of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

That money will go toward a 3.2 mile bike and pedestrian trail to go around Craighead Forest Park.

Though that grant was approved, the city council did not agree to join the Cities of Service Organization.

Joining the organization would have resulted in a $30,000 grant to start a community volunteer service.

At the previous council meeting, council members voted to table the issue due to concerns about the organization's founder, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Aldermen Gene Vance and John Street spoke on their distaste for the organization.

"I've done a lot of research and I still have a very negative opinion of this particular group," Vance said.

"I do as well," Street said. "I don't think that it's anything Jonesboro would want to be affiliated with."

Only two alderman voted in favor of the resolution.

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