Heated Controversy in Trumann

TRUMANN, AR -- The Trumann City Council meeting was a full house tonight as alderman and the mayor gathered for the first meeting back since several citizens tried to oust the mayor.

"Given the events of what's happened in the last month and there's been so much talk back and forth, I just got to where you know my time is done. I've done my part," says Danny Harvison, the city's parks and recreation chairman.

Danny Harvison has served as Trumann's Parks and Recreation Committee Chairman for the past six years. Tuesday night, he told the council and the mayor he is resigning. Harvison stated several times in a long letter he read aloud at the meeting, the council and the mayor are not communicating with the parks and rec committee. Something he feels has begun to hinder the betterment of their programs.

"If the city administration and the council are going to make those decisions, they should be asking us how these decisions should potentially affect the future of the programs," says Harvison.

Instead, he says the committee workers, who are all volunteers, are doing the work and the mayor and council are making all the decisions, without their input. Something he finds ironic when the committee was created as a planning and advisory committee.

"It's the lack of the right kind of communication; maybe I should put it that way. There's too much of the wrong kind of communication going around," says Harvison.

And Harvison partly relates these problems to the recent controversy surrounding the town's new mayor. Just last month, Mayor Sheila Walters fired city employee Sharron Turman, who served as the city's recreation director, just one of many things the several citizens were fired up over. It's hard to wonder if Harvison's resignation has any relation to the director's termination.

"I can't say that it's not related because I worked with Sharron as the recreation director being parks committee chairman, we worked together a lot. I know what she did. I know what she's done. (We asked) Do you feel like it was wrong that she was fired? (He answered) Personally, I do but that's my personal opinion. I'm not saying I quit because of her. I quit so I could raise these other issues so they could kind of get out in the open and maybe they could deal with them and move on," adds Harvison.

Two other hot topics were on the agenda Tuesday night, including the 2nd reading of a increased franchise tax ordinance and the approval of a city annexation ordinance, which came down to a tie vote, broken by the mayor.