Mayor vs. Council

JONESBORO, AR -- A special city council meeting was called by several aldermen Monday afternoon. They said they were there to get answers from the mayor regarding the city's recent lawsuit, but the meeting turned into much more.

The heat at the Huntington Building intensified when Alderman Cecil Province passed out a resolution to reprimand Mayor Doug Formon. It all has to do with what many council members are calling a 'lack of communication' between the mayor and the council.

They were there to discuss the recent default judgment against the city concerning a local developer's attempt to connect a new subdivision into RidgePointe. Developer John Sloan of P & J Development wants to connect Strawfloor Drive to RidgePointe Drive and because of the city's failure to answer his lawsuit appeal against the city, he gets his wish.

"This is the biggest issue that has hit us in this manner. I tied this to the lawsuit because it was a total lack of communication. There's still too many questions in there that can't be answered," says Alderman Cecil Province.

Throughout the meeting, many aldermen expressed their frustrations and those were directed at the mayor.

"I question the leadership, yes. I'm not against him. If he can assume that leadership and take us on, fine but in my opinion, he's going to have to do a better job," says Alderman Province.

But Mayor Formon says the problem comes from both sides.

"Communication like I said in the meeting goes both ways. It needs to come from my office to them, but it also needs to come from them to myself. I'm sure I can do a better job of getting the communication to them, and they too can do a better job of getting to me," says Mayor Formon.

After the resolution was passed out, City Attorney Phillip Crego informed the council that they don't have the authority to reprimand the mayor, and vice versa. Therefore, it never came to a vote. Formon seemed surprised that it was even attempted.

"I don't work for them and they don't work for me and we all work for the people of Jonesboro so only the people of Jonesboro can reprimand me or reprimand one of them and that's through the election process," says Mayor Formon.

Nonetheless, Formon says he takes the blame for his administration's failure to respond to the complaint in a timely manner. He says basically, the lawsuit papers just slipped through the cracks.

"I don't want to sit here and make up excuses. Ultimately the buck stops with me. We were caught in a time in that particular week we had two key employees that were out sick, one still hospitalized and another who was in Little Rock at the time, so when you have that key staff out those things just happen. You know we thought it was being taken care of but it wasn't and we won't let it happen again," adds Mayor Formon.

The mayor told K8 News they plan to form a committee very soon to further discuss how they can prevent a mistake like this from happening in the future.