Resolution creating MLK unity committee passes unanimously

Jonesboro Unity Committee approved, truck route ordinance tabled

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A resolution creating a Unity Committee tasked with naming a Jonesboro street after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. passed unanimously Tuesday night in the Nominating and Rules Committee meeting.

From there, the resolution walked on to the full city council agenda.

Though it was met with some opposition from the public, some people who own businesses and properties on Johnson Avenue showed up to voice their concerns that the pool of nominations for the committee was unfair.

“There ended up being four of the proponents for changing the name of Johnson Avenue on that committee and only one, which is me, of the opponents,” Unity Committee Member Garry Tate said. “So, we just felt like the committee, the way it was established and the people that are on it, that the opposition was outnumbered.”

In the end, the city council voted unanimously to pass the resolution.

Last week, Perrin selected eleven people as nominees to serve on a committee to discuss a solution involving the city not having a street named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In a media release, Perrin said he selected Emma Agnew, John A. Beineke, Judy Casteel, Charles Coleman, Sandra Combs, Jeffrey Gibson, Jeff Mead, Lisa Melton, Chris Moss, Adrian Rogers and Garry Tate to serve on the committee, with Coleman serving as chair.

Jonesboro council members created the committee June 18 and Perrin said he selected the nominees out of 32 applicants for the committee.

Perrin said the nominees come from a variety of areas, including business, Arkansas State University and leaders in the community.

“We had some highly qualified applicants, and to create a truly representative cross section of the community, it became clear to me that we needed at least two more members,” Perrin said in the statement to Region 8 News. “That said, a lot of good people were left off, not because they weren’t qualified, but because we needed a balance of everything from personal background to where candidates live. If you were not chosen, I hope you will apply to participate in city government again in the future.”

The first meeting of the committee takes place on July 24 at 5:30 p.m. on the first floor conference room of the Municipal Center located at 300 South Church Street.

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