Committee members, councilmen, and crowd continue to argue over MLK road naming

City committee votes on ordinances to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - On September 17th, the city council voted to pass three ordinances on to the Public Works Committee. These ordinances were created by the Unity Coalition Committee to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, the Public Works Committee discussed and voted on those ordinances. The first, rename Aggie Road and Front Street to honor Dr. King.

The committee voted to postpone that ordinance indefinitely.

Public Works Committee Chair John Street said he has and will always vote against renaming a street.

“I will not ever ever ever vote to change a name of an existing street for anybody. I don’t care if it Harry Truman or Martin Luther King or Donald Trump or whoever. I’m oppose to that because the city can’t have constant change on street names,” Street said.

The second ordinance not only caused committee members to argue with each other, but the crowd also stepped in to voice their opinions.

This particular measure would rename Commerce Drive and any future extension of Commerce Drive to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ultimately, the committee decided to not change Commerce Drive.

They instead suggested making that stretch of road a memorial highway. Any part that has not been named Commerce and is within city limits would be named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. For the highway that extends into the county, Mayor Perrin will formally ask Craighead County Judge Day to continue the name with the extension.

Both the committee and crowd liked the idea of having two segments of the City of Jonesboro’s multi-purpose trail system to be designated as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Trail.

The city attorney will rewrite the ordinance regarding the memorial highway on Commerce Drive.

The council will address this at its next meeting on October 15.

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