Pulaski County Council Members Looking to Narrow Focus of Joint Meetings with Commissioners

Pulaski County officials may be looking to restructure their meetings, as some county council members call for more discussion about the courthouse. During Monday’s meeting, Council Member Kathi Thompson again raised the issues of the building’s current needs, as well as future renovation or replacement plans.

She said that while facilities decisions are up to the county commissioners, the council deserves some answers. “What we’re getting is a lot of rumor,” Thompson said. “It would be nice to have that discussion in public. Cleanliness of the courthouse, the doors that need replacing or repairing, windows that need replacing or repairing, water problems. There are issues with drainage. Those monies that we put into the budget, what are they being used for? Are we paying maintenance funds for what? We have a right to know because we are the ones that set the budget.”

Thompson complained that while there are a lot of things to discuss, they haven’t been placed on the council’s meeting agendas. “We’re going to be the ones that are going to be asked to fund whatever plan is selected,” she said. “We cannot be an active partner if there is no discussion, and unless and until these issues are discussed in public, in meetings, we, the county council, are willing participants in the non-conversation about all of these issues.”

Council Member Ken Boswell said that part of the issue is that the joint council and commissioners meetings are being used for the two entities’ routine business, rather than giving them a chance to study one or two larger topics in more detail. “The joint session is a continuation of a council meeting and a commissioners meeting,” he said. “It’s not a joint session. We are not talking about the problems of the county. Like in a joint session – and I agree with Kathi on this – if we’re going to have a discussion about the courthouse, that’s what we should be discussing. That should be the agenda. If we’re going to have a discussion about fiscal policies, then that needs to be the agenda.”

Thompson also revisited some other issues, including the posting of meeting minutes on the county’s website and lists of members of all the county’s boards and commissions.