It was the last item on the agenda but first in the mind of everyone in attendance. In the end the Jonesboro Mayor, Leslie Thompson, told the Board of Aldermen and those in attendance that he is standing behind his previous statement of retaining embattled Jonesboro Fire Chief Brandon Brown untill due process dictates otherwise.
“As Mayor of Jonesboro, I have absolute authority to hire, fire and/or suspend any department leader of the town other than the Chief of Police,” said Thompson. “I have seen with my own eyes what it is to be punished before due process has the opportunity to take it’s course and because of this I stand by my decision to wait to decide the Chief’s fate until due process in this matter is completed.”
The statement came after the Board of Aldermen went into Executive Session to discuss the situation involving Brown and the issue of him being arrested for Insurance Fraud. It took only a short period of time for the Board to return with Alderman Pete Stringer making an announcement that no action was buit he was making a motion that Brown be terminated This was seconded by Robbie Siadek.
Discussion followed where Stringer stated that he was very disappointed in the situation and didn’t see how Brown could maintain leadership and discipline among his employees when he isn’t held accountable for his own actions.
In earlier action the Board of James Ginn, Stringer, Siadek, Nia Evans-Johnson and Devin Flowers agreed to Town Engineer Brad Graff’s recommendation to provide $368,000.00 so the town could move forward in receiving 2.174 million dollars in grants.
In particular, $200,000.00 was earmarked for matching funds for a 1.2 million dollar LCDBG Grant that would help with infrastructure repair of the water and sewage system. Eighty thousand was put toward the purchase of aerators for the oxidations ponds and $68.000.00 was provided for a Capital Outlay Grant.
In a seperate measure it was agreed to draft Resolution 2022-01 so that Jonesboro would qualify for an ARPA grant dedicated to Airports. The town’s broadband server, Hi-Tech was granted $22,410.77 to help replace the outdated and malfunctioning hardware and computer system. Also a zoning change was made from Industrial to Residential on Industrial Drive to accomodate the planned senior living subdivision and a new ordinance was passed that corrected language to the Sunday Sales ordinance that was passed last year.
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