Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Struggles Continue With Community Action Board

During the July,19th meeting of the Southeast Arkansas Community Action Board, issues brought up by the public continued to be a source of contention.  After conducting the normal monthly business of the Agency, and after sitting through yet another "training session" put on by the state Department of DHS, the floor was opened for public comments.

Earlier in the meeting the board had considered the appointment of three new members, who had been selected by agency procedures to represent the low income citizens Bradley, Chicot and Desha counties.  The selections from Desha and Chicot were approved by secret ballot.  The Bradley County Candidate, also selected by the procedures, was rejected by secret ballot.  Mrs. Angela Meeks was the Bradley County representative rejected.  After the announcement by the Chairman of the secret ballot results, he then called for a public vote to confirm the secret ballot results.  No reason was given for voting twice.  Information on the vote totals was not provided.

When public comments were allowed, a representative of asked if the board had the legal right to reject a potential board member without cause or if cause is not legally required.  He was told very quickly that his time to speak was up.  Other people in the audience asked to speak and some asked questions about procedures of the board and the status of the legality of the board which has been questioned for months.  State officials on hand indicated they believe that all board members are now legal and they will look into the rules and authority of the current board to refuse to seat a person properly selected and eligible.  Issues have been brought to light over the past few months relating to the accuracy of board minutes.  In some cases more than one set of minutes for the same meeting were found.  It has been previously determined that some board members had not been properly selected in the past.

In conducting business, the board approved a decision by the Executive Committee to apply for a grant for Head Start and listened to reports on Head Start and other programs administered by the agency.  Members voted to apply for a nutritional grant and a commodities grant.  The Interim Director briefed the board on several items and told them plans for the regular audit are underway.

By a vote of the board, Mrs. Foster of Ashley County was removed from the board for failure to attend meetings.

No comments:

Post a Comment