Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Community Action Board Continues Training/Questions Future

After a brief time of continuing training provided by the State of Arkansas Department of Human Services, the Southeast Arkansas Community Action Board conducted their monthly business.

Early in the meeting, Chairman Al Dixon asked the state officials on hand what the impact might be on the agency if the congress adopts the budget recently proposed by the President.  He was told it could be serious but the state believes it is better prepared than in the past to show the benefits of the programs being operated such as Head Start.  Mrs. Beverly Buchanan with the state indicated that cuts have been proposed in the past but she is hopeful that evidence is available that will demonstrate the good the various programs provide.  She said the budget is intact until September, 2017.

The board approved the past minutes and current financial report.  Committee reports were called for.  The Chairman urged all committees to meet and deal with matters as required.

The board then approved the 2017 Assurance Work Plan after discussing and agreeing to update  a job title to clarify job duties.  Additional job duties were included.

The matter of providing information requested under the "freedom of information act" was reported on.  The director stated all the information would be available for copying by April 28, 2017.  She indicated it was a lot of information and has taken some time to locate and make ready.

Board member Angela Meeks question the spending of money for a new computer system that was mandated by the state.  She thought the board should have approved the expenditure, even though it was mandated.  Mrs. Buchanan told the board that adoption of the technical plan by the board was sufficient.  There was considerable debate.  The board then voted to approve the purchase even though the agency has already paid part of the expense.  Chairman Dixon indicated things should be done correctly but he believes the board understood the purchase would be made by the executive director and the approval of the plan authorized the purchase.

Darryl Johnson addressed the board and asked for the minutes to prove the board had approved the technical plan.  He continued to lodge complaints about board actions and whether or not he is required to come in and make copies of items he has requested under the FOIA or if the agency is simply required to make the copies and send them to him.  He was told the files would be available and he could review and make copies.  He will be required to pay for the copies.

The board then moved into executive session.  A further report will be provided on any action taken by the board after the executive session.  It has been unofficially reported that a staff member submitted a resignation.  Salineriverchronicle.com was unable to get confirmation Tuesday afternoon, but will secure the facts and report the results.

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