A nine-member panel will be presented to the Jonesboro City Council for approval to serve as the City’s Oversight Integrity Council, as selected by Mayor Harold Perrin. The mayor will present the names to the city council’s rules and nominating committee Aug. 6. The committee will have the option to forward to the full council the same day.
The OIC, if approved, would begin meetings the next day in order to identify potential projects to be included in a sales tax initiative dedicated to quality of life that goes before voters Sept. 10. Approximately half of the sales tax would be slated for quality of life projects and the other half will be devoted to public safety, such as police and fire protection. Perrin chose from 59 applicants, and said the decisions were difficult.
“We had an extraordinary number of strong, diverse candidates, and we had to create the right mix of a number of factors,” Perrin said. “My hope is that the many who weren’t chosen now will serve in the future – either as some of these members roll off or if called upon to serve on subcommittees for specific projects.”
The OIC was created by the city council on July 2 and is tasked with “identifying, researching, investigating, reviewing, and prioritizing the potential future public improvements, subject to the final approval of the City Council, for the following purposes: the arts, aquatics, beautification, libraries, museums, park facilities, recreational facilities, sidewalks, and trail systems”.
The ordinance requires that the sitting Advertising & Promotions chair, Jerry Morgan, be on the committee, as well as two City Council members, which would be Joe Hafner and the Rev. Charles Coleman. Perrin chose six more from the public applicants:
* William Harrison, E. Ritter and Co. chief financial officer with an MBA from Harvard Business School and degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee;
* Lindsey Woodard, Parent Support Guide at AR Hands and Voices; former account executive at Inferno Ad Agency and marketing specialist at Baptist Health Care who is an Arkansas State University graduate;
* Jack Harrington, Co-founder of US Renal Care with master and bachelor degrees in agri-business and economics from A-State;
* Dr. Brookshield Laurent, Chair of Osteopathic Medicine, New York Institute of Technology (A-State campus) with a doctorate from Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine, Stratford, N.J.;
* Brock Ferguson, Centennial Bank Vice President of Commercial Lending with an MBA in finance from A-State;
* William Edwards, First Security Bank loan officer with a finance degree from A-State.
Members will elect a chair in their first meeting, as well as draw straws to determine if appointments are for one, two or three years.