February Alderman Meeting Recap

With a packed auditorium, city residents saw a mostly routine Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting this month.

The February meeting’s agenda can be found here. Let’s walk through what was decided.

Each of the following motions received unanimous votes and passed:

  • An update to the Municipal Code of Ordinances. This modernizes the code by updating sections and removing some sections that were no longer needed. One favorite that I’ll miss – section 11-702 that prohibits trespassing on trains.
  • A rezoning ordinance – #2018-01/02 – from R1 Low-Density Residential District to R3 High-Density Residential District. Here’s more on those R1 and R3 guidelines. This is for the Masters Way subdivision.
  • An adoption of the 2019 Budget Calendar.
  • Permits for the Friends of the Library Gala, Slawburger Festival, 4th Annual Always Endure 5K, and Junior’s House Blue Ribbon Walk.

Mayor Jon Law announced the appointment of Joyce Eady to the Fayetteville Housing Authority. Law also has plans to announce an appointment to the Municipal Planning Commission at the March meeting.

Updates from Nippon and the Industrial Development Board

With the closing of Nippon, Alderman Gwen Shelton requested that Elaine Middleton, Executive Director of the IDB, appear at this month’s meeting to give an update. Per an email, Middleton said she was unable to attend and that anyone on the board could meet with her at the IDB office.

“IDB is funded through public funds with a salary of $80,000. If this board requests, whether me or the full board, a quarterly report should be given. Right now, we’re at a crucial time with losing a company. I know back 18-24 months ago, I questioned the contract we had with Nippon. Still never had Ms. Middleton come and give a report on it. Now we’re losing this company on March 31st after a commissioner made comment that everything was great.

My concern is there’s no transparency through IDB. Apparently, there’s no respect for this board since we fund that position. Accountability is at zero in my opinion.” – Alderman Shelton

Collins said the city hasn’t received any information on how the funding will go for the building that Nippon is leaving. Nippon management has plans to meet with the IDB staff and other state officials in March.

On Recent Actions by City Employees

Towards the end of the meeting, Mayor Law addressed the recent actions of both fire and police employees.

“I’m embarrassed by it. The fact that we have people in this organization that would think about doing the things they did is disheartening. I know that sometimes we make excuses on why things happen but they do. Personally, when any employee signs on the dotted line for the City of Fayetteville workforce, whether it’s a police officer, fireman, sanitation, whatever, they have to understand that what they say and what they do, be it on-duty or off, reflects on this city.

I apologize to the city and the county for all that’s happen. I hope we can put it behind us.” – Mayor Law

Law also pointed out that the board doesn’t have authority on personnel matters. Our charter puts those situations in the hands of the city administrator.

Law went on to say, “With discussions with Mr. Collins, he has instituted a program where each employee will be given instruction on what is acceptable and what’s not, what is harassment and what is lewd language. It’s a code of behavior that all city employees have to follow.”

The full board meeting can be seen below. Mark your calendars for next month’s meeting on March 13th at 5pm.

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