Council Gives Approval to Proceed with Civil Litigation

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The Greenwood City Council met in regular session on Monday evening, April 5, at 7 p.m. Council members present were Ralph Meeker, Daniel McDaniel, Lance Terry, and Tim Terry. Councilmen A.C. Brown and Rod Powell were absent. Also present, Mayor Doug Kinslow, City Clerk/Treasurer Sharla Derry, and City Attorney Mike Hamby.

As the meeting opened with prayer, Mayor Kinslow asked that those in attendance remember the family of Megan Whitson. Whitson passed away on Friday, April 2. Kinslow also asked everyone to remember former police officer Josh Mourton in prayer.

After approving the minutes of the March meeting, the council heard from Kenny Sunde, Executive Director of the South Sebastian County Boys and Girls Club. He thanked the council for approving the $24,000 allocation and reported on the work that had been done.

Joel Goldstein, Parks Commission Chairman, reported on the status of the drainage project at the city lake, and the completion of the curbing on the town square.

Finance Director Tom Marsh presented the financial reports, noting the increase in percentage of sales. Marsh stated he was “cautiously optimistic” about next quarter.

In items of old business, a budget amendment resolution to remove council raises from the 2021 budget. The motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

In matters of new business, a discussion regarding Freedom Fest. The council approved the plans for that event.

Next, Councilman McDaniel presented his concerns about Ordinance 19-01, regarding erosion control. McDaniel stated that he has heard a lot of complaints regarding the level of excavation and digging into the hillside. Planning Director Sonny Bell responded stating, “Do I like the way it looks, no…Construction does not look pretty when it starts. This is a long frame project, we have to monitor according to our ordinance.”

The construction project, according to Bell, has been ongoing since 2018, and that the dirtwork is estimated to be completed by August of 2020. Mayor Kinslow interjected, stating that it would be a good idea to have engineering plans attached to the building permit. Bell responded that the city does have a conceptual plan, and that is “all you can ask for.”

McDaniel stated “we cannot unring the bell,” and noted that the ordinance needs to be reviewed. Bell stated that although he doesn’t like it, he feels comfortable with it. The council went on to discuss adding an amendment to the ordinance, regarding grading and contouring.

Next, Kinslow recommended the council go into executive session to discuss the hiring of a new Street Department Director. Upon reconvening, Kinslow stated that no action was taken.

Next, City Attorney Mike Hamby gave an update regarding the pending litigation concerning the tree issue at Greenwood City Lake. (See related story) Hamby stated that a survey had been completed. He added that there are two statutes that will be applicable. He sought the blessing of the council to move forward with the civil litigation, which according to Hamby, could take “years.”

A member of the council asked if the homeowner was remorseful. Mayor Kinslow invited Parks Director Tammy Briley up to address the council regarding the matter. An audience member asked if this was a criminal act. Hamby responded that it would be criminal trespass, punishable by a fine. “I highly doubt it would be considered destruction of property,” Hamby added.

Kinslow asked if the council wanted to acknowledge the Park Commissions’ vote to proceed with civil litigation against the landowner. The council voted unanimously to move forward with the lawsuit. Hamby concluded that they would be seeking the maximum dollar amount.

Next, Briley reported on the ARDOT grant application to restore the old iron bridge at the city lake. She stated that she had been turned down. The council approved the motion for Briley to reapply for that grant.

The mayor then asked that the resolution amendment to adjust the salary schedule for the Street Director position be tabled. The motion was made, seconded, and passed unanimously.

With no other items on the agenda, the motion was made to adjourn the meeting.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; Editor - Resident Press. 20+ years experience in the news.

2 Replies to “Council Gives Approval to Proceed with Civil Litigation”

  1. Jesus & Regina Guerrero says:

    The Greenwood school bus has been repeatedly hitting my fence for the last four or five years. My fence is very strong constructed of concrete and stucco. The Greenwood School fixed my fence one time 3 or 4 years ago. My wife has called the manager of the buses Mr Brown several times and left messages. He always responds to no proof because no damage to the bus. The last time the bus knocked my steel gate completely down and drove off. The last kid to get off the bus witnessed it and told us. Again no response from the school. We offered to fix our fence if they would move the bus stop. The bus continues to back up within inches of our fence and has taken branches out of our tree. I didn’t know trees were so expensive. Should we sue for damages? What would you do?

  2. Melissa Whitmire says:

    This makes me so angry. The city trespassed onto MY property and destroyed a 70+ year old tree (my son got bored with counting the rings). I accepted Mayor Kinslow’s “hat in hand apology”. I also accepted his offer to rectify the HUGE mistake made by the city. The “fix” cost the city about a tenth of what I could have gotten had I sued….(which, two and a half years later it STILL isn’t fixed to the very minimal standard that was promised). So, City of Greenwood, unless you’re certain you won’t screw up ever again, you might want to reconsider litigation against this woman. The next person you screw over may not be as nice as me.

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