The Greenwood City Council met in regular session on Monday, October 5, 2020. Residents attended the 7 p.m. meeting, showing interest in one agenda item in particular, a resolution “in support of restoring freedom, choice, opportunity, and governance back to local and state elected officials.”
-Read the resolution in its entirety –HERE–
Group organizer Angela Neas addressed the council. “Our children are being robbed of their childhood…people are too sacred to speak up for fear of sounding uncaring.” Neas and others appealed to the council before reading the resolution.
Mike Hamby, City Attorney recommended that the council submit the resolution to the Municipal League for review. He added that there is current ongoing legislation regarding the constitutionality of the governor’s executive orders, and encouraged the council to allow the courts to decide the issue.
Dr. Lee Johnson also made the following recommendation: “Masks are an important tool in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Masks effectively reduce the droplet transmission of all respiratory illnesses, the coronavirus is no exception. Wearing a mask is a simple courtesy to others, much like covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough. In an effort to reduce the burden to our healthcare system, it is my hope that we can all work together to limit the spread of Covid-19 in our community by wearing masks when we cannot socially distance, maintaining social distancing when possible, and washing our hands frequently.”
The “Advocates for Restoration of Representation on State Level” released the following:
A group of Greenwood residents is seeking the support of the City Council in a resolution calling for the reassembly of the Arkansas State Legislature and an end to the on-going state of emergency in Arkansas. The group, initially organized by lifelong resident Angela Neas, is seeking “government with representation” and hopes to see elected state officials involved in the process of making decisions regarding the mandates and restrictions in Arkansas as related to SARS-CoV-2.
The group believes individual municipalities need to show their support of calling an end to the state of emergency and restoring the decision-making responsibilities to state elected officials via a special legislative session. They will be asking the Greenwood City Council members at Monday night’s meeting to sign a resolution to be sent to Governor Hutchison asking for such measures.
“We are simply asking for fair representation. Isn’t that what we all want?” says Neas.
Neas is joined by other Greenwood residents and local business owners in her efforts. The group collected signatures from Greenwood residents in agreement with the resolution. Their hope in collecting signatures was to demonstrate the wide-spread readiness of area residents to re-evaluate the state of emergency and restore the integrity of state government.
On a state level, a group of legislators filed a lawsuit filed against Dr. Jose Romero, Secretary of Health on Thursday, September 3. The civil case is being spearheaded by State Representative and Senator-Elect Dan Sullivan. Additional legislators include Senators Bob Ballinger, Alan Clark, Gary Stubblefield, and Kim Hammer, and Representatives Mary Bentley, Steven Meeks, Josh Miller, John Payton, Laurie Rushing, Brandt Smith, Richard Womack, Harlan Breaux, Bruce Cozart, Justin Gonzalez and Nelda Speaks. The filing states that directives such as the requirement of face masks are “outside the scope of delegated power.” Additionally, that their rights and status as legislators were infringed by “administrative actions of the Director of the Arkansas Department of Health.” The lawsuit is seeking to have all 43 directives deemed invalid. On September 22, Romero and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge responded with a motion to dismiss that lawsuit with prejudice.
The Greenwood City Council took no official action on the proposed resolution.