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Jonesboro City Council to Review Diversity Resolution in August

City of Jonesboro

The Nominating and Rules Committee has forwarded a resolution to the full city council that would encourage diversity on the city’s volunteer boards and commissions.

Jonesboro has several boards and commissions that citizens can serve.  Some of the boards and commissions include the Board of Zoning Adjustment, Land Use Advisory Committee, Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, Civil Service Commission, Auditorium Commission, Municipal Airport Commission, and the Advertising and Promotion Commission.

The idea for passing such a resolution came from Alderman LJ Bryant.  At a June meeting of the Arkansas Municipal League, President of the League Joe Smith encouraged cities across the state to get younger people involved in city and county government.  Smith is the mayor of North Little Rock.  He passed out a copy of a resolution that cities could model and pass to encourage younger people to get involved.  Bryant says he wanted his resolution to include more.

“We want to make sure that we are encouraging people from all over the city of Jonesboro to serve on boards and commissions,” says Bryant.  “My resolution would include age, gender, race, and ethnicity.”

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin says when he looks for people to appoint on boards and commissions, he looks first at the qualifications of those who want to serve.  He says for certain boards, there are requirements on who can be on those boards.

“I do look at the backgrounds of the people who apply,” said Perrin.  “If there are people who are not qualified on those boards, then it is a waste of time and more than likely, those people will not stay on those boards.”

Alderman David McClain agreed with making sure that there are qualified people. He also wanted to make sure that people from all over Jonesboro knew about the resolution.  “I see this as building a database of people that Mayor Perrin and future mayors could choose from in case people come off the boards and commissions and need to be replaced. It would be great to see the database come from different backgrounds, ages, and from all over Jonesboro.”

The full resolution will be addressed by the Jonesboro City Council August 7.