City manager should live in city

To the editor:

At the last council meeting when Mayor Joy Day was asked why citizens comments were not included in the published council minutes, Mayor Day replied that she considered our comments no better than a barking dog walking down Spring Street.

Therein lies the problem in Jonesboro. The mayor and council with the exception of Councilman Yonce, have decided that the citizens and taxpayers should not have any input into the way city affairs are conducted. I have heard from Mayor Day and council members that they welcome and encourage citizen involvement. Yet when citizens do choose to become involved, it is so very obvious that it enflames their posteriors. Thus incurring such comments form our elected mayor.

There are certain principles deigned by GMA to help guide elected officials and governing bodies. These principles include serving others, not themselves, using resources efficiently and economically, treating all people fairly, using the power of their positions for the well being of their constituents, and creating and environment of honesty, openness and integrity. I believe the mayor and council fail miserably on all counts.

The mayor and council were presented a petition with 378 signatures asking for the removal of Jon Walker as city manager. They never took the time to read the petition or to familiarize themselves with any of the signatures on said petition. Had they taken he time to have done so, they would have discovered some of the most distinguished an d respected names on that petition. Again their arrogance presented itself.

Had they taken the time to connect with the citizens, they would have realized the deep-felt animosity and dislike that a goodly portion of this city feel for Mr. Walker. The citizens here strongly resent the fact that Mr. Walker refuses to live in our fair city, yet he is deeply involved in telling our longtime residents how they should live their lives. In a larger city, that may well work. But in a small town like Jonesboro, people resent an outsider coming in and changing their world. WE all know Mr. Walker will be here only until a better opportunity presents itself and then he will move on leaving us to clean p his mess. The sooner he goes the better for the survival of this city. By aligning yourselves with Mr. Walker, you should realize you are going to be the recipients of the animosity and dislike he generates so much of.

We have a council members operating a home-based business without a valid business license. One has to wonder how many other city codes are being violated or given the old "wink and nod" because they re in positions of power or have friends in positions of power. To make residents who desire to be legitimate and apply for a home based business license have to appear before the mayor and council and practically beg is reprehensible. Especially for the ones that perform all work at other sites and only use their home as an office for record keeping. The city needs to work on being more business friendly. I have spoken with many of the business owners and have discovered that neither the mayor or council members regularly call on these business owners for any input. Again, their arrogance presents itself.

A word of advice from a dog on Spring Street for all current elected officials. If you are seriously entertaining thoughts of running for reelection, you should sever your ties with Jon Walker now and start providing the oversight to city hall that you were elected to do. Then and only then can you possibly regain the allegiance of the voters in this city.

Roger Grider