Friday, October 31, 2008


8:04 AM

This has been a busy week. I have spent some more time on the budget for next year. Yesterday we discovered a mistake in one of the budgets. We have spent some time working on that and I think that the budgets are now complete. I will meet next week with the city council budget committee. If they agree with what I have prepared, I will present the budgets to the full city council at the November meeting.

The city council meeting for November is scheduled for November 11. Because that is a city holiday, I have written the city council members and proposed that we move the meeting to November 18. I sent out that letter two weeks ago. I have not received any negative comments, the council I have heard from have said OK. Unless something happens we will meet on the 18th.

Theda and I spent quite a bit of time with the auditors yesterday. We had some questions relating to the budget and some items in the new budget. After the meeting we are all on the same page about what needs to be in the budgets and the proper way to place them in the budget. They also had some questions about some items that they are working on. It seems that we have a problem, but we think that we can correct the items that there were questions about. Overall the audit is going well and there do not seem to be any problems. Theda does and excellent job in keeping the records for the city. If fact, one of the auditors told me that her records made the auditors job easy.

Theda and I have spent some time this week working on cemetery business. We have met with two families that want to purchase burial plots. I have gone to the cemetery with both families and they have chosen the plots that they want to purchase. Both families told us that they plan to come back and purchase plots. I had the cemetery mowed this week. I think that this will be the last mowing for this year.

Lynn and his crew are installing a fence at the fire department. Jerry and his crew have been working on a drain in the south part of the city. The work should improve the water flow in that subdivision. I hope so.

I talked with Amy this week and they have been very busy. She told her mother yesterday that they have three funeral on Saturday.

I will probably go to Mississippi State tomorrow for the football game. The kickoff is at 1:00PM. Because of that time I will be able to go and get back to Wynne at a time that is near to my normal bedtime.

The work on Jessie Wynne Park is progressing very well. I think that the citizens will be pleased with the renovation work at the park.

Today is Halloween and as usual Pat and I plan to leave home during the time children come by. We passed out candy for a number of years, but for the last several years we have left and enjoyed a dinner out of town. In fact last year Pat had another obligation and I went to WBC and enjoyed watching the children participate in the activities sponsored by the church.

Monday, October 27, 2008

OCTOBER 27, 2008
10:55 AM

I am back at work after my vacation. It is good to be back at work. I did enjoy my week off.

Pat, Amy and I spent the week in Gulf Shores at a house on the beach. The house was about twenty miles from Gulf Shores. We were surrounded by homes, but there were very few people staying in the homes.

We just slept, eat and enjoyed the beach. We only ate out twice, once for my birthday and last Friday night. The rest of the time we ate at the house. On Friday night we were joined by Pat's sister and her two children. We ate both times at Lambert's in Foley.

Gas was only 2.22 per gallon in Canton, Mississippi.

Theda said that last week was a quiet one in the city.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

3:02 PM

I performed a wedding ceremony this morning. I officiated at the wedding of Brandon Hudson and his bride Rachel. The wedding was held outside at their home.

The wedding went very well and I had a good time meeting old friends who were there for the wedding. There was quite a large crowd. They each had four attendants and the ring bearer and flower girl. Pat went with me. This was the first wedding that she had seen me perform.

Enough for now---I am on vacation.

Friday, October 17, 2008

2:58 PM

This is my last day of work for the city for a few days. Pat, Amy, and I are going to take a family vacation. This is the first time in several years that we have taken a family vacation. I am looking forward to doing nothing.

We are going to Gulf Shores, Alabama. We have a condo on the beach rented for a week. We will just eat, enjoy the water, and sleep.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

9:05 AM

The Wynne City Council met last night for the regular monthly meeting. The meeting was a very short meeting. If fact one of the alderman noted that we adjourned at 7:22pm.

We had a report from VDCI. A typical report. The council passed one ordinance. The ordinance raised the amount we pay WWU for the billing and collection of our sanitation fees. The fee was raised from 35cents to 42 cents. The mosquito billing and collection remains at 5%. The council also passed two resolutions. They set the millage rate for personal and real property in the city. The amount was 5 mills, which has been the same for about twenty years.

The council also discussed adding drug testing for most of the employees who work for the city. At the present time the only employees that are tested are the employees with a CDL. There are a few employees who will not be tested because of laws that eliminate their positions. After hearing the discussion, I think that they will vote to enter into this program beginning next year. I told the council members that I did not want a decision last night. I asked them to study the plan and be prepared to make a decision next month.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

2:17 PM

I talked a few minutes ago with Jeff. At the present time he said that he does not plan to make any changes. He has a few minor changes that he plans to implement after the first of the year.

I suggested that he stagger the hours the animal control officer works. My suggestions were to come in later a few days a week and work his shift. By doing this he will be able to catch some of the dogs that are released at his normal quitting time of 5 pm. He said that he though that would be a good idea. I also asked him to let the officer off a day during the week and make that time up by working some Saturdays. He agreed with this suggestion. We will be able to catch some of the dogs that take advantage of what has been his normal hours.

Monday, October 13, 2008

8:30 AM

Jerry and I went to Little Rock on Friday to pick up a filter for the commercial garbage truck. We had planned to go to Searcy and pick up our chipper. Early Friday morning the driver noticed that the light was on for the hydraulic system that said the filter was stopped up. Jerry called the supplier and mechanic and they said that they had a filter and the light indicated that it should be changed. So we made the trip and picked up the filter in Little Rock and the chipper in Searcy. A lot of driving, but necessary. I went because Jerry was short handed on Friday and I had told him that I would be able to go with him to pick up the chipper.

Late Friday afternoon I had to spend about an hour at the cemetery. A local resident was interested in two lots. She wanted them in a certain location. At that location there are not any lots. I told her that we would give her a list of the people who own those lots and she could contact them, they might sell her two lots. If that does not work out, I showed her the location of where we have lots available for sale. She chose a site and if she cannot purchase lots from people near her first choice, she plans to purchase lots from the cemetery.

Pat and I went to West Memphis for lunch on Saturday. We met Amy and the Dexter clan. We had a very good time eating and visiting with each other and the Dexters. It was good to see and visit with everyone.

After church yesterday Pat an I went to Mike and Donna's wedding. The wedding was a private ceremony held at the Catholic Church. It was attended by family members and a few close friends of Mike. After the wedding the group went to JB'S for a steak dinner. Pat and I sat with some friends of Mike from Massachusetts. Mike was the best man at their wedding thirty five years ago. They have kept up with each other through the years. We had a very good time visiting with them over lunch.

Jeff became chief on Friday at 5:00 pm. I have had a number of positive comments about my selection of him. I think that he will do an good job and I look forward to working with him in his new position.

Friday, October 10, 2008

8:20 AM

Yesterday the city held a reception for retiring police chief Mike Bachand. The drop in was held at the city hall from two to four pm.

The reception went very well and was attended by a large number of his friends and co-workers. The police department presented him with a new gun as a retirement gift.

I appreciate the work Mike has done for the City of Wynne during his nine years as chief. He has made many improvements in the police department. I am going to miss working with him. I also feel good about the new chief. Jeff Sanders will do a good job for me and the citizens of Wynne.

The city street department has completed the demolition work at Jessie Wynne Park. Martin Smith stopped by yesterday and he said that he would issue the contract next week and give the notice to proceed with the work. The work should be completed by the middle of December. I think that the citizens of Wynne will be pleased with the improvements at the park.

I visited with Jerry yesterday and he said that the new system of removing commercial garbage has been going well. Because of these changes I do not plan to ask for a rate increase in the rates charged our commercial customers.

Theda, Barbara and Carol did an excellent job in planning and hosting the reception for Mike. I told all of them that I appreciate the work that they did to have what I think was a very successful reception.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

3:48 PM

I attended the ground breaking ceremony this afternoon for the new regional airport in Colt. I was invited to a luncheon before the ceremony at Mike's. There were about forty people at the luncheon. The governor was at the luncheon. There was no program, just eat lunch and visit. I got to sit next to the governor during the luncheon. We had some good conservation during the meal. The luncheon was organized and paid for by David Dunn of the Forrest City Chamber of Commerce.

We then went to the ground breaking site which was on the post office lawn. We had an excellent crowd. Mayor McCoy from Forrest City, me from Wynne, Dr. Kerr, a staff member from Garver engineers, the governor, Mr. Hayes, a representative from the FAA in Fort Worth and a representative from the Arkansas department that works with airports all made short speeches. Governor Beebe presented a check to the DRA for $64,000.00 to be used in the construction of the airport.

We then had the official ground breaking picture. It looked like there were 30 to 40 people making pictures. The total length of the program was only 45 minutes. It went very well and the crowd was very good.

I am glad to reach this milestone in the development of the regional airport. This process began in 2002. The airport should be complete and operational in 2012 or 2013. This is a very long process, but the results will be worth the work that has been done, primarily by the DRA board. I appreciate the work that this board had put in to see this project move forward. The board is just a group of citizens who do not receive any pay but are willing to give of their time and talents to work on this project.

9:30 AM

Today is a big day for the Delta Regional Airport. There will be a ground breaking ceremony today a 1:00PM. The ceremony will be held just south of the Colt post office. That property will be the entrance to the airport when the airport is complete. Site preparation has begun on the airport property. The target date for opening of the completed airport is 2010. I hope everything stays on track. This has been a long process. But that is typical for projects when several government entities are involved.

The governor of Arkansas will be the principal speaker for the ground breaking. David Dunn, the representative from Forrest City has arranged a luncheon before the ceremony at 11:30AM for some VIP guest with the governor. I have been invited and of course I will attend.

The street crew has continued work on the demolition of Jessie Wynne Park. They did not get to work the full day yesterday. We had some employees out in the sanitation department and the street crews and Jerry had to fill in. We also had to take our chipper to Searcy to be repaired. Several small problems occurred when we started using it every day. We should have it back in full operation in a few days.

It is raining in Wynne now. It started some time in the night. The prediction is for rain most of the day. This will not make for a good day to be holding a ground breaking, but we really need some rain. This will also stop the demolition of Jessie Wynne Park until it dries up. This should not be a problem, because the actual notice to proceed has not been issued to the contractor.

The new methods of picking up commercial garbage seems to be going OK. We have encountered a few problems, but we are working through them daily.

Because of the changes that we have made, and will make the first of the year, I am not proposing a change in the garbage rates. I hope that the citizens continue to use the class three removal service at a rate that will make that service pay for the services provided. This is going to be a big change, but I think that in the long run that it will work very well.

Theda and I have started working on the budget for 2009. There are three big issues that we have to address in the new budget. We have to budget more money for fuel for all department, a three percent salary increase, and next year we will have 27 payrolls rather than the typical 26. This will cost us about an extra $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 more money in the 2009 budget. This situation occurs every so often because the city employees are paid ever two weeks and because of this we will have an extra payroll next year.

We have scheduled a reception for Mike this Thursday afternoon. We plan to hold it over a two hour period. The reception will be a drop in. This will give his friends a chance to come by and visit for a few minutes and enjoy some snack food and a drink. Friday will be his last day of work for the city. He is getting married on Sunday. I happy for him, he seems to be excited about his retirement and his new life with Donna. She is such a sweet lady. I have known her for several years. The last few years of my work at Wynne High School she was a secretary.

This Saturday Pat, Amy, and I will meet the Dexter family at West Memphis for lunch. I look forward to visiting with them again. We have done this before and we all had a very good time.

I have a wedding to perform on the 18th of this month. I do not know the people getting married, but I taught the man's father several years ago. He called and asked me to do the ceremony. He asked what I charged, I told him that it was free. We agreed that the couple could not complain about the charges.

Monday, October 6, 2008

8:25 AM

I have just announced my decision on the position of Chief of Police for the City of Wynne.

My choice is Jeff Sanders. Jeff has twenty years of law enforcement experience in law enforcement in Cross County. He has ten years with the Cross County Sheriffs office and he has ten years of service with the City of Wynne Police Department. He has held several positions in the department. I think that Jeff will be an excellent chief. I look forward to working with Jeff in his new position. His appointment is effective October 11, 2008.

Friday, October 3, 2008

3:58 PM

I have just ordered three street lights for Highway One south at the EAKUS plant. A few days ago the chamber of commerce contacted me about the need for street lights at this location. The subject had been discussed at a meeting that the chamber had had with EAKUS officials. I told the chamber, and then I contacted an EAKUS official and told them that I would be happy to order the street lights.

I contacted the Entergy representative that day and left a voice mail. He called today and we met at the location and I explained what we needed. He told me to send the form to the Entergy office requesting the lights and that he would start working on his part today. I have sent my request to Entergy. The lights should be installed in a few days. Another happy outcome.
12:52 PM

I have made a decision about who will be the new chief of police. I will announce that decision on Monday October 6, 2008. I have written all of the men who applied for the position and thanked them for their interest in the position. After reviewing the resumes that were submitted and the interviews, I am confident that I have chosen the best man to lead the Wynne Police Department.

The street department started demolition of Jessie Wynne Park this morning. I visited the site for a few minutes this morning and it brought back memories of going to church on that site. When I moved to Wynne in June of 1968 that was the location of Wynne Baptist Church. I have good memories of attending church at that location. Not long after I moved to Wynne the Wynne Baptist Church started the process of moving to a new location in a new building. I still attend the Wynne Baptist Church. There have been several additions and several remodeling projects over the years.

After reviewing the cost of garbage and the changes that have been implemented, I think that we will be able to operate the commercial and residential pickups and not have to increase the cost. This is made possible by the council members choosing to operate the class three removal on a pay as used system and not charging ever household for that service. The savings are possible on the commercial side because we have eliminated the use of the fork truck. We have assigned the driver of that truck to the chipper. The city now chips limbs rather than taking them to the landfill. This change will also reduce the cost to the residents for this removal service.

This morning Joe with the local newspaper called and asked me for a favor. He asked me to proclaim October 4, 2008 as Jenna Cronin Day in Wynne. Jenna is his girlfriend. I told him that I would be happy to do that for him. He picked up the proclamation this morning. He said that Jenna would be proud of that proclamation. I was glad to do that for Joe. He is a very good guy and is doing a good job for the local newspaper, even though he is an LSU fan.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

2:55 PM

I have heard from nine of the ten city council members about the class three trash situation in Wynne. A majority of the council have indicated to me that they want to go to a pay as you use class three trash service.

Starting in January 2009 the city will only pick up class three trash that has been paid for in advance. The citizen will contact the city and request a pickup. A sanitation department employee will visit the residence and measure the pile and present the citizen with bill for removal. The citizen will then pay the sanitation department for the removal. Once the bill has been paid the driver of the knuckleboom truck will be given the order to remove the trash. If the citizens want to deliver their trash to the city shop we will accept it at that location, but they must pay the sanitation department before they will be granted access to our property. This will mean more work for some of our employees, but only the people who use the service will be paying. Because of this decision our sanitation fees will remain at $15.00 per month per household. I know that this is a big change, but I think that the system will work fine once the bugs are worked out. I personally favor this system. Only the people who need the service will have to pay.

I have interviewed two potential men for the position of Chief of Police. I plan to interview one more person and then make a decision. I expect to have a new police chief named by the end of next week.

Jerry and I met this morning with the architect, contractor, and downtown committee at the Jessie Wynne Park. The city is going to do some of the demolition work for the new park. We met to make sure that all parties understood their role in this project. The city crews have begun their part of the demolition. I think that the citizens will be proud of the improvements that are going to become a part of downtown Wynne.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

2:00 PM

I received a resume from eight people, before the deadline, who are interested in the Chief of Police position. I have reviewed the eight and I have chosen to interview three of the candidates. I should be able to offer the position to one of these applicants within a few days.

I have one interview scheduled for this afternoon. I have not contacted one of the three and I have left a phone message for the other person.

People can make a resume look good and can do an excellent job on the interview but not perform an acceptable job if given the chance. I hope that I choose the person who will do the best job for me and the city.