Council tries to move past divisions; sends Sign Ordinance back to Planning

By Jamie Miller

“We are on a new page and moving forward,” Mayor Jill Dabbs said at Thursday’s City[more] Council meeting. This, following a statement made by Alderman Steve Gladden addressing the current Council’s public division.

“Trying to destroy one another will destroy the good image of our town,” Gladden stated. He went on to say that he and the other City Council members were placed in office on a non-partisan basis without politics involved and that, instead of being divided like they have been since January 2011, they should work as a team.

Following Gladden’s statement, the floor was opened for public comments. Several citizens approached the Council about the Sign Ordinance that was given to the Council for a preliminary vote at last night’s meeting. According to citizen’s statements, business owners in Bryant still have issues with a few areas of the ordinance including the banner section and the replacement provisions for current signs that might be blown down and/or destroyed.

When the Sign Ordinance was reached in the agenda, Mayor Dabbs asked that each Alderman and Alderwoman state their thoughts on the issue. Alderman Danny Steele began by informing the Council that he thought the Ordinance needed to be “tidied up” and he made a motion to send it back to the Planning Commission. Some Aldermen disagreed saying that there had been to several public hearings and meetings about the Sign Ordinance and that now it was the Council’s job to get it where it needed to be. Steele stayed with his first motion but all members agreed that it still needed work so, after the Planning Commission finishes with it, the Council will have a workshop concerning the Ordinance.

Other items on the agenda included a recap from this year’s Bryant Family Festival presented by James Ballew, Festival Director. He showed a video of all the attractions such as the hot air balloons, the 14 live concerts, the BMX bike show and much more. After the video, Ballew asked the Council for the City’s support for the 2012 festival so that he can begin securing national acts for the concerts and other attractions. After some deliberation, the council decided to allow for a budget neutral $20,000 for the festival since that is the amount that has been allotted in the past for the event.

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