By Martin Couch
Bryant’s Adrian Henley of Ward 3 might be the youngest of the eight city aldermen, but his voice carries weight among the city council.
Growing up in Bryant since he was 14 and graduating from Bryant High School, Henley decided he wanted to be involved in his community.[more]
“I saw how Bryant was growing and I wanted to make sure it grew in the right direction,” he said. “Unless you are doing something actively in the city, you can’t have an active voice in what goes on, the way I see it.”
Henley was elected as one of two Ward 3 aldermen when Larry Smart decided not to run for the position again.
“I felt like it was good time to get involved,” said Henley, who is pursuing his degree in pharmacy. “Ward 3 is the older part of town — the original part where the City Hall area is.”
Henley’s district spans from Bryant High School southeast to the new Saline County municipal airport.
“Some of the concerns that I hear in my area is the people wanting to see some improvements to Ashley Park, as well as to the new developments in Bryant,” he said. “They want to see everything being taken care of in due diligence with the taxpayers’ money. I’d like to see the city keep growing in the same direction. It’s a great bedroom community for those who live and work in Little Rock and the people want to see the taxpayers’ money used responsibly like keeping the roads in shape and the community nice.”
Reflecting on Ashley Park, Henley said, “I’d like to see it turned into a town center and get all of our government entities in one place and create a true township to give Bryant something to be proud of.”
One of the most common calls from his constituents in Ward 3 has been in regard to the increase in the city sewer bill.
“I was hoping when we got the turnback money from the new census we could reduce taxes, but that money has already been spent on bonds for streets,” Henley said. “By state statute, you have to have water and sewer separate and cannot use revenues for water to pay for sewer. That’s why water and sewer on your bill are different and all of those years we had a water and sewer committee, we used the water revenues to pay for the sewer, then we found out that it was no longer feasible to do by law. So the sewer rates went up.”
Henley supports the fact that Bryant will be allowed water from Lake DeGray.
“CAW (Central Arkansas Water) sells us their water surplus and, if it ever comes down to a tight situation on us getting water, because we are landlocked, we can look to bring in our own water from Lake DeGray,” he said. “It might not be used for another 30 years, but it will be there.”