Leachville City Council declines to overrule Parks Commission ruling

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Leachville City Council met Monday, April 3, and discussed baseball player transfer request, appointments to housing board, and approval of jail fees.

Leachville resident Church Brown asked the council to sign a waiver allowing his son Drake to play baseball with Monette. Brown had been denied permission earlier by the Leachville Parks Association for his son's transfer.

Brown sited lack of leadership with the association as his reason for his request, and the fact the association officers had never been approved by the council. The association does not have a president this year, only officers.

Nathan Sanders, secretary-treasurer for the association, defended the group's actions, stating it was the decision of the association and league, fearing it might set a precedent for handling players in the future if a waiver was approved. Sanders explained the commission is made up of volunteers and coaches who agree to work in the city's summer sports program.

A permission slip was sent home with BIC East Elementary students in February for inclusion in the summer sports program. The deadline for turning in the form was 2-4 p.m. Feb. 12, and again from 2-4 p.m. on Feb. 19. The form includes names of parents or guardians who are willing to coach or be an assistant. Coaches and association members were selected from the volunteers.

The 2006 Leachville Parks Commission officers include Sanders, coach Chris Stuck, coach John Stone, coach Rick Scoggins, grounds keeper Stan Whitlow, and volunteer Ken Womack.

Sanders explained that Drake Brown had an option to transfer to the BIC West Elementary, in Monette, where he would then have an option to play for the Monette team.

Mayor Ralph Wells and the council members declined to overrule the actions of the association, claiming they are currently in charge of the summer sports program.

In other council business:

*Council approved the appointment of Earl Towell to the Leachville Housing Authority board of directors.

*Announced the date for the Buffalo Island Relay for Life as June 16-17 at the Leachville City Park.

*Approved a resolution between the Leachville and Mississippi County setting jail fees at $20 per day for one year.

*Agreed to pay $478. for the city's police department 10 percent matching part of the Justice Assistant Grant, totaling $4,788.

*Council voted to close the Harvest Festival Fund and open a Police Car Donation Fund. A $300 private donation has already been received.

*Work is continuing on city employee handbook. The city is waiting on approval from city attorney Mike Bearden before finalizing the book.

*Council comments included appreciation for the First Responders and Fire Department employees serving as volunteers during the Marmaduke tornado. Workers included Mark Johnson, Keith Evans, Tony Nix, Brandon Ammons and others from the fire department. The First Responder van was taken to the city to help with the search for injured or missing residents.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on May 8, beginning at 7 p.m., at city hall.

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