Bryant City Council makes no decision on bond issue

The Bryant City Council members met in special session Thursday evening to address a proposed bond issue, but made no decision.

This issue — which was rejected by voters in May — has been revised to include only park improvements as suggested by Bryant People for Parks. This organization is made up of many of the various athletic associations in Bryant.

During the meeting, council members heard two different views about the issue during the public comment section before Alderman Rob Roedel presented a motion to adjourn without a decision.

"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the issue, which was done," Roedel said after adjournment.
Steve Glenn, president of Bryant People for Parks, said the organization feels "Boone Road would be a good addition," but that having the improvements together is confusing for voters.

"The needs still exist," he said. "Why don't we do something different?"

He also noted that if the issue is not on the ballot in November, the opportunity to address it will not be available again until May 2016.

Others in the meeting contended the road is an important part of the project, but say putting the issue on the ballot now is too rushed.

"You want to put together a plan. Put together a plan that's excellent," said Carlton Billingsley, who recently announced he is seeking a council set in the November general election.

Joe Heard, a member of the Bryant Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, said this issue was not brought before the committee but instead was mentioned after the meeting.

The committee "wants the needs (of the parks department) met but not at the expense of safety or greater good," he said.

Jim Erwin, chairman of the Planning Commission, also said the issue did not go before this group. He said he learned about it on a social media website.

"This just doesn't smell good, guys," he said.

In order to meet deadlines to file the correct paperwork to have the issue on the ballot, the council will have to call another special meeting Monday and pass an ordinance, said Bryant staff attorney Chris Madison.

Paul Phillips of Crews & Associates, who is an underwriter for the project, said the ordinance could be ready Monday only if none of the proposed projects changes.

Roedel said he does not think another meeting will be called and he will not suggest holding one, he said.