CAPC votes for 3rd time to re-appoint Carter to seat
The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission voted for a third time to reappoint chairman Jeff Carter to Position 1 at a special called meeting on Thursday, July 8.
The commission previously voted on June 30 to reappoint Carter, the second vote on the same issue. The original vote to reappoint Carter took place at the commission’s May 26 meeting, where commissioners James DeVito, Harry Meyer, Melissa Greene, Carol Wright and Patrick Burnett agreed to keep Carter on the commission.
Carter did not vote.
Carroll County Circuit Judge Scott Jackson ruled May 26 that commissioner Greg Moon was illegally removed from the commission in January, but the commissioners refused to allow Moon to sit at the table during that night’s meeting.
Burnett, who was appointed to Moon’s position in February, voted on all the agenda items.
On June 30, Carter said the commission would have to revote on every decision made at the May 26 meeting, including his reappointment.
Greene moved to reappoint Carter and commissioner Bobbie Foster, who was not present at the May 26 meeting, said she was “highly disappointed” in where the commission has found itself.
“I feel like we’re in the place that we are right now, Jeff, because of some of the things that were done by you and it’s going to be a struggle for me to say I want to put you back on here after all that we’ve been through,” Foster said.
Foster said she knew it didn’t matter if she voted no, because the commission would vote to reappoint Carter regardless.
On June 30, Moon asked if anyone else applied for Carter’s position. Greene said no one applied and finance director Rick Bright said there were applications from Bill King and Rodney Slane when Moon was removed from the commission in January. Meyer said those applications weren’t for Carter’s position.
“I think it should be out there for others to apply for before we vote,” Moon said.
“We’ve already made a nomination,” Greene said.
The commission then voted 4-2 to reappoint Carter, with Wright, Meyer and Greene voting yes and Foster and Moon voting no. Carter voted for himself to create a majority. According to the 2019 Arkansas Code Title 26-75-605, a vacancy on the commission “resulting from expiration of a regular term or otherwise … shall be filled by appointment made by the remaining members of the commission, with the approval of the governing body of the city.”
Mayor Butch Berry said you shouldn’t vote for yourself if you’ve got a financial interest in the matter.
“I don’t think legally there’s anything wrong with voting for yourself,” Berry said. “It’s just always better not to, and there’s no state law that you can’t.”
The special called meeting on July 8 took place during a workshop that was scheduled a week in advance. Notification for the special called meeting was sent by the mayor’s assistant Kim Stryker at 3:38 p.m. on July 8, two hours and 22 minutes before the meeting took place.
“There’s a meeting?” Foster asked when she arrived for the workshop a little before 5 p.m.
“The mayor’s office requested that we revote if everyone’s in attendance, that everyone gets the chance to vote,” Carter told Foster.
Moon confirmed that he was notified of the meeting via email a few hours before it took place. He was not present for the meeting.
The meeting lasted only 54 seconds, with Greene asking if Moon would be in attendance.
“Greg is supposed to be here,” Carter said. “He messaged me.”
Bright then informed the commission that Moon had taken a friend to the hospital in Fayetteville and was on his way back. Greene said it was “no big deal” and that she “just wanted to make sure because I don’t want to pull something.”
“That’s OK,” Meyer said. “We have quorum.”
DeVito then nominated Carter for Seat 1 and the commission voted 4-1 to approve the nomination.
Foster was the lone dissenting vote.