El Dorado News

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November 12, 2018
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Council to consider revoking civil service hiring ordinance

By Tia Lyons
This article was published November 8, 2018 at 5:00 a.m.

The El Dorado City Council will consider revoking an ordinance that authorizes the El Dorado Civil Service Commission to hire and fire police and fire chiefs.

Mayor Frank Hash said there has been some discussion among council members to return the power of such appointments and terminations to the mayor, with the approval of the city council.

The ordinance, which is based on a state law that applies to First Class cities in Arkansas, was signed by former Mayor Mike Dumas in April 1995.

“It’s not uncommon for the mayor and city council to have that authority. To have that power delegated to a lower commission … some on the council want to bring that power back to the mayor to bring the city in line with other First Class cities,” Hash said.

The council will also consider a request to close a portion of South Jackson Avenue to make way for an Arkansas Department of Transportation project to widen US 82-B/Hillsboro through El Dorado.

Hash said the closure would cover about a one-block area, the 400 block, near the Hillsboro viaduct, which will be replaced as part of the project.

“We’ll still be able to use it once construction is completed. It’ll be their right-of-way, but we’ll still be able to use it,” the mayor said.

Also on the council’s agenda is a proposed ordinance amendment that would hold contractors accountable when they bore into city streets and do not adequately repair them.

“Our current ordinance is not strong enough and not detailed enough for when plumbers and independent contractors cut into the streets. They quite often do not put them back properly,” Hash said.

“The new ordinance will have diagrams and more details, including penalties. These contractors may be liable to fines if they do not put the streets back properly,” the mayor said.

The council is also looking to fill a vacancy on the Water Advisory Board.

Board member Phillip Stone resigned due to scheduling conflicts.

The five-member board works with city officials to oversee operations for the El Dorado Water Utilities.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com.

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