The HSVPOA Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) met on Friday, July 1, 2022, at 9:00 AM at the Ouachita Room at the Ponce de Leon Center. There were two special presentations – The History of the GAC and JP Keith Keck’s 2022 Primary Election Analysis.

Bob Pettey, Chair of the GAC, introduced the new committee members and they all shared a little background information. The new committee members are:

  • Paul Bridges – Bridges moved to the Village from Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2004, purchasing property in ’05.
  • Debra Cox is a new GAC member, pending Board of Director approval. Cox moved to Village from Minnesota and as a ‘newby’ is hoping to bring a different perspective to the GAC.
  • Ron Davis moved to the Village from Iowa eight years ago. Davis has a background in the health industry, and Pettey said he was very pleased to see Davis’ application as the committee has been looking for a health care professional to be on the committee for a long time.
  • Arnie Holtberg was absent due to being out of town.
  • Tamhra Hutchins-Frye is a native Arkansan.
  • Bob Nettles is a native Mississippian who because a Village resident five years ago.

Change to the agenda – Melissa Speers was unable to attend the meeting.

Two special programs today:

  • The GAC: Past, Present, and Future with Bob Shoemaker and Jim Zahnd speaking about the past and Bob Pettey talking about moving forward in the GAC. Originally, Tom Arwood was scheduled to speak, but he was unable to attend the meeting.
  • The second special program was a 2022 Primary Election Analysis by J.P. Keith Keck.

Click here to read HSVPOA Governmental Affairs Committee History.

Click here to read GM Kelly Hale’s Clarification on the role of committees.

Click here to read 2022 Primary Election Analysis – JP Keith Keck.

GM Kelly Hale – Report to GAC

  • Hale is working with the schools and parents to get the next generation of workers for the village. He wants to mend the fences.
  • ADEQ Permitting for Water and Sewer Treatment Plants – Hale said he and Public Service Director, Ken Unger, went to Little Rock to work with the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environmental Quality. They gleaned information about the legislative wording change that is needed in order to keep the Village categorized as a municipality, as it has always been in the past for purposes of the Water/Sewer Treatment Plant permits. They were able to obtain an extension on the current permit.
  • 911 Calls – Hale said he also worked with the 911 Commission. There are centralized points throughout the state of Arkansas that 911 calls come through and the number of the centers is being reduced from 100 to 75.
  • Rebranding Kevin Sexton – Senior staff member, Kevin Sexton, has been rebranded from the Director of Tourism and Public Affairs. “I could not figure out why I needed a tourism director,” said Hale. His new role is Public Affairs and Land Management.
  • Hale said staff is meeting with the Arkansas Builders’ Association in order to recruit more builders.
  • They are also working to bring in large corporations for the purpose of corporate golf retreats and possibly enticing some of them to move here. Hale stated, “It is really about marketing and selling the Village to everyone around.”
  • Hale said the POA mindset now is to take care of what CCI left us. [Hale is referring to the maintenance of what we already have.] The GM said, “When you start looking at it, between water/sewer, the roads, culverts, golf courses” there is a lot of work that needs to be done. “We need a plan.”

Pettey said, “There are a lot of pigeon holes we don’t fit in. What we are looking to do is build our own pigeon hole and export that pigeon hole in broadband, in water, and whatever other area we can. That is the goal.”

Click here to read Storm Clouds Coming From Tax Assessors Office.

GAC Recently Lost Two Members

Bob Pettey said two members recently resigned. David Childs was the only person still left on the GAC when Pettey came onboard. Childs said, “It is important that organizations constantly look for opportunities to evolve, grow, and improve. Now is the perfect time for GAC to add as much new talent and new ideas as possible and I can contribute to that improvement by stepping aside and making additional room.”

Pettey thanked David Childs for his contribution.

Pettey said, “Steve Rittenmeyer resigned last week after the U.S. Supreme Court came down with its decision on the abortion case. Steve is a Democrat and he feels he needs to get back into more partisan politics and felt it could present a potential for conflict of interest. As you know, in the Charter for the committee, we are to work on a nonpartisan basis. To avoid even the appearance of impropriety, Steven has stepped aside.”

That leaves the committee with one vacancy because they have already filled one of the vacant seats with Debra Cox, pending Board approval. Pettey suggest they leave the vacant seat open for now while they are going through the process of checking out the Garland County beat, Saline County beat, the Little Rock beat and the Healthcare beat to see if there is a niche that needs to be filled.

Economic Impact Report

There are only a few paper copies left of the Economic Impact Report. Click here to read the report online. Pam Avila is working on ‘one-pagers’. There are five different ‘one-pager’ versions coming, meant to target specific groups. One is for economic development, another targets new residents. There are also versions for political and elected officials, and one for the healthcare industry. The ‘one-pagers’ will have a QR code that can be scanned to pull up the entire document.

Shoutout to Dakoka Estes

Pettey said the Blues Brothers concert was really fun and thanked Manager Estes for the nice lighting work.

Consolidation of Saline and Garland County Libraries

JP Keith Keck said the Saline County and Garland County Libraries are talking about consolidation – going to a regional library. They want to make sure the Village is part of the discussion.

Highway 5 Update

The striping needs to be finished. By mid July, ARDOT hopes the asphalt will be done. They hope to have the road completed by fall.

The next GAC meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 5, 2022, at 9:00 AM, Ponce de Leon Center, Ouachita Room.