Chamber executive Alicia Gillen brought the big scissors to the ribbon cutting of the Maumelle Library grand reopening. She carries them in a black case resembling a banjo case. Central Arkansas Library System Director Nate Coulter was on hand along with Mayor Mike Watson, CALS Maumelle Board member Stephanie Gibson Branton and other Maumelle city officials and about 30 interested citizens.


Gillen’s scissors cut the ribbon and a reception followed. Several politicians were on hand to schmooze with attendees including State Rep. Mark Lowery and one of his potential challengers for the District 39 seat, Joshua Price. Price will face Monica Ball in the Democratic primary.


Maumelle Library’s 1,377-square-foot addition includes five new study rooms and one additional meeting room. Space was increased in the existing building for a children’s program room. Other features included in the renovation are an upgraded HVAC system, LED lighting, new interior finishes and additional parking spaces.


Funds for the $1.954 million project were provided through bonds issued by the Maumelle Facilities Board in December 2016.


My only constructive criticism would be that the expanded children’s area doesn’t look like a children’s area. It needs come color and signage designating it as such. I was told that is still to come. The library is an important part of every child’s development. Take your child or grandchild for a visit soon.


Judge Bailey giving offenders second chance


Maumelle District Court Judge Rita Bailey is giving out second chances. Kind of. The court will have “Amnesty Mondays” on April 16 and 23 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offenders may start checking in at 8 a.m. “This is a chance for those who have unfinished business with the court to wipe the slate clean without additional punishments or fines,” Judge Bailey said. Some of the common situations covered by the amnesty are: Failure to appear, court-ordered fines, contempt of court, failure to complete community service, and those with some outstanding warrants. According to Maumelle District Court Probation Officer Michael McNeil, you must bring:


• Photo identification


• Current address and phone number


• Money to pay part or all the balance of past-due fines


It was emphasized to me that this is no “trick” to get folks to come in, but a true chance to get their legal issues settled with no additional penalties. Call the court, 851-7800 for more information.


Will he or won’t he?


I had a nice chat with Maumelle Alderman Rick Anderson last week. I asked him point-blank if he was going to run again to retain his Council seat. He told me that if Chad Gardner decides to run, he would not run. I ran into Chad at the library ribbon-cutting and asked if he was running and told me yes, so I suppose that means that Rick won’t run — which he confirmed in an email. It is also rumored that R.J. Mizzoni is considering a run for the Ward 2, Position 2, seat as well. He told me he was “still considering it.” Too bad they live in the same ward. Both would make capable Council members.


Vote count stands


The vote count in the recent special sales tax election was confirmed by the Pulaski County Election Commission. The votes to build the interchange and to remove the community service fee were affirmed. According to Mayor Watson, retailers will begin collecting the sales tax on July 1, but the city will not receive the funds from the state until September. The community service fee will go away in September.


Marion Scott-Coney told me the Vision for the Future group had been billed $22,738.67 for the special election. The group had promised at the outset of the campaign to pay for the election. Now, let’s fix that traffic.


See you on the Boulevard.


Neal Moore is a public relations and advertising consultant and freelance writer. If you have a community concern, Maumelle news tip or if you’re just irritated about something, contact him at neal.moore@sbcglobal.net. Follow him on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, @kneelmore.