In case you missed it: Dec. 14 Town Hall Meeting

Last night, Mayor Jordan had his fourth town hall meeting in Ward One. City officials from several departments reviewed the news around the city.

Here’s a brief recap, in case you missed it:

Finance Director Paul Becker summed up the city’s budget by saying things haven’t gotten worse since the first quarter when it became clear there would be a shortfall, but things also haven’t gotten much better.

Karen Minkel, director of strategic planning for the city, emphasized the importance of the upcoming 2010 census, saying the results determine how federal money is divvied up, as well as how many congressional representatives a state has.

To perform the count in this area, the U.S. Census Bureau will hire about 1,000 people in the Fayetteville and Springdale, Minkel said. These openings are federal positions, so the city will not conduct the hiring, she said, but for information, call 866-861-2010.

Jeremy Pate, director of development services, reported that the animal shelter has had about 1,600 adoptions so far this year. For next year, the shelter’s goal is to reach 2,000 adoptions.

The animal shelter has restructured, Pate said, so the shelter has a new superintendent, Justine Middleton, as well as a new senior secretary and senior animal control officer.

During the question and answer portion of the meeting, residents seemed most concerned with sidewalks and crosswalks.

Residents who live south of the square and Highway 71B feel cut off from the downtown area because there is no direct pedestrian crosswalk, said Alan Ostner, president of the Jennings Plus neighborhood association. Neighbors in the area end up driving the short distance to the square because of the traffic.

Terry Gulley, the city’s transportation director said a crosswalk had been installed about two years ago in that area, but it was immediately dismantled because of safety concerns from speeding traffic along the curves.

A Census 2010 pack handed out by Karen Minkel, director of strategic planning

Mary Robbins is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She declared Fayetteville as her hometown upon moving here for college. She is a Journalism graduate who enjoys live music, the outdoors and attending city council meetings. For more of Mary’s contributions, visit her author page.