LIVE UPDATES: Special Fayetteville City Council recap: June 24, 2020

File photo

On the agenda…

A proposal to re-establish a city Board of Health and to create a city health officer position. It includes $50,000 in emergency funding to support the board and new position.

» Download the full agenda

A special meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, 2020. It is lived streamed on the city’s YouTube channel, and held virtually on the Zoom app due to social distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Listed below are the items up for approval and links to PDF documents with detailed information on each item of business.

Roll Call

Present: Sonia Gutierrez, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sloan Scroggin, Sarah Bunch, Kyle Smith
Absent: Teresa Turk

» View current attendance records

New Business

1. Establish the Fayetteville City Board of health and the position of City Health Officer (Details)

A resolution to establish the Fayetteville City Board of Health and the position of City Health Officer, and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $50,000.00.

In Arkansas, cities can create a Board of Health that has important powers during epidemics. The city repealed its Board of Health less than two years ago due to lack of business. This proposal is to reconstitute the board as an independent body whose purpose is primarily advisory with respect to relevant governmental units. Other duties may be taken up by the board if the board judges those duties to be necessary for the public health and in accordance with relevant ordinances, statutes, and guidelines.

The proposal recommends filling the new Board with the following positions:
1. Officer or director of city’s largest medical research institution
2. Officer or director city’s largest hospital system
3. Current or former university clinic director/manager
4. Current or former multi-site clinic director/manager
5. Current or former director/manager of a psychiatric clinic or social services provider
• Ex-officio, at-large with relevant credentials
• Ex-officio, at-large with relevant credentials
• Ex-officio, city public safety director as designated by the Mayor
• Ex-officio, Mayor

Prospective members:
1. Jay Gandy, PhD., Associate Provost, UAMS Northwest.
2. Lenny Whiteman, Vice President of Managed Care, Washington Regional.
3. Huda Sharaf, MD., Medical Director, Pat Walker Health Center.
4. Gary Berner, MD., Chief Medical Officer, Community Clinic.
5. Joey Gardner, DSW. Care Coordinator Supervisor, Beacon Health Operations.
• Stephanie Ho, MD. Physician, Vector Health and Wellness.
• Hershey Garner, JD MD. Physician, Highlands Oncology Group.
• Brad Hardin, Fire Chief, City of Fayetteville.
• Lioneld Jordan, Mayor, City of Fayetteville.

» See the full agenda packet for more information

Council Member Petty said he hopes the board could meet for the first time by the end of the week, and then every two weeks moving forward through the duration of the pandemic.

A prospective first agenda for the board includes votes to:
1. Affirm that the city is indeed in a state of epidemic
2. Advise the epidemiological necessity of Fayetteville’s mask law
3. Request that the governor hold his almost-daily COVID-19 press conference in Fayetteville in approximately two weeks

Council Member Marsh asked if the prospective members have the time and desire to serve on the board. Petty said he’s spoken to everyone except Lenny Whiteman at Washington Regional. Mayor Jordan said he would call everyone tomorrow to confirm.

Marsh said after the initial crisis peaks, she’d like to see the board eventually discuss some of the mental health, domestic violence, and poverty issues that coincide with the pandemic.

The council voted 7-0 to approve the resolution. Council Member Turk was out of town for this meeting.


This meeting was adjourned at 6:01 p.m.