When Ashley County Judge Jim Hudson presented the Quorum Court with the idea of changing its monthly meeting times, the Quorum would not budge.
The Quorum Court meets at 2:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of the month. Hudson said that he has had multiple people ask why the meetings are not in the evening.
“It’s not up to me, it’s up to y’all, but there are a lot of people who want to be here,” Hudson said.
Hudson said that doing the meeting at 6 p.m. would mean that people wouldn’t have to take off work.
“I like 2:30 just fine,” Justice Ricky Sims said.
Justice Rhonda Pippen said that she had children and could not do evening meetings.
Justice Hiram Taylor suggested that the meetings be moved as a test, but the idea didn’t go over with the other Quorum Court members.
“It’s always been at 2:30, and 2:30 has always worked before,” Pippen said.
Justice Ronnie Wheeler made a motion to continue the meetings on the second Tuesday and the motion passed.
Hudson said there are no limitations and that the decision is strictly up to the Quorum Court.
“I don’t know how long they’ve been at 2:30 or when that decision was made, but I’ve been here for two years and it has been that way the entire time,” Hudson said.
Hudson said he simply suggested the change to the court in Tuesday’s meeting because of the volume of complaints he receives about the time.
“It’s not been just a few, I’ve had several people come to me and say they would be there if it was in the evening,” Hudson said. “If people want to be there, we want them there,” Hudson said.
In neighboring counties, the Quorum Court meets either in the morning or in the evening. The Chicot County Quorum Court has its meetings at 9 a.m., and the Drew County Quorum Court meets at 7 p.m.
Hudson said the majority of the people complaining suggested evening meetings. There are also community members who have said anytime other than 2:30 p.m. would be good.
“I’m sure for the working majority, late evenings are best, I am a stay-at-home mom, so during school hours would be good for me, but I am in the car rider line at 2:30 everyday, “ Meagan Lum of Crossett said.
Brandon Kelley, a Crossett police officer, said that he would like to attend, but anything before 4 p.m. is out of the question for him. Others suggested that it be done the same way as the local city council and school board meetings.
“Most people can not make it during the day, I think it should be just like city council or school board meetings and be in the evenings,” Dianna Martinie of Crossett said.
Ebony Williams agreed, saying she would be able to attend a 6 p.m. Quorum Court meeting.
“I would love to go, but it would have to be at 6 or 7 in the evening,” Williams said.
Hudson said that he supports the change in time, but the decision is not up to him.