The two newest members of the Pine Bluff City Council will officially take their seats Monday following a swearing-in ceremony in council chambers at 5:30 p.m.
Retired Pine Bluff Police Chief Ivan Whitfield was elected by voters in Ward 3, and Joni Alexander, who formerly worked for former Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, was selected by voters in Ward 1. Both will be holding elected office for the first time.
They and the other members of the council will contend with only a brief agenda since council committees have not been selected yet, and there are only two items scheduled for discussion and votes.
The first of those is a resolution sponsored by Mayor Shirley Washington supporting the settlement of a lawsuit filed by Jerry Brasfield against the city and appropriating funds to pay for the settlement.
The lawsuit, filed in 2014, names the City of Pine Bluff as well as city inspector Mitzi Ruth in her individual and official capacity. According to the proposed resolution, “upon advice of legal counsel and to avoid the further anticipated costs of litigation, the city has determined that settling the aforementioned matter is the best course of economic action.”
The settlement provides that Brasfield and his attorney will be paid $15,000. In return, Brasfield agrees to obtain all the necessary permits required in the building, electrical, plumbing, maintenance and mechanical codes of the city/and all work being performed or accomplished at the property located at 1218 E. 7th Ave. will be done by a person or persons with the licensing and certifications necessary to do the work.
Brasfield also agrees to allow either Jeff Gaston or Louis Blanks, who are electrical inspectors for the city, to conduct a complete electrical inspection of both the interior and exterior of the property at 1218 E. 7th Ave. Once that inspection is completed, Brasfield will be eligible for all the permits he is required to obtain.
The settlement agreement also provides that the city will waive the permit fees.
Also on the agenda Monday is a resolution approving the extension of a service agreement with AT&T for telephone and communications services. A copy of that resolution was not available.