Another formal complaint has been made to Texarkana Arkansas City Manager Kenny Haskins regarding what is believed to be shady activity in the dealings of the A&P Commission. This time it is a complaint of secret meetings in the form of emails sent by Chairman Buddy Allen to the Commissioners.
In documents received through an FOI request regarding dealings of the A&P Commission information has surfaced of emails between commissioners that is paramount to what many would call “secret meetings”. Amanda Bower, a representative with the annual “Gathering of Authors” event told us,
“It looks like Allen asked all the commissioners to vote no to hearing our organization. Not to mention the fact that mass communications like this are paramount to a walking quorum…. it’s illegal. The evidence continues to mount against the A&P and Commission Chairman Buddy Allen, and yet nothing happens. The City Board claims no responsibility for this municipal commissions that controls about 1.2 million dollars in taxpayer money every year. And according to their attorney, Josh Potter, they are only accountable to the citizens. So I would ask all taxpayers to contact the City Board and the City Manager, and ask them why Chairman Allen is allowed to continue his tyrannical reign. Call the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office and ask them for an opinion on the A&P’s clear violations.
After organizers of “Gathering of Authors” complained to the City Manager, City Board of Directors, and to the State of Arkansas regarding violations of the A&P Commission earlier this year, Commissioners Tim Johnson, and Sandy Varner formally apologized to the organizers of the Gathering of Authors event for the treatment that they had received from the commission. Multiple commissioners have come out to say that they believe they are not following the bylaws of the commission, with issues being brought up formally as far back as 2015.
Regarding the most recent complaint, Bowers went on to say,
It’s obvious with this newest violation that Commissioner Allen is ok with making deals and persuading votes out of the public eye! How many other organizations have fallen victim to -or gained from- his illegal and unethical tactics? If this pattern of discrimination and poor judgment continues I will file a lawsuit.”
Texarkana Arkansas City Manager Kenny Haskins told us,
The A&P Commission operates as a separate entity, and I have no oversight over them. I will take the complaint to our city attorney, and will move forward with required actions based on his legal advice. It is our hope that all are following the rules and operating in the best interest of the residents and city of Texarkana Arkansas.
Here is a copy of the letter that was delivered to Dr. Haskins,