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Our View Credit where credit is due in West Memphis

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Since becoming mayor almost a year ago now, Marco McClendon has put forth an aggressive and ambitious agenda specifically designed to transform this county’s largest city into destination unlike anything this delta region has ever seen before.

As in any complex plan there will be unexpected potholes in the road of progress which are of no fault of those, such as McClendon, who are sincerely trying to make a positive difference in the lives of those citizens they serve.

Let’s take for example this recent and unfortunately revelation involving a proven leader, community advocate and a true friend to scores of Crittenden Countians.

McClendon, in his quest to surround himself with the best possible talent available, picked well-known Crittenden Countian Steve Jones as the city’s first Director of Business and Community Relations.

Unfortunately, during Jones’ impressive career path he was involved in a felony bribery conviction which we, and everyone else were well aware. What was unknown at the time of the hire was that Jones was ineligible to work for a government entity due to his felony conviction based on a recently passed Arkansas law.

Let us be clear by saying that Jones has made full restitution and has since been a contributing member of our community in many positive ways. Among the candidates that did apply for this new position it was beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jones is the most qualified to carry out the duties and responsibilities of this position.

At the request of McClendon, Jones will serve the City of West Memphis as a volunteer until efforts are successfully made to change this ridiculous state law that prohibits individuals who have committed a felony and have made full restitution from working for a local or state governmental position.

It will be at that time of rectifying this situation that we’re sure McClendon will move forward to welcoming Jones as part of his progressive team of planner and doers.

And for further note, let us say that those of us at Crittenden Publishing Company can certainly vouch for Jones’ integrity in that for many years he represented this company as a very successful commercial printing executive.

Let us also say that our recent story regarding Jones not being eligible for the city position the references to issues that have mentioned none, and we say none, can be associated with McClendon who, when made aware of the situations, immediately addressed them in proper manner.

Based on all the positive things that are occurring in West Memphis these minor distractions should not stand in the way of progress or in any way deflate the optimism this community has in what lies ahead.

As far as our job is concerned in reporting the news and events of not only this city but all of Crittenden County we have complimented and supported what this city administration has done in less than a year and look forward to promoting the good things to come in the near and distant future.

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