TBM councillors on housing corp. can vote how they want: lawyer

The Blue Mountains councillors appointed to the board of directors for the Blue Mountains Attainable Housing Corporation (BMAHC) are not required to vote how council as a whole wishes them to while they are attending board meetings.

At council’s committee of the whole meeting on March 13, CAO Shawn Everitt delivered a report to clarify the roles and responsibilities of members of council who have been appointed to the housing corporation’s board of directors as town representatives. Mayor Andrea Matrosovs and Coun. Shawn Everitt are the current representatives from the town on the board.

Everitt’s report provided a legal opinion on the matter from lawyer John Mascarin of Aird and Berlis.

The CAO provided Mascarin with four questions about the roles and responsibilities of the council appointees. Mascarin’s full reply can be found here.

The questions included:

Question: Do the members have a conflict of interest between their roles as councillors for the town and directors of the BMAHC?

Answer: The members may have a conflict of interest, but it is one that is recognized at law. They are entitled to still consider, debate, discuss and vote on matters and questions at both the council and at the BMAHC board.

Question: While attending a meeting of the BMAHC board, are the members representing the town or BMAHC?

Answer: The councillors who have been appointed to the BMAHC board are representatives of the town but, they are directors of the BMAHC board and they must act and decide matters as directors at the BMAHC board with a view to the best interests of the BMAHC, even if those interests are contrary to council who appointed them.

Question: If the members vote one way at the meeting of council on a question or matter are they required to vote the same

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Little Rock city attorney raises ‘serious legal concerns’ about LITFest contract

There are “serious legal concerns” about the contract to produce LITFest between the city of Little Rock and the consulting firm Think Rubix, City Attorney Tom Carpenter said in a letter to Major Frank Scott Jr. and members of the Board of Directors in a Friday letter.

The Arkansas Times received a copy of letter as part of a Freedom of Information request.

Carpenter cites an undated Zoom conference call between Kendra Pruittchief of staff to Scott, other representatives of the city; Tristan Wilkerson, head of Think Rubix; and other Think Rubix employees, which Matt Campbell of The Blue Hog Report reported on yesterday. In the call, which happened before the LITFest contract was signed, Pruitt acknowledges that the festival will likely cost into the six figures and that the city will provide its resources, including from the Little Rock Police, Public Works and Parks departments “at evidently no cost for materials, overtime, or other matters,” Carpenter says.

But Carpenter says the most important thing the call reveals is that the major’s office wanted to keep the matter from reaching the board. The city’s policy is that all contracts up to $50,000 can be authorized by the city manager without board consideration. Think Rubix’s contract to produce the festival is for $45,000.

In the call, Wilkerson asked if it was possible to increase that contract amount. Pruitt responded, “If we go above [$50,000] within this contract, that would trigger a need to go before a board. It becomes political at that point. That would just be something we’d have to deal with there. I think it’s possible to leverage some sponsorship dollars for additional work as necessary because that wouldn’t be city money and therefore wouldn’t require that political step if you will. … I don’t

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