City of Hardy council members made the decision to split the Department of Public Safety into two departments and learned more about the termination of a Hardy police officer at the regular scheduled meeting held Oct. 3.
During the speakers portion, near the beginning of the program, Scott Hart, who is known by many as one of the three full-time Hardy police officers, read a letter to council members, “as formal notice of appeal to reinstate my position with the Hardy Police Department.” After Hart’s presentation, the council decided the matter was best discussed in executive session, which would take place near the end of the meeting.
Once regular business was complete, the council moved into executive session. Upon returning to open session, no motion was made in regards to Hart’s termination, meaning Mayor Jason Jackson’s decision to terminate Hart stood.
Hart’s termination has raised several questions and it has been confirmed that Hardy Police Chief Tamara Taylor did not agree with the mayor’s decision.
Throughout the meeting, council members heard good news regarding the budget. Though newly appointed recorder/treasurer Greg Bess still has a lot of work ahead of him, he is organizing the city’s budget so council members can view department budgets and be able to answer questions about funds in various accounts.
One suggestion Bess made to the council is to establish the upcoming year’s budget earlier than previous years. Several minutes for previous meetings were approved with changes by council members.
For years, the Department of Public Safety in Hardy has joined the police and fire departments under one entity. Council members voted to split the two departments; allowing Chief Taylor more time to focus on police department business. Jason Griffin, who was recently appointed Assistant Fire Chief, is now Chief of the Hardy Volunteer Fire Department. Hardy City Council voted to increase the position’s salary from $300/monthly to $600/monthly.
Griffin also took the council meeting as an opportunity to praise the work of a young firefighter. Austin Rose took an interest in firefighting at a young age and has developed his passion for helping people in the form of training. He recently graduated from the Arkansas Fire Training Academy after nine weeks of training. Griffin also added Rose is a nationally certified firefighter and a true asset to the HVFD.
Hardy City Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at city hall.