Our View: Earle fiasco has dragged on long enough

It is an absolute shame that the people of Earle have to be subjected to such political nonsense when there is such a tremendous need for good, quality leadership that clearly is lacking. Finally, it appears the voters of this small town of just barely 2,400 residents that lies on the eastern end of Crittenden County, may just have an opportunity to recall their mayor who has been entrenched in controversy since defeating then Mayor Otis Davis in his failed re-election bid last January. Among Mayor Carolyn Jones latest antics is her calling her critics “liars” for what she says are untrue rumors and is accusing them of running the city down. “We’ve got ministers and educators creating controversy. We ought to be helping people get along,” Jones told those attending a recent city council meeting. This latest episode seems to have centered around an appointment to the police commission in which critics claim the individual not only isn’t a registered voter in Earle but isn’t even a law enforcement officer as the Jones claims. And, from the county clerk’s office, Jones’ appointee is actually a registered voter and has an Earle address. Records also indicate the individual voted in the 2014 general election, runoff election, as well as the school board election. Jones is also claiming the individual had worked in law enforcement for 34 years despite what is being said by her critics. Further responding to her critics, Jones said, “I will track them down if it takes me 40 years. I will track them down and choke it. I will track them down and shoot it — a lie. I don’t care if you are a preacher, deacon sister. If you create a division, you’re a liar…” said the embattled mayor. So seems Davis, the defeated former mayor, spearheaded a meeting of about 75 residents recently to discuss their frustrations about the direction of the city under the control of Jones’s administration and what their course of action will be. There is little doubt that Davis is seizing the opportunity to criticize Jones in this latest controversy and said the mayor’s comments regarding her calling those who are criticizing her actions as “liars” is totally inappropriate. Davis said, “For a mayor to use those words to the citizens at a public meeting is totally inappropriate,” said Davis. Let’s be totally honest here and make it clear that there are no winners or losers in this situation that has gone on for far too long. There is no doubt that Jones has placed herself in the position she is in based on her past actions as major, from the inappropriate use of a police vehicle to other questionable behavior. The citizens of Earle deserve better from their elected officials and this small city needs strong, progressive leadership if it has any change of turning a serious economic situation around. From the outside looking it, it is definitely sad to see that Earle, once a growing and healthy city is now struggling to survive. While Jones may be mayor the fact of the matter is that she certainly faces some very serious problems that should not be compromised by this internal and destructive infighting and poor leadership. It appears that if this petition effort is successful and the voters of Earle have their say Mayor Jones will find herself turning in the keys to city hall sooner than she had hoped.

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