With deadline nearing, 85 have applied for committees

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
With six working days now before April 29, approximately 85 persons have applied as of Friday for the six community committees as part of the Hope/Hempstead Strategic Plan initiative that has been ongoing this spring.
April Campbell, an AEDI principal in the initiative, said Friday “We want these committees to look like the community; we want citizens to apply and get involved.”
The six community committees are Community Development, Economic Development, Tourism, Quality of Life, Education, and Public Projects. The committees were formed and came out of an Arkansas Economic Development community survey that was offered to citizens in February and early March.
As a little over a week remains, Campbell said that interested Hope and Hempstead County citizens can still submit an application for one of the six committees. The application is online at two links: or www.
For citizens without Internet service or no computer access, paper applications in hard copy are available at Hope City Hall, the Hempstead County Courthouse, Hope/Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, and the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.
Hope City Manager Catherine Cook had also said that computer access for applications would be also available at Hope City Hall to fill out an online application there.
Campbell explained Friday that the applications are going to the AEDI in Little Rock, where an unbiased panel of AEDI personnel would review the applications and make the assignments to the six committees.
Campbell added that the members of the six committees would be announced on May 3, and the first gathering of the committees would be May 16, meeting with both the AEDI and the existing initiative Steering Committee. Each committee will meet once a month from May to September 2019.
The three named co-chairs overseeing the six committees are Chris Smith, Jacob Jones, and Lorena Jenkins; however, Campbell noted that six committees would also have and name their own individual chairpersons.
On April 8, Cook issued a wide ranging press release, titled “Come Join in the Plan” encouraging citizens to apply for the six committees. The press release was also distributed through the Hempstead County Economic Development Corp. in a series of emails. Flyers encouraging citizen participation and applications have also been distributed countywide, including in both English and Spanish.

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