- Associated Press - Thursday, May 19, 2016

FORREST CITY, Ark. (AP) - St. Francis County Quorum Court has voted against a motion that called for a special election to approve a one-cent tax to cover the cost of a new jail facility.

The motion failed with one vote against the special election due to specific wording in a pre-motion in which Sheriff Bobby May requested that it pass unanimously, the Times-Herald (https://bit.ly/1ThGJIT ) reported.

Ten justices voted to accept the motion, but Justice Jimmy Long voted against it.

“I’ve been here 78 years and we’ve always had a jail, and I think we will always have a jail,” Long said. “I think the people will vote for it when it comes time and when they’ve got to. But I’ve had nobody in my district to call me and tell me to vote ‘yes’ and I had a bunch tell me to vote ‘no.’ Not one. And they are the ones who have elected me to vote for what they say.”

May said that just because residents aren’t voicing their desire for a jail doesn’t mean they don’t want one.

“You’ll find, I think, that the folks who are the most vocal are the most negative,” May said. “Someone once spoke, years ago, about the silent majority. There is a majority out there, and in your district, I promise you.”

Many of the justices said that they didn’t believe a unanimous vote was unnecessary in passing of the motion.

May said the tax vote could be included on the general election ballot but that it wouldn’t likely pass because tax issues typically only pass in special elections.

___

Information from: Times-Herald, https://www.thnews.com/

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