Parks commission seeking to fill vacancy left by Alexander

Earlier this year, the El Dorado Parks and Playgrounds Commission lost one its biggest champions following the death of former commissioner and community volunteer Alexis Alexander.

Alexander, 50, passed away suddenly on July 29 and now, the EPPC is looking to fill the vacancy she left after nearly seven years of service.

Alexander was appointed to the EPPC in November of 2016 and participated in her first regular meeting as a commissioner a month later.

Over the years, Alexander strongly advocated for improving city parks to make them more inviting and safe for families.

She was one of key cogs in helping to secure funding from the El Dorado Works initiative -- a one-cent city sales tax that is dedicated to economic development, municipal infrastructure and quality-of-life projects -- for improvement projects that have been launched at several city parks within the past three years.

Some of the projects have been completed, some are underway and others remain on the EPPC's to do list.

Alexander's service and dedication was duly noted during a regular EPPC meeting on Tuesday.

The moment turned somber when commissioners moved to the New Business portion of their agenda, which simply read "Vacant Seat."

After some discussion, the commission set a deadline of Jan. 1 for candidates to submit applications to City Clerk Heather McVay.

McVay said five applications are already on file in her office, noting they were previously submitted when other seats were open on the commission.

She said she would reach out to the existing candidates to see if they are still interested in serving on the EPPC.

Commissioners also said they would seek clarification for another vacant seat that is reserved for an El Dorado City Council member.

Late Council Member George Calloway Jr. was appointed to the seat in February.

He resigned from the Ward 3, Position 2 council seat in early July due to health issues. He died on Aug. 9 at the age of 73.

EPPC members said Tuesday that they understood that Calloway's successor, Roy Bullock Sr., on the city council is also the likely successor as the council's representative on the EPPC but they have not been notified of any formal action that has been taken by city officials to appoint Bullock to the EPPC.

Anyone who is interested in serving on the seven-member parks and playgrounds commission may request an application by calling McVay's office at 870-881-4877.

The EPPC's next regular meeting is scheduled for noon Dec. 19 in City Hall.

The location is to be determined. The group will either meet in the Council Chamber or the second-floor conference room.