JONESBORO — The Craighead County Quorum will vote Monday on two nominations to the board of directors for the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library, as well as on updated policies for the sheriff’s office.
After rejecting allowing public comments during its special meeting Thursday, the quorum court’s four-man public service committee voted unanimously to send the nomination of Kailey Holt Luster to the Craighead County Jonesboro Public Library to the full court for a vote.
There was no discussion by the committee before it voted.
If approved, Luster will fill the seat of Curt Hawkins, who resigned in September.
On Oct. 11, the committee sent the nomination of Michael Watkins, of Bono, to the full court. If approved, Watkins will replace Amanda Escue as a board member. Escue resigned after moving out of the area.
Watkins’ term would end April 1, 2026. Luster’s term would end Jan. 1, 2025.
The two were nominated for the library board by Craighead County Judge Marvin Day.
After Thursday’s meeting was adjourned, members of the LGBTQ+ community, which have engaged in a contentious war of words with Day, spoke to him and committee Chairman Richard Rogers about books being moved to the parent/teacher section of the children’s library, and their inability to make public comments before the committee voted on Luster’s nomination.
Karen Newberry said books about LGBTQ+ in the children’s library shouldn’t be censored or banned.
Day responded, “Me, personally, I think appropriate books should be in appropriate places.”
He said the books weren’t being censored, but put in a different area in the children’s library.
Addressing the LGBTQ+ community’s criticism of Luster’s nomination, Rogers said, “If there’s a perfect person who represents all of Jonesboro, then let them come forward.”
Luster said that there are “beautiful things” in the public resources in Craighead County for her children.
She said books shouldn’t be banned, but moved to a different place.
Rogers said he received hundreds of emails about Luster’s nomination, “and I read them all.”
Chenoa Summers also renewed her complaint to Day about library board member Mark Nichols handing out DVDs to members of the LGBTQ+ community following the Oct. 11 board meeting.
Day said Nichols had the right to do this, since it was after the meeting and that he was handing them out as a personal matter, not a board matter.
Also on Friday, the library released the titles of books being moved to the parents/teachers section within the children’s library. All items are still available for check out. The parents/teachers section will be located next to the circulation desk in the children’s library once the addition is completed.
“You Be You! The Kid’s Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family” by Jonathan Branfman.
“Where Do Babies Come From? Boys ages 6-8” by Ruth Hummel.
“The Baby Tree” by Sophie Blackall.
“Changing You: A Guide to Body Changes and Sexuality” by Gail Saltz.
“Who Has What? All About Girls’ Bodies and Boys’ Bodies” by Robie H. Harris.
“It’s So Amazing! A Book About Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families” by Robie H. Harris.
“Understanding Gender Dysphoria” by Tammy Gagne.
“What’s in There? All About Before You Were Born” by Robie H. Harris.
“It’s Not the Stork! A Book about Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends” by Robie H. Harris.
“It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health” by Robie H. Harris.
“Sex is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and YOU” by Cory Silverberg.
“Why Boys and Girls are Different” by Carol Greene.
In other business, the quorum court will consider accepting an ordinance that changes written policies by the sheriff’s office that will “provide written directives for deputies in various situations.”
Chad Henson, former police chief in Trumann, was tasked by Sheriff Marty Boyd to update the written policies for the sheriff’s office.
The quorum court will also consider adding a salary to the sheriff’s office to pay Henson $57,729 a year due to his appointment as commander of the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force.
The court will have its third reading on an ordinance to set rules for displaying of addresses in rural Craighead County.