Little Rock Look Back: Leap Day City Council meetings

CLR Leap Day 1932February 29 may come around only once every four years, but it is even rarer for the City of Little Rock to have City Council or City Board meetings on that date.

The most recent official meeting on a Leap Day was on February 29, 1932.  Mayor Horace A. Knowlton presided with all sixteen Aldermen present.  Among the items discussed were regulating of junk dealers, taxes on slot machines, a building condemnation, and setting a license fee for bowling alleys.

There were several issues related to cemeteries discussed throughout the evening.  One forbade any new burials in a section of Oakland Cemetery while another sought to prohibit the creation of any new cemeteries within the City limits.  The Council also passed a motion instructing the Mayor to notify the State Board of Health that the City was “seriously objecting and would strenuously oppose the establishment of a [new] Cemetery within the present boundaries of the City of Little Rock.”  The final cemetery issue was the acceptance of the annual report of the Mount Holly Cemetery Association.

That night the Council also passed a resolution to name the city government hospital as “Little Rock City Hospital.” The purpose of the name was to “clearly designate said hospital to the citizens of Little Rock as the hospital owned and operated by the City of Little Rock.”

The issue which seems to have taken up most of the time was overriding a Mayoral veto of a resolution opposing the firing of a firefighter.  The motion to sustain the veto ended in a tie. After the Mayor promised to rehire the firefighter as soon as a vacancy occurred, on alderman changed his vote and the veto was sustained.

The only other City Council meeting on a February 29 was in 1892.  Mayor H. L. Fletcher presided over the meeting.  The main focuses of that meeting were to discuss boundaries of various sewer districts, pay the monthly bills, approve the relocation of a house from 9th Street to the corner of 12th Street and Commerce Street and to bring certain City criminal penalties in line with a new state law.