After serving as the assistant city collector for 20-plus years, Sharon Johnson was officially named as Pine Bluff city collector on May 8.
Johnson had been the interim head of the department since Oct. 15 of 2013, when City Collector Albert Ridgell was fired for the second time in less than three months.
In her eight-month tenure thus far as city collector, Johnson said she has already moved the department forward, wasting no time successfully implementing a new accounting system the city had been struggling with.
“One of the challenges we had at the collector’s office was putting in a new IT software system to keep accounts and invoices,” Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said. “Prior to her arrival, the office was never able to complete the switch, and they were running behind. When she came in, she was able to complete the conversion successfully, and she has done a tremendous job with it.”
Johnson, who has worked under five mayors while with the city of Pine Bluff, said her job entails two specific duties: contacting and making sure businesses that are past due on their payments become current on paying the city and checking to see that all people and businesses are paying their taxes.
“I’m thankful to the mayor for giving me the opportunity to increase the city’s revenue through my contact with businesses,” Johnson said.
Handling business licensing, taking in money for the other city departments and collecting money from advertising and tourism, she said, are other tasks that are all required of her and her department daily.
Johnson said her department has only recently been able to produce licenses for businesses, and she wants to notify all business owners to have their licenses on display at their place of business.
She said her lengthy experience as assistant city collector — where she was the supervisor over two employees as well as summer employees — and her skills in accounting and management qualify her as Pine Bluff’s city collector.
“I love working with people,” Johnson said. “And this job gives me the opportunity to do that.”
Johnson is from Altheimer but has lived in Pine Bluff for more than 20 years. She graduated from Southeast Arkansas College in 1985 with a degree in business education. She is also a 1983 graduate of Altheimer High School.
She has been a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Pine Bluff for the past 18 years.
She and her husband Revawn have two grown children and two grandchildren.