Pine Bluff Mayor Debe Hollingsworth appointed Rick Rhoden as director of the street department on May 22.
This comes after 27-year city employee and street department head J.T. Golden retired.
“When Mr. Golden retired, Rick Rhoden was able to pick up right where J.T. had left off,” the mayor said.
Rhoden, a 14-year city employee, served as assistant director for a year leading up to the promotion. Golden was out most of the past year with a hip replacement, so he’s accustomed to the duties he is now officially charged with.
“It’s my goal as the director of the street department to make it a productive department and keep the city of Pine Bluff in the best condition that is possible,” Rhoden said. “I strive to make every day better than the day before.”
His experience includes working with and operating heavy equipment, mathematics and the reading and understanding of blueprints.
Rhoden said he and his department’s main tasks include maintaining drainage within the city, repairing damaged streets, removing debris after storms and being on-call for 24 hours in the occasion of any type of natural disaster.
He also said within his department, his troubleshooters are able to handle most minor issues, but when major situations arise, he is called to make assessments and be on the scene.
“I give most of my appreciation to my employees,” Rhoden said. “They have a great response time under any conditions.”
Before assuming the duties of the assistant director at the street department, Rhoden was employed with the department for four years as a mechanic operator. During this occupation, Rhoden said it was his duty to repair and operate any piece of equipment he was charged with.
Rhoden is a 1976 graduate of White Hall High School and is a certified welder. He said he enjoys “fishing for big bass on the river.”
He and his wife Ramona Rhoden have three grown children.