Tucker stepping down from post

Robert Tucker, director of Pine Bluff’s Inspection and Zoning Department for the past six-plus years, has submitted his resignation, effective at the end of the month.

Tucker, a Redfield resident who formerly worked in similar positions in Chicago and San Diego, said Wednesday that he advised Mayor Debe Hollingsworth of his decision on Monday. He said he will be taking a job elsewhere that will allow him to be closer to his aging mother.

When contacted in his office at the civic center, Tucker was working on compiling information concerning current and possible future grant application processes. He said he wanted to help make certain that efforts toward the grants would be continuing.

Tucker said he has enjoyed the challenge of his duties here and hopes that Pine Bluff will continue to make some gains that commenced or developed further during his tenure. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of a number of his co-workers, particularly Chief Inspector Mitzi Ruth.

Tucker said he was especially pleased with improvements that have been made on The Saenger Theatre, praising a decision by Old Towne Theaters Centre Inc. to donate the historic downtown structure to the city last year. Tucker said he was proud that a number of repairs to the structure’s roof have been made.

He also wants to see success in the proposed downtown streetscape project, which is being funded in part by the “Penny for Progress” five-eighths cent tax and bond issue endorsed by voters in 2011. “I’m excited about the streetscape project,” he said. “I want to see how that turns out.”

Tucker has served the Pine Bluff Historic District Commission as a consultant and said he’ll certainly miss his association with the group, which he cited for its “hard work and dedication.” He said he would like the commission to be well-publicized because the panel’s efforts are vital not only to historical preservation but also the city’s future growth.