Editor, The Commercial:
Certain members of the Pine Bluff City Council need to get their heads out of the box. This city residency requirement for certain department heads (or anyone else) is a joke.
The city is supported by surrounding counties, communities, cities and even distant towns in the state. Scenario: Suppose JRMC says you cannot use this entity or be a department head because you don’t live here (ref: southern Arkansas); Pine Bluff Arsenal: You can’t work here or be a department head because you don’t live here in White Hall; the banks, papermill, railroad: The same, and on and on and on.
It is a big plus to the city to get the most qualified person into a job; it matters not if they are from Timbuktu! The “qualifications” only ENHANCE benefit to the city!
I was raised in White Hall and was there even before it became a city. It was and is a “people friendly” town, not a “people residency friendly” town. I love Pine Bluff, was raised looking forward to coming there to shop, buy groceries and get family needs met. The same Pine Bluff does not exist today. If you don’t live here (in PB), you are an outsider.
On the flip side of that, the council wants to run to Little Rock to get guidelines on many agenda actions. What a joke. There have been council member(s), although they lived in Pine Bluff, that worked in Little Rock. Duuuh! Did that support Pine Bluff?
What if the county had not promoted and pushed for the sales tax increase? Where would the city be today?
The city of Pine Bluff exists only because of the support of out-of-city limit support. Qualifications should be the deciding factor in the residency requirement issue, not residency!