The announcement of a new city manager and a new police chief was made during Tuesday's meeting of the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors.

The announcement of a new city manager and a new police chief was made during Tuesday's meeting of the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors.
Gary Brinkley of Saginaw, Texas has been offered the position of Arkadelphia City Manager, while veteran officer Jason "Shorty" Jackson will assume the role of chief of the Arkadelphia Police Department.
Although Brinkley has accepted an offer made by the city, his official employment will be pending the results of a drug test, which will be administered following Brinkley's visit to the city on Thursday to meet with department heads.
Directors held three executive sessions last week. Two of the meetings were to interview four candidates for the position, while a final meeting was to determine a new city manager. Marty Byers of Daingerfield, Texas, Brain Davis of Friendship and Kyle Jones of Arkadelphia were also in the running for the city manager position.
"At the end of the Thursday meeting, the board reconvened and made an offer to Mr. Gary Brinkley," said Acting City Manager Brenda Gills.
According to Gills, the offer included an annual salary of $85,000 plus a car allowance and benefits, based on the idea that Brinkley would return to Arkadelphia to not only meet with department heads, but to tour the city's facilities.
"I did speak with Mr. Brinkley that night. He is excited to come. He will be in Arkadelphia Wednesday evening and meeting with staff on Thursday," Gills said.
According to Gills, the results of the drug test will not be available for several days.
Directors have spent the last nine months attempting to fill the position vacated by Jimmy Bolt, who resigned as Arkadelphia City Manager in June 2016.
Jackson will assume the role of Al Harris who retired on March 31.
According to Gills, the position for police chief was advertised locally, online at, the City of Arkadelphia's website and social media and the Chamber of Commerce job site.
Of the 11 applications received, Gills noted one applicant withdrew.
"I talked to four candidates and interviewed three. Over the past couple of weeks, I have done a lot of soul searching and prayer, along with the considerable research," said Gills.
Gills believed the incoming city manager has the right to have a full slate of department heads ready to work with him and he should not be faced with a major hire in his early days in his new role.
Jackson is the sixth Chief of Police since Arkadelphia changed from the City Marshall form of law enforcement.
A swearing in ceremony for Jackson was scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday.
Other items addressed:
• The board made a counteroffer to the county's offer to purchase the National Guard Armory. See an upcoming edition of the Siftings for details on this subject.
• Directors held a discussion regarding the qualifications for committee, commission and board members as well as who can address the city board. Details on this matter will also be addressed in an upcoming edition of the Siftings.