Moving the city of Arkadelphia forward is the primary goal of new city manager Gary Brinkley.
Brinkley has been with the city since May.

Moving the city of Arkadelphia forward is the primary goal of new city manager Gary Brinkley.
Brinkley has been with the city since May. He replaces Jimmy Bolt who resigned in June 2016 to take a position at Citizens Bank.
Brinkley grew up in Saginaw, Texas which is located near Fort Worth. His first job after graduating from high school was in a metal fabrication shop. He worked during the day and went to school at night.
“I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. I was working 60 hours a week and taking six hours of junior college,” said Brinkley.
His original plan was to follow a friend who was making $15 an hour working in an oil field in Oklahoma. After telling his mother about these plans, Brinkley found out the next day that he had been accepted to Baylor University.
During an interview with the administrator at Baylor, Brinkley learned that the college had launched a new program and was attempting to diversify its socio-economics.
“I said ‘what does that mean?’ He goes, ‘you’re poor and you’re smart,’ so that’s how I got into Baylor,” said Brinkley.
He received grants, loans and income through work study to help him pay for his education. Brinkley received a degree in real estate and computer information systems.
“I didn’t want to get into retail and I didn’t want to get into management so the good Lord put me in retail management,” Brinkley said.
Brinkley held several management positions before going to work at the Fort Worth Stockyards where he served for 18 years.
“We developed an entertainment district, daily cattle drives, built a hotel, brought in a maze, petting zoo, dog and pony shows, chuckwagon, cookouts. We’re really proud of that,” Brinkley said.
According to Brinkley, visitations to the Stockyards had increased from approximately one million to more than three million by the time he departed.
In addition, Brinkley served on multiple boards during his time in Texas. He was a member of the Saginaw City Council for six years, mayor pro tempore for six years and 11 years as mayor.
His position as mayor allowed him to continue to manage the Fort Worth Stockyards and serve as chairman of the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau. He was currently serving as the mayor when he was hired as the city manager of Arkadelphia.
“My term as chairman of the Convention and Visitors Bureau had expired and I had rolled off as past chair. It’s funny how it all kind of thinned out at that time,” said Brinkley, who added that the company he was with had sold its partnerships with a California company who in turn bought him out.
Brinkley found out about the vacant city manager position from the Texas Municipal League’s website.
“I really felt led to get into city management because of all of the experiences,” Brinkley said.
During his time as mayor, Brinkley said the city of Saginaw experienced a growth in its population from approximately 10,000 to 20,000 residents. He hopes to use his past experience to help enhance Arkadelphia.
“When this position came along I thought it was perfect,” said Brinkley.
According to Brinkley, his first visit to Arkadelphia was to bring his daughter to volleyball and basketball camp at Henderson State and Ouachita Baptist Universities during the summer of 2003.
“We liked it so much,” Brinkley said.
During his time in Saginaw, Brinkley said multiple investments were made into the city’s infrastructure. A five-year plan was implemented for the city which contained goals and steps for their implementation.
Brinkley believes that the future is bright for Arkadelphia and that the city is blessed with opportunities.
“I hope we can create other opportunities for Arkadelphia,” said Brinkley.
The new city manager noted efforts that have been implemented to clean up the community.
“By bringing a fresh set of eyes to the community, I can see things that some people may not notice,” Brinkley said.
In addition, Brinkley hopes to create more retail interest in the community.
Brinkley said he has been impressed by the city’s staff and employees. He believes that by working together the city can do a good work.
In addition to cleaning the city and working with city employees, Brinkley hopes to create additional revenue for the city, improve its infrastructure and lay out a plan for progress and moving the city forward.
“I am even more eager and hungry to get things going forward because of the willingness of the people,” said Brinkley.