TEXARKANA, AR (KSLA) - The new city Manager of Texarkana, Arkansas is the same as the old city manager, after a vote by the city's board of directors Thursday night.
At a packed and heated meeting Thursday night at city hall, board members voted to rehire Harold Boldt, who was fired back in March.
Mayor Wayne Smith, who has been one of Boldt's biggest detractors, said at the time that the move was initiated by the city's governing directors. "No one specific item led up to it. We felt we needed a change in direction."
Charles Nickerson, vice president of economic development with the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, turned down the interim job in April, after some residents expressed dissatisfaction with Boldt's departure.
At that point, the mayor said he doubted Boldt would be re-hired.
Still, there were some on the board the did not agree with Boldt's removal in the first place, and supported him when he applied for the very same job after the city began accepting applications.
When the list of candidates was narrowed down to 10 near the end of July, Boldt was not on it. But on Thursday night, the board of directors voted 4 to 2 in favor of bringing him back.
Mayor Smith was out of town.
Boldt came to the city in 2005 as finance director, became interim city manager in May of 2007 and took on the role in a permanent capacity later that year. He was paid $162,000 in severance upon his firing on March 18.
Board member Laney Harris says Boldt will be a "new hire," which means he will not return with seniority in his employment with the city, and will starting over on all benefits.
His salary is expected to be discussed at Monday's city's board meeting.