TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - In the last week of March, Dr. Kenny Haskin resigned from his job as Texarkana, Arkansas city manager; that resignation dominated the city board of director’s meeting Monday night (April 5).
What led up to the abrupt resignation of Dr. Haskin was the question many were asking the city board of directors. Following a closed door session Thursday, April 1, Dr. Haskin, who had been with the city for nearly 20 years, submitted his resignation, which was accepted by a split vote of the board. Now, some citizens want to know why. City leaders say they cannot comment since the action was taken in executive session, but that answer was not good enough for some.
“I feel like we are taking a giant step backwards and erasing the great strides that this city and you as directors have taken in the last five years,” said one meeting attendee.
Concerns were also expressed over the man tapped to replace Dr. Haskin on an interim basis, David Haak.
Haak, a former mayoral candidate, was recently involved in a police parity pay lawsuit against the city.
“When he is no longer city manager, he can join that group again and he can refile another lawsuit against us,” said another meeting attendee.
“We have a path forward and while a lot of people think it’s negative, I think it is positive,” said another person at the meeting.
An immediate search is underway for a permanent city manager.
“And it is this board’s responsibility and responsibility only in the hiring of a new city manager. It will not be a committee, it will not be the interim city manager,” said Mayor Allen Brown.
At the conclusion of Monday night’s meeting, the question still remained.
“Dr. Haskin resigned Thursday night after an executive session and that is all I can comment at this time. He resigned and no longer is the city manager,” said Mayor Brown.
When asked if Dr. Haskin was forced to resign, Mayor Brown responded, ”He resigned and that is all I can say at this time.”
Mayor Brown says they hope to get a permanent city manager as quickly as possible.