TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Monday was the first official day on the job for the new city manager in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Former state representative and city board member David Haak was appointed to the position last Thursday night, to serve in the interim until a permanent city manager can be found. The move comes after city officials said former city manager Kenny Haskin submitted his resignation during an executive session of the board.
Haak told KTAL NBC 6 News on Monday that he has no current plans for any changes, and he just wants the city to work for its citizens. “Everything that comes up, I’m going to ask one question, ‘Does it benefit the citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas?’ That’s what the city government is here for, to make their life better,” Haak said.
Concerning the board’s 4-3 vote on Thursday night to appoint Haak, he said he hoped to talk to those who voted against his appointment at Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting. “I can work with anybody. We may disagree on policy or something like that, but it’s on policy only. We talk about it, but again, the board has the decision. If they come up with something I personally don’t like, well, my ‘personally’ doesn’t matter. They choose, and they vote by majority and we live under what the majority of the board passes.”
Haak said he plans to meet with every city department head and already met with public works Monday morning. He said they discussed ways to keep the public informed about road improvements and the location of the work. Haak added that a priority for the city is bringing in more revenue. “One of the things we need to look at is how do we get more income. And, I’m not for raising fees and taxes on our citizens … so, how do we get new income? And, a lot of that is economic development.”
The position of city manager is not posted yet, Haak said it may be a while. When asked if he would be in office for a year, he chuckled, “I really don’t know, but man, I’d hate to be here that long … I have a life, and I mean, you know, this wasn’t planned.”