Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington has laid off City of Pine Bluff Marketing and Communications Director Cynthia Hines in what is being characterized as a reorganization. Washington said in a text message Tuesday that she made the decision in order to move the communications responsibilities into her office.
“We changed directions with [the marketing and communications] position and we’ve decided to work it out of the mayors office and reallocate those resources,” Washington said. Asked if there was a particular reason for letting Hines go, Washington said there was not.
“No,” Washington said, “just settling in after 6 months in office and determining the best use of the city’s resources.”
Hines confirmed in a telephone interview Tuesday evening that she had been laid off. She said Tuesday was her last day in the office, and she plans to take leave time through the end of the week.
Hines said she learned at the beginning of July that the mayor planned to eliminate her position.
“Basically, what she said to me was she was going to handle it out of her office,” Hines said. “And that she was getting rid of marketing and communications. So she was going to handle [those] duties out of her office.”
Hines said she was not angry with the decision, saying, “it is what it is.”
Hines was hired as marketing and communications director in 2016. She said she has a daughter who will attend the Yale School of Drama in the fall, so she planned to spend time with her while deciding what to do next.