From working out more to helping our city grow, most everyone each year makes some kind of resolution.
As the new year approaches, Pine Bluff leaders are making resolutions of a personal and professional nature.
The calendar turning to Jan. 1 offers people a blank slate complete with unlimited opportunities for positive changes. The Commercial asked a group of leaders in Pine Bluff about their resolutions.
Pine Bluff Mayor Shirley Washington said her priority is to move Pine Bluff to the top.
“We must maintain laser focus on moving the many projects of the community — some toward completion while others are set to launch,” Washington said via email. “To accomplish this, I resolve to harness the precious commodity of time to ensure that we are not spending time wasting time.”
Pine Bluff/Jefferson County library director Bobbie Morgan plans to introduce herself to more people in the Pine Bluff area. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she moved to Pine Bluff and started in her position about one month ago.
“I think it comes about naturally,” Morgan said of meeting people. “I find out more about what people want in their library. I am meeting people on an ongoing basis wherever I go. I am making an effort to introduce myself to as many people as possible.”
Pine Bluff Fire Chief Shauwn Howell said he does not make a resolution but hopes for a continuation of blessings for friends and family. Howell said he hopes they do better and have a safe and prosperous year.
“In my line of work, safety is my top priority,” Howell said.
Pine Bluff Police Chief Ivan Whitfield used to make resolutions.
“I have tried to make resolutions for years and keep them. But I have failed,” Whitfield said. “So now I try not to make them. One of my resolutions is to fish more and work less. I have failed to keep all my resolutions in the past. I'd exercise for a month and then stop.”
Sheri Storie will begin her new job as director of the Pine Bluff Advertising and Promotion Commission on Jan. 2, 2018. She had been the interim executive director of the Pine Bluff Convention Center since March 2017 and has also worked for the convention center for more than 14 years.
On the professional front, Storie said she wants to “hit the ground running.”
“We have new ideas regarding the promotion of the city,” Storie said.
On a personal level, she wants to spend more time with family members, including four grand-children “who are growing up quickly.”
“The past 10 months have been pretty intense,” Storie said.
Pine Bluff Wastewater Utility manager Ken Johnson is setting professional goals and personal goals.
“I'm project-oriented, and my resolution is to continue to navigate PBWW on course with the completion of several major capital projects in 2018,” he said. “Personally, [I will] work toward becoming more patient yet still make the best use of my time.”
Jefferson County Judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV said he is so thankful for the opportunity to serve citizens.
“My New Year's Resolutions center around the faith you have entrusted in me to help improve life for all the people of Jefferson County,” Wilkins said via email.
“I will continue working tirelessly to create more jobs, provide opportunities for job and career readiness training, and make county government more transparent and efficient. I resolve to continue modernizing our infrastructure and improving our county roads and emergency response systems. I commit to continue building strong relationships with elected officials, local leaders and citizens from every corner to make Jefferson County a destination location for economic development, recreations, shopping, family activities, home buying and vibrant community spirit! As my wife and I celebrate our upcoming 40th wedding anniversary, I am mindful of my calling as a husband, father, and grandfather to help leave our community and our world a better place for all. God bless and keep you in 2018.”