The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency is continuing its search for an executive director and will re-advertise for the position.


Board member Lloyd Franklin Sr. made a motion during the board of directors’ meeting on Tuesday at the Bain Law Firm in Pine Bluff for the agency to advertise for a period of two weeks – a motion that was accepted unanimously. The board voted after a finalist had announced his withdrawal from consideration. In the past several months, two other candidates were offered the position but in one case did not take it and in other did not continue.


Board Chairman Jimmy Dill summed up the motion at Tuesday’s meeting.


“We have a motion that we advertise for the executive director’s position for a two-week period,” he said. “We will take applications and then meet after a two-week period to review the applications.”


Dill said the board will also consider a possible professional service agreement with Go Forward Pine Bluff, proposed on Tuesday by Ryan Watley, CEO of Go Forward Pine Bluff.


Board member Kirby Mouser reflected on the continuing search for an executive director, participating in Tuesday’s meeting via conference call.


“I think we’ll get some more applicants, and I certainly would not discourage any of those who applied before to re-apply and be considered,” Mouser said. “I think we will have a much better handle on what we expect of the job than we did when we scored the first round of applications.”


After the meeting, Dill said the reasons candidates have not moved forward with the position have varied and have appeared to be rooted in the candidates’ own circumstances.


The first candidate offered the position, he said, “just cut off all communication with us.” He said the second, Leonard Williams, actually began work as the executive director and was excited about the job.


“He got a better offer on the east coast,” Dill said. “The compensation was going to be considerably more than the compensation here.”


In an email to The Commercial, Williams said, “I had a few career irons in the fire, which were time sensitive and needed to be accomplished. The opportunity presented itself to bring those lifelong goals into fruition within a short period of time.”


Dill said the executive director’s salary is negotiable, contingent upon experience and education. Williams was offered 60,000 a year in salary, plus benefits, Dill said.


The Pine Bluff City Council voted unanimously to activate the Urban Renewal Agency last August.