By Ray King

Pine Bluff City Council member Ivan Whitfield has called for an investigation into the budget of the Parks and Recreation Department after airing a number of complaints during a special called meeting of the Public Works Committee which he chairs.

Following the regular meeting of the City Council Monday, Whitfield asked for the special meeting Tuesday morning which was conducted on Zoom and attended by Council members Steven Mays and Joni Alexander, the other members of the committee.

Among the issues which Whitfield asked about was that Pine Bluff Parks and Recreation hired an individual from Hot Springs to schedule officials for the King Cotton Holiday Basketball tournament, and another individual from Little Rock to serve as the official score keeper for half the games. The Sports Information department at UAPB will act as scorekeepers for the other half of the games

Parks and Recreation Director Samuel Glover responded to Whitfield this way.

Whitfield’s complaints centered on hiring people, including referees and score keepers from outside Pine Bluff and Glover said his department has hired 160 people locally for the tournament. “If that’s not giving a local preference, I don’t know what is,” Glover said.

Whitfied then said this.