Fort Smith Administrator Working To Fill Three Key City Posts

FORT SMITH, Ark. (TB&P) — The Fort Smith Board of Directors on Tuesday (July 23) approved naming Lori Hopkins, the city’s finance manager, as the city treasurer until a new finance director is named.

With the resignation of Jennifer Walker as finance director effective July 26, the city will not have a treasurer. By city ordinance, the Fort Smith finance director serves as the city treasurer.

“Section 2-137 of the Fort Smith Municipal Code requires that the finance director be officially designated as city treasurer. The city treasurer has responsibility to administer the financial affairs of the city. As we will have a vacancy in the Finance Director position, and an Interim Finance Director has not yet been identified, Lori Hopkins has agreed to serve in the capacity as city treasurer until such time as an Interim Finance Director is named,” said Jeff Dingman, deputy city administrator, in a memo to City Administrator Cark Geffken dated July 23.

“Ms. Hopkins will not be named the interim finance director, but she has agreed to take on this role for now. Basically, we need another person to sign the checks besides myself,” Geffken told the board, who unanimously voted for an ordinance stating the city code will be temporarily amended so the city treasurer can be appointed by Geffken. They also approved the appointment of Hopkins to that temporary role.

“This is temporary while a search for an interim and permanent finance director is conducted,” Geffken said. “After that position is filled, we will come back to you, and you (the board) will need to change the ordinance again so the finance director will once again be the city treasurer.”

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