Changes in Store for City of Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-- Big changes are in store for the working government of the city of Jonesboro...with the announcement of Mayor Doug Formon's decision to not run for re-election and still no budget in place, the resignation of Finance Director Don Ray comes at a time of unrest for the city council.

"From the first day it's felt like there has been a lot of animosity between the administration and the legislative bodies of the city, a certain amount of distrust and I don't know the origin or where that came from, but it makes a very difficult environment to work in," said Ray.

Ray doesn't have a new job lined up yet, but his office is already packed up...his resignation effective February 1st.

"I just felt that it was time to consider other options that presented itself to me. When Mayor Formon decided not to run for reelection, it just seemed like it was the appropriate time," said Ray.

Ray, who has been with the city since 2006, timed his resignation with the state imposed deadline for Jonesboro to have its operating budget in place.

"Although he's given his notice effective February 1st, I think there's still a possibility we may be able to get him to stay a little longer than that," said Mayor Formon, "He does want to help us through the budget cycle and be available to us and he's done a really, really good job for us."

Ray's departure will leave the city with only one certified public accountant on staff.

"In any organization, leadership requires teamwork, and it would have been helpful if we would have done a better job, all of us.  That's the administration and the city council working together to try to solve the problems," said Ray.

Mayor Formon believes if a budget is approved at the next finance meeting, it could be theoretically ready by as soon as the next council meeting.

"We're getting close now, we're really close now," said Formon.

The City Council's Finance and Administration Committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday to consider a final draft spending plan for the city.