Liens, Looming Audit Put Texarkana Business Park Under More Scrutiny

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Jan. 20, 2014 12:00 am  

Harris, who showed public support of Patel in November, said of the liens: “Let the court decide,” adding that the whole story isn’t being told, but also that he doesn’t know the whole story yet.

“Let Dr. Patel have his due process in court,” he said.

Smith added that part of the issue falls outside of his jurisdiction because it “involves private business.”

“It’s unfortunate that we have four of our local businesses that performed work anywhere in this town and not getting paid for it,” he said. “That is very unfortunate.”

Patel did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Boldt Comes Back

While Hiren Patel is dealing with liens from his contractor, the city of Texarkana is dealing with drama surrounding the rehiring of City Manager Harold Boldt.

Here’s how it went: After Boldt’s firing in March 2013, the city began searching for a new manager, and Boldt’s name appeared on the list of applicants.

Despite vocal opposition from Mayor Smith and others, Boldt became a candidate for city manager and, in September, the board voted 4-3 to give him back his old job. According to Smith and other sources, before that vote, the board was 4-3 in favor of Boldt’s firing.

How did this happen? One director, Laney Harris, changed his mind.

Harris, who was reluctant to refer to his choice as a “swing vote,” told Arkansas Business that his decision boiled down to one word: “Redemption.”

In a letter to the Gazette, the four directors who voted to rehire Boldt reported insults and threats being hurled during the executive session that preceded the public vote.



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