Mayor discusses personnel moves

By Martin Couch

There has been some critcism over Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs' appointment of Mark Kizer as interim Chief of Police.

In blog comments to, there have been several who have voiced[more] their opposition to this particular appointment as well as the firing of the city's human resources director, Shayne King, on Monday.

"It's up to me to appoint a new chief and any personnel, but the City Council can vote to reverse it or get someone new," Dabbs said. "I guarantee we are going to go through a thorough search for the right candidate."

Currently, there are several jobs open at the Bryant police department and Kizer will have a say in who is hired.

"From what I understand he's over there, everything is fine," Dabbs said. "He's reorganizing some of the offices to get things running better, but other than that they've already taken down the sticks on Springhill Road. I really don't know what they were there for anyway, but there are little things like that being taken care of."

As far as the other personnel changes, like the dismissal of the Human Resources director, Dabbs says that it was her decision.

"I've run a business for years and I know how to handle personnel issues," she said. "It's nothing personal, it’s a matter of getting the structure of the office working to it's fullest capacity."

In a recent interview with the state newspaper, Dabbs stated "that she was not planning to fill King's former position, because she believes the area can be served by the existing employees."

The human resources and other positions in City Hall are under her review.

"We're going to go over our preliminary and short-term goals," Dabbs said. "The City Council can overturn those appointments and I will continue to send out press releases as I see fit, but my staff knows they can talk straight with me."


  1. L.J.

    I’m glad to see Mrs. Dabbs take credit for firing Shayne King because such a stupid move will come back to haunt her. NO ORGANIZATION should operate without an HR director or specialist. Employee grievances are the #1 cause of lawsuits. The HR director is the person who has specialized training (and continuing training) in areas related to labor laws, etc which change constantly. Her comment about her experience in running a small business is quite comical. Running a municipality is totally different from office manager/COO of a small family business. She is putting the City of Bryant at risk for lawsuits and making an unhealthy workplace. Employees should always have an HR Director or specialist to go to with employee problems, grievances, etc. The worst thing an organization can do is to force the employees to go directly to the director (or in this case the mayor) to discuss problems or grievances. This is absurd to say the least!

  2. Will

    I dont see where she said she wasnt going to put someone in place she said there were people there to handle the issues?

    Just amazes me that the people voted her in as Mayor and this is how the council re-acts? So the council replaces King or removes Kizer then what happens? Do you not think the employees will lose all respect of Mayor Dabbs and then circumvent her authority for four years? This is really a dumb move by the council and is a black eye on Bryant!

  3. Steve

    Will ,
    Are you kidding me…. she is Mayor ..not the King. She also has a council to watch her and make sure she is not creating a hostile workplace. The state law says that the council can hire or fire any department head. So do you not see this is so one person does not have a socialist city …LOL. But seriously , just because she is Mayor does not mean she can do anything she pleases. These councils have set up policys and procedures so no one person has control. There are 8 people on the council so this does not happen ..if the majority of the council decideds she did something improper than people should respect that, because its more than one person that make these decisions.

    What makes you think that because she is Mayor that she should do as she pleases…. do you want your president not to have checks and balances either? Our local goverment is set up by the same principles of checks and balances. If Ms Dabbs is doing things improper by not going through the proper procedures then she should have her hand spanked.. The employees will follow her no matter what because they have to. So to say they will not respect her dont matter…they have too. She should also serve them with the same respect and not demand thier devotion to her.

  4. Will

    Steve I was not saying that at all! But I will say it will take 2/3rds majoity to re-instate King or Remove Kizer thats 6 of the 8 council members. If Dabbs only removed King then she must have had a good reason and the council should stand behind her.

    As for Kizer my friend is a officer at Bryant and I asked him about all of this and he was reluctant to say anything but did say everyone was nervous at first but its amazing to see the changes that has already been put in place. He also stated that the Morale within the department is completely different he went on to say he was excited and everyone else was as well and I dont think he would lie. I just wonder what other employees think of King being gone?

  5. L.J.

    Will, your friend may be pleased with the situation, but if there are employees who feel otherwise they would not feel comfortable to express it. So, really you cannot correctly gauge the morale around city government. Now, they are expected to go straight to the "butcher" to discuss problems? I jokingly use the word "butcher" because she is holding the ax and making decisions who is in and who is out. It is setting up an environment of fear. They probably already had fear, knowing her hand picked faves were going around town bragging about their upcoming appointments, even before the election. Now they have to go straight to her to discuss issues? Absolutely ridiculous, absurb and unethical.

    You said "if Mrs. Dabbs removed Shayne King, then she must have had good reason". But, how could she have had good reason….she did not even work ONE HOUR with Mrs. King to know whether the HR office could run smoothly, or not, without her. It appears her information regarding the office having sufficient staff is coming from someone else (hmm I wonder who?). She was the person elected to serve as mayor, not whoever she is getting her information from.

    Steve (above) is ‘right on’. She cannot remove, nor add, positions on her own. City structure has already been put into place and she cannot just decide on her own to change it. My guess is that Mrs. Dabbs really had other intentions on filling the position which fell through and now she is having to cover her tracks.

    The most ironic thing of all is this….the city employees are having to prove their worth by turning in resumes for her to make the decision on whether to ax them or keep them. If the citizens of Bryant had had had the same benefit of seeing her REAL knowledge and experience, then she may not have gotten elected. During the election she cited her work with the Barracuda swim team, but does that really equal the requirements of running a city municipality? Her lack of knowledge of large business practices is showing now. Does anyone know…what is her educational background regarding business, administration and personnel law? Running a small business with a handful of employees is quite different than running a city, and in working with a ‘board of directors’….in this case a Council. Boards (and city councils) have the PRIMARY responsibility to see that the organization is being run properly. I have worked and served on several board of directors. Usually the director, COO (or in this case mayor) would understand the structure and the checks and balances and work accordingly. This again points to her lack of knowledge of business practices.

  6. Steve

    Why is it so that people think the Mayor holds all the power in the city? It is the council that passes all laws and ordinaces. They are elected also? So if they make a sounds decision wouldnt it be because those same people that elected the mayor elected the council members to keep her in check? Why does she get the credit for all the change when she has no voting power? People seem to not know their local politics very well when it comes to this issue, or else they chose to just try and discredit the council that is elected also?

  7. L.J.

    I plan to be there…at the special called meeting on Saturday at 1 p.m. You are right, N.B., they need our support. Please call everyone you know who is outraged by this mayor’s actions so we can show our discontent with OUR city government. This should be OUR city government, and not city government according to Jill Dabbs, Mark Kiser and Rick Meyer. Finally we are getting some real transparency out there about what has been happening to our great community. It’s time for it to STOP….get the word out….be there to support the council.

  8. L.J.

    Rob, why was N.B.’s comment removed from the post? There was no vulgar language used….he simply stated that everyone needs to support the council. I’m confused why his post was removed. I thought the posts were edited for vulgarity, but not for opinions. Please clarify so we all can understand what is allowed, or not.

  9. N. B.

    I hope there will be a 2/3 vote. This just isn’t right! Because of her two heads of this city is gone. These were good Christian, law-abiding people! If someone said morale and excitement are up, then these people are stupid and think they are safe. When a Mayor asks for everyone’s resume, even the one’s that have been doing their jobs for years, something is up! I know first hand that Dabbs, Kizer, and Milligan campaigned together. Rick Meyers is behind all of them. So, now both the Kizers are employed with the city. Mark Kizer and Alan Dabbs are JP’s for Saline County. I think Mark Kizer, Alan Dabbs, and Rick Meyers are reserves for Saline County Sheriff Department. This could be where she gives Mark Kizer 17 yrs. experience……..I haven’t seen him in a uniform in years. Also, don’t let her fool you about Shane King’s job……rumor has it that she is trying to get a former friend’s wife (Mrs. Robbie Young) to move back to Bryant to take over the HR Department. Please get out there and back our City Council members! Thank God we have them!

  10. Will

    What is wrong with the mayor seeing the employees resume to see where an employees weakness and to see what training and education that they have? Its a common practice when a newly elected official comes in and its usually done in the transition period O wait the last mayor refused transition so this was not obtained now was it?

    I seriously doubt Mrs. Young will leave a 100,000.00 year job to come here but she is a great HR person and has managed HR departments with thousands of employees and that would be an awesome choice but extremely unlikely but I guess its a dream!

    You all talk like there wasnt friends hired under Mitchell and King? Lets look around just a little bit, King hired her son, her next door neighbor, then you have numerous city employees that are married, you have several that are first kin and NOW she hires one person she knows and it becomes obvious? SERIOUSLY you need to look at the big picture and the whole picture and stop making it look like this is the first time!

  11. matthews

    Has anyone ever heard the phrase: To the victor goes the spoils?
    I know this is all new to Bryant folks but I have friends in other cities, in other states that can’t figure out what the deal is with all this. When a new administration comes in, whether it’s city, state or national, the personnel changes. Beebe didn’t keep all of Huckabee’s people; Obama retained almost no Bush people. They brought their own people in and usually it’s people they trust and people that helped them get elected.
    There is nothing new under the sun.
    The thing is, this has never happened in Bryant because past elections were like handoffs from one teammate to another. The recent election was an interception. And when a new team takes possession, the quarterback brings the rest of his teammates onto the field.
    I feel bad for Mrs. King, Mr. Mitchell, Mrs. Cockerham, Chief Coffman and anyone else that isn’t retained. I like them all. I also like Mrs. Dabbs, Mrs. Kizer, et al.
    I know that those who have been deposed are all talented people who should have no problem finding new jobs.
    All government and political jobs should be temporary anyway.

  12. Bryant Mom

    LJ ~ I hope you kept your promise to be at the meeting today… I was there as well! I expect that you will have your version but what I saw with my very own eyes was that quite a large portion of the audience actually supported the mayors actions. I think even the council members support was evident in the fact that her decision was NOT overturned on either issue.

    Oh one more thing… I’ve had an epiphany… you earlier referred to my comments as lightweight jabs… how ironic that your initials are LJ!

    As for your insistance on knowing my reasons for supporting Mayor Dabbs… just know that I have, I do and I will.

  13. Peter

    Its just amazing in this city that people only support thier friends.Its like high school all over again. Forget that we want a fair system that gives all applicants a fair choice, instead we have to know the king in charge to get a job around here. Blind support on a persons friendship is what is wrong with the political system today. Jill Dabbs preached fairness in her campaign, but when she finally got the power she let it go to her head. Now shes hiring all her freinds and family, so if you not in her group then dont even apply.

  14. Joe

    I was there. You sre right, there were a lot o police there, and captain newcomb seemed to speak in their interest. How funny though, for individual officers to be there. Seems odd, wonder if they were compelled. Or i wonder if there will be any special favors now. It would be hard, as chief, to fire or discipline the guys giving you an ovation.

    Shane King was also there with 2 of her sons, their wives and her disabled husband. Dabbs never once used her name, nor made eye contact with them. I think she refferred to her only as the "HR Director". Dabbs even went as far as to say "THEY needed 6 votes, and only got 5". Is firing someone a game where we keep score? Who is "they"? I thought the tribes were over???. You also did not mention the residents with the signs saying "save our city". They were not pro Dabbs.

    If Dabbs wants a tolerable stay in office, her first week better not be the model for the rest of her term.

  15. Peter

    Will, i dont get your point…. because past pratices you think you should be able to do it now. I has to stop somewhere and that is what she preached in her campaign.CHANGE. Now we got the same old crooks but just new faces. Nothing has been done properly by this Mayor to this point so far.. in fact i bet thier will be lawsuits eventually against her administration. I know people that voted for her and said they wished they could take it back..heck i was one of them. She promised this "good ole boy" system would change…but this is the same thing with new players. Does anyone doubt that Kizer will get the Chief job? what good applicant would even try now that she places her best friend in that position? Saline County Politics is all it is.

  16. L.J.


    The Police were all told they should be there to support Mayor Dabbs and Interim Police Chief Kizer. I’m wondering, because they were told they should be there, should they be compensated? The reason I ask is because this was an issue in the last couple of years within the state. If an employee is told "you should be there" then it implies ‘be there, we’ll be looking for you’. So, you see, even if the policemen were there, it does not mean they were not prompted. The Captain gave this directive. Don’t be deceived…there is fear. This comes firsthand.

  17. Bryant Mom

    Will~ you might just have touched on the reason for some of the confusion and lack of communication. Are you saying that the ex mayor refused to be cooperative in the transition to a new mayor?
    NO wonder things are going down the way they are! Appears that his commitment wasn’t to the CITY of Bryant but more to his TITLE.

  18. Joe

    Do you know for fact they were compelled?

    The cops there were Pro Kizer/Dabbs for sure. If they were compelled, they were representatives of FOP, and not the city. None of the cops i have dealt with were there, so the entire department wasnt represented.

    It is hard for me to believe that newcomb didnt immediately leave to go find a napkin. I was sure i saw something brown on his nose on TV last night. I bet he gets the full merit raise this year. I dont always agree with Adrian, but he stood square on his own. You have to respect someone standing up to what they know is inappropriate behavior.

  19. Bryant Mom

    The brown you saw was the chocolate frosting from the CELEBRATION CAKE!

    There is most definitly a breath of FRESH AIR in the city!

  20. L.J.

    All I know for a FACT is that they were told they should be there to support Kizer and Dabbs. I’m sure it was noted if they were not in attendance. I’m wondering if this didn’t violate some type of law.

    Also, why was ANYONE in the audience allowed to go speak, when it had already been stated there would be no comments from the audience? Does the mayor not realize that she silenced the taxpayers, but then allowed him to give his "glowing" speech. I agree, I also thought I saw something a little brownish on his face.

    I agree with you, I was proud of Adrian…he is a very honest guy, who cares deeply about his community. I don’t know what he said in the interview with THV as it didn’t air….I’m wondering if they had to pull it because a VERY RUDE Dabbs’ supporter ran up there and did a "thumbs down" on top of his head while yelling that he’s a loser. Only a low life would do such a thing…there is freedom of speech in this country…or maybe not so much? Kudos to Adrian. I hope he will continue his studies and plan a future in government.

  21. L.J.

    Unbelievable! Total lack of respect for the right of free speech. She looked like a bratty kid in jr. high….no, more like elementary school!

  22. N. B.

    OK…….Philip Newcomb is just doing as told. Everyone who knows Philip knows he is a "yes" man and is incapible of making decisions on his own. This is why he has never been Chief or even considered for Interium Chief. What is so sad is how he is being used and the first time he gets in trouble, they are gonna say "he acted on his own", then he will lose his job. Why he can’t see this is beyond me…..Poor guy, I almost feel sorry for him….almost……now, it is beside the point that Mrs. Young is sooo Quailified for the HR job……she is a friend of Mayor Dabbs. Mayor Dabbs could have made her CHANGES without hiring her friends. Unless, what she wants is breaking the law, the old employees would have followed her lead. In our economy, everyone needs their jobs and some are willing to do things that others are not. She knew this, Good luck Bryant….

  23. Joe

    I dont think they really care for constitutional liberty. Win, win, win……to heck with who it hurts or damage it causes. That is there code of rules

  24. N. B.

    I only brought up Mrs. Young, because Mayer Dabbs said she didn’t have anyone in mind for Shane King’s HR position. That was another lie, because I heard she is begging Mrs. Young to move back to Bryant. I really don’t care what she does, I just want people to know that she doesn’t always tell the truth. She is gonna get caught sooner or later, preferably sooner.

  25. Concerned Citizen

    What I find hysterical is all this uproar cause 1 man quit his 18 year career on account of some gossip in town… I think in his hurry to be a step ahead as his wife put it he QUIT and left the door wide open! If he really wanted to make a statement he would have stayed to see if it was really true! Then the town could see for themselves and yall wouldnt have to form this crusade to educate the public and keep telling us what might have happened! And then ONE (1) one HR Director got the boot.

    To hear all this moaning one would think they they were the only 2 people holding this town together!


  26. Joe

    Would you want to wait to get fired, or if you saw the handwriting on the wall, would you find another source of income?

    It never was about whether Dabbs had the power or not. It is about her hiring friends before posting jobs, and firing office workers who aren’t in political positions, and have only been guilty of being loyal to her previous boss.

    Just pay attention, there will be more friends hired, and appointed to city.commissions.

  27. Julie Coffman

    We did stay one step ahead! We weren’t stupid, and my husband, under no circumstances would have been able to work in those conditions. When Tony became Chief, he was told by the leader of her pack to bring Kizer back in as a Sgt. or higher. Tony said "No" because that wouldn’t have been fair to the men who have been there working their way up. So, don’t you dare say he "quit" because of some rumors. Others (friends) were calling him and asking him what was going on because Kizer was calling asking them would they continue to give him(Kizer) their business after the first because he would be the new Chief. (Kizer gave his two week notice at his other job in early Dec.) He told someone that not only had Bryant asked him to be their Chief, but, so had Shannon Hills, and Benton. He is so full of himself!

    Tony tried calling Mayor Dabbs the day after she won, she didn’t return his call, someone close to her told him she was at the deer camp til the weekend. He tried emailing, calling, even went to her husband’s clinic and talked to him, telling him he would like to invite her to the PD, and help with her transition. I even emailed her because I knew her from the Swimteam, asking her to just tell us one way or the other so we could start making
    plans for our future. No reply!

    If you think Tony gave up his 18 year career in Bryant because of a little rumor, u are so wrong! Luckily, God has been good to us and we are able to move on without much change. You are right about everyone being replaceable, but smart people keep their good, experienced people. Also, Tony didn’t just quit or wait to be fired, he was smart, he retired and got paid for all his accumulated time. Again, staying one step ahead.

    We are through with all of this, we don’t want anything else to do with it. They thought they would ruin us but, they didn’t. Please leave him out of it! Her followers just don’t get it, it isn’t so much her getting rid of these people, as it is her alignment of shady people, telling lies and getting happy when she thinks she has caused people heartache.

    Tony and I have made a decision that we can live with and be happy, now we can move on. I just feel sorry for other ones that are walking on pins and needles knowing any day could be their last. We will be praying for y’all, stay strong!

  28. Peter

    Ms. Coffman… thank you for standing up and stating the truth. It is very hard to do for a person. I believe Tony was a great guy and worked his way up to his position and i can admire that. He also tried to help every citizen in Bryant. He will be dearly missed and you are correct that he had something to worry about. I cant say enough how clear and transparent you are on these blogs to show the real side of politics.

  29. Concerned Citizen

    "We are through with all of this, we don’t want anything else to do with it."

    Yet your still on here reading and posting.

  30. L.J.

    Ms. Coffman I saw the new crime tracking database your husband instituted for the P.D. and it is awesome. I’d like to see him get credit for his work on establishing it and getting it started. Let’s hope Kizer and Dabbs don’t try to get credit for it….that’s why I’m posting this so others will be aware. It’s too bad his time at the Bryant PD was cut short before he could do more unveiling of the system to the public.

  31. Joe

    Rumor on the street is, someone at bryantdaily got fired. I hope that Dabbs didnt have anything to do with this. I know she didnt have the best relationship with some of bryantdaily staff. You know, censorship of the press is a crime. I hate to think she is unlawfully trying to tilt public opinion. I bet the story gets out though.

    Im sure this wont make post, but i expect an email.

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