Pulaski County hired former Conway Mayor Tab Townsell as its public works director.
Townsell was mayor of Conway from 1998 to 2016 and was executive director of Metroplan, the metropolitan planning organization located in Little Rock, from 2017 until January of this year.
Townsell’s wife, Mary Jo Heye-Townsell, was elected mayor of Sherwood in November.
Townsell, who began his new role on Sept. 4, will direct the Public Works Department and will oversee the Planning and Development Department, Road and Bridge Department, Sanitation and Animal Services and the Office of Emergency Management, according to a press release from the county.
Townsell will earn an annual salary of $124,000, according to Pulaski County spokeswoman Madeline Roberts. Townsell is succeeding Steve Brummett as Public Works director after Brummett left the position in June.
Here’s the press release from the county:
Pulaski County Government welcomed Tab Townsell as the new public works director. Townsell joined the County at the beginning of September.
Townsell will direct the administration and operation of the Public Works Department and will oversee the Planning and Development Department, Road and Bridge Department, Sanitation and Animal Services and the Office of Emergency Management.
Growing up in a construction family, he was first exposed to project management when he worked for his father’s construction company. Traveling through work and seeing different cities introduced Townsell to planning and development. This led him to joining the planning commission in Conway, and later to run for Mayor. He was elected in 1998 and served for 18 years. During his time as Mayor, Townsell oversaw streets, sanitation and animal control, in addition to his other mayoral duties.
Townsell also served on the Board of Directors for the metropolitan planning organization, Metroplan, while he was Mayor, and later became its executive director from January 2017 to January 2023.
Talking about his new role, Townsell said, “I am very familiar with the range of responsibilities the public works director oversees, but most importantly I understand that we serve the public. I look forward to doing a good job for the citizens of Pulaski County.”
“I’m excited for Tab to bring his years of experience and a fresh perspective to Public Works,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “Pulaski County Government has a mission of data-driven innovation, and Tab will continue that mission.”