Gov-elect Asa Hutchinson announced a couple of more agency appointments today:
Daryl Bassett, currently director of business and commercial services in the secretary of state’s office, will succeed Artee Williams as director of the Department of Workforce Services. A graduate of Harding, Bassett served nine years on the Arkansas Public Service Commission by appointment of Gov. Mike Huckabee.
Danny Games was named deputy director of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Hutchinson hasn’t yet named a new director to succeed Grant Tennille, who was not asked to stay on. Games is a gas industry lobbyist. He’s currently manager of corporate affairs at BHP Billiton and worked previously of Chesapeake Energy and Entergy.
At a news conference, Hutchinson said Games would lead a search for a new director. High on Hutchinson’s list: Getting approval for a big increase in pay for the director, to $200,000 or so. Tennille makes $139,000.
I hope the independent commission considering public official pay doesn’t similarly think that one of the lowest-paying states in the country should pay extraordinary salaries to politicians. What particularly concerns me is the notion that Arkansas may not be paying out sufficient corporate welfare to land businesses. Whatever happened to free enterprise?