SPRINGDALE — Wyman Morgan, the city’s director of administration and finance, has announced his retirement, effective March 31.
Morgan served the city for 21 years, totaling 46 years in city government.
Colby Fulfer, Springdale’s chief of staff, has worked alongside Morgan since 2020, learning administrative duties.
Laura Favorite, the city’s chief financial officer, and Cody Loertz, the grants and bonds accountant, have for many years done an excellent job with the city’s accounting, Mayor Doug Sprouse said.
Loertz noted that Morgan was talking about his retirement when Loertz joined City in 2018. Loertz said Morgan has been handing over his duties for several years and doesn’t expect a big transition.
Sprouse noted that Morgan had just provided “an extra pair of eyes” for city government. Morgan spoke about his role – and the role he tried to teach Fulfer – as a government analyst.
“Wyman was kind of the go-to for everything that happened that I didn’t know who else to give it to,” Sprouse said. “And Colby is ready to help me in any way I need.”
“I only called him twice today,” Sprouse said with a smile.
Fulfer was elected in February to serve in Arkansas Senate District 7, vacated when Lance Eads took a job in the private sector. Fulfer spent the last few weeks in Little Rock while the Legislative Assembly was in session, but remained in close contact with the city.
Morgan, 70, has a wealth of knowledge about municipal finance, Sprouse said. He worked in college for the state Legislative Audit Office, auditing the books of cities across the state.
Former mayor Jerre Van Hoose brought him to Springdale. Morgan also has extensive experience in municipal administration and the law, Sprouse said.
Morgan served Springdale as the Mayor’s Liaison for the Airport Commission, the Publicity and Promotions Commission, and the Public Facilities Board. He served as the city supervisor for Arvest Ballpark’s budget.
Morgan, by his own accounting, said he oversaw more than $500 million from five bond issues.
Fulfer will focus on administrative and management issues unrelated to finance, Sprouse said.
Morgan and Fulfer’s daily duties include “putting out fires,” Sprouse said. When a resident has a problem, there’s no one better than Morgan to find the answers they need, he said.
“He knows the city inside out,” Sprouse said.
Morgan’s position will remain in the city’s budget throughout the year, but no salary is expected from April through December, Sprouse noted. The position will not be part of the budget in 2023.
Sprouse spent 13 years in office. It was hit its first year by a climate crisis and a financial crisis, and the last two by a public health crisis.
He recalls that February 2009 sales tax receipts brought the city just $700,000, shortly after an ice storm paralyzed the area.
Sprouse noted that he and Morgan were attending a meeting in Bentonville when they heard the numbers. As they returned to Springdale, Morgan was immediately on the phone with Favorite, making sure the city had enough money to cover bond payments and other bills, Sprouse said.
“It was his first priority,” he said.
City officials had unanswered questions and concerns when the covid 19 pandemic hit, Sprouse said.
“We were trying to figure out how big of a hit we were going to take,” he said. “Wyman and Colby and I held meetings and had many contingency plans in place. He understood the problem and helped prioritize where we could save money.”
“I am relieved that Springdale is in the best financial position ever,” Morgan wrote in his resignation letter.
Sales tax revenue for February was $1.19 million, a 22% increase from the same month last year, it reported Wednesday. The city has collected $19.9 million in sales taxes over the past 12 months of collection.
Morgan said the recent move of city government offices during construction of the new city campus has given him the ability to hand over his records to the appropriate city staff — for example, Federal Communications Commission radio license renewals for the police department, the fire department and the municipal airport and the administration of grants.
He said he recently taught Fulfer how to write state resolutions, ordinances and statutes.
“The greatest pleasure I get from my job is when I go to watch a Northwest Arkansas Naturals baseball game,” Morgan said. “And I see people taking advantage of the amenities that we’ve provided in Springdale.”