by Max Brantley
Gov.-elect Mike Beebe today announced he'd be keeping on three Huckabee agency heads -- James Salkeld, director of the Arkansas Department of Labor; Arthur Boutiette, director of the Arkansas Social Security Disability Agency; and Bekki White, State Geologist and Director of the Arkansas Geological Commission.
Boutiette, a long-time Republican contributor and operative dating back to work for Sheffield Nelson against Jim Guy Tucker is also, you may recall, being paid more than $100,000 under a little Huckabee administration sleight of hand. He's being paid as a "medical consultant" despite lack of experience in the medical field. Boutiette, it so happens, has used Beebe in public service TV ads about Social Security since 2000. As ye sow ...
Salkeld will be remembered, at least by Sen. Jimmy Jeffress, for joining a Huckabee phalanx of campaign contributors to a primary opponent, Joyce Dees. Is Beebe bipartisan, or what?
Full release on jump.
BEEBE NEWS RELEASE
Governor-Elect Mike Beebe announced appointments to lead three state departments and agencies, today.
Beebe selected James Salkeld, director of the Arkansas Department of Labor; Arthur Boutiette, director of the Arkansas Social Security Disability Agency; and Bekki White, State Geologist and Director of the Arkansas Geological Commission, to continue their service to the state with their respective agencies.
“I hope we can keep doing the things we’ve been doing right as a state and build on them to do even better,” Beebe said. “Salkeld, Boutiette and White have experience integral to the job at hand, and we’ll be working together to move Arkansas forward. They have the background and on-the-job knowledge a good team needs.”
Since the election, Beebe has been meeting individually with department and agency heads and organizing the transition for the next administration. Last week, Beebe announced his selection of Department of Finance and Administration Director Richard Weiss, Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Ken James, Arkansas State Police Director Colonel Steve Dozier and Department of Workforce Services Director Artee Williams for the next administration.
Beebe will continue meeting with department and agency heads in the weeks to come and will be announcing more department and agency heads in that time.
More information on Salkeld, Boutiette and White follows.
James Salkeld was first appointed as director of the department of labor September 1, 1991, by then Governor Bill Clinton and continued the position with the administrations of Governor Jim Guy Tucker and Mike Huckabee. Some of his previous positions include: Executive Board of IBEW Local 295; Assistant Business Manager of Local 295; Business Manager of Local 295; President of Arkansas State Electrical Workers Association; President of Central Arkansas Building and Construction Trades Council; AFL-CIO Executive Board; and Secretary/Treasurer of State Building and Construction Trades. Salkeld is the first Arkansas Labor Director to serve three, and now four, Governors and the first Labor Director to serve Governors of different political parties. He is the longest serving Director in the history of the Labor Department.
The mission of the Arkansas Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the health, safety and welfare of the wage earners of Arkansas by providing services and enforcing laws to improve working conditions and enhance their opportunities for safe and profitable employment.
Arthur Boutiette has served as Director of the Social Security Disability Agency for the past seven years. From 1997 to 1999, he served as the agency’s deputy director. Prior to his service with DDS he worked as the Chief Administrative Officer of the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Arkansas Disability Determination for Social Security Administration has an agreement with the federal Social Security Administration to determine eligibility for Social Security disability for individuals in Arkansas.
Bekki White was appointed director of the Geological Commission in 2005. She is a registered Professional Geologist in Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. White earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Henderson State University in Arkadelphia in 1980, and then went on to study a term at Oxford University in 1982. She enrolled in Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, and in 1983 completed a BS and Masters degree in Geology. In 1998, she joined the Arkansas Geological Commission as a Supervisor before being promoted to assistant state geologist in 2003. She is a member of the Association of American State Geologists, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the National Association of Professional Geologist. She served as president of the Association in 1999.
The mission of the Arkansas Geological Commission is to develop and provide knowledge of the geology and hydrogeology of the State, and to stimulate the orderly development, and encourage the effective management and utilization of the State's mineral, fossil-fuel, and water resources, while protecting the environment.