CAPC suspends Maloney ‘indefinitely’

After an executive session that lasted a little more than two hours, the Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission voted 6-0 to suspend CAPC director Mike Maloney during the first of two special meetings on Friday, June 14, at the Auditorium.

Less than one minute into the meeting, commissioner Steve Holifield made a motion for the group to go into executive session to discuss Maloney’s contract. That motion was approved unanimously and commissioners left the table to meet privately.

The commissioners returned approximately two hours and five minutes later, with Holifield making a motion that Maloney be suspended with pay effective immediately. Holifield added that Maloney would not have access to CAPC property during his suspension.

In reciting Holified’s motion, chair Chris Clifton said that Maloney’s suspension would be “pending investigation.”

The commission voted 5-0 to approve the suspension, then voted to adjourn the meeting before immediately beginning the morning’s second special meeting.

Commissioners offered no details on the circumstances behind Maloney’s suspension. For his part, Maloney said he welcomed an investigation.

“I’m disappointed but I look forward to the review and I’m hoping for a positive outcome,” he said.

The commission has scheduled two more special meetings for Friday, June 21, both to be held on the theater level of the Aud. Both meetings have single agenda items. The agenda for the first meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. is “Human Resources: Action Review.” The second meeting, scheduled for 11:30 a.m. has an agenda of “Commissioner Authority.”

Maloney, 73, is in his second stint as the CAPC’s director. He held the position from 2011 to 2019 before briefly retiring. He was hired as the commission’s interim director in October 2023 and then was appointed on a permanent basis on April 24 at an annual salary of $90,000. He replaced former director Scott Bardin, who resigned from the position after approximately six months and now serves as the CAPC’s finance director.

Bardin was the fourth director, including interims, to hold the director’s position after Maloney’s departure in the spring of 2019.

Second Special Meeting

After approving Maloney’s suspension, the commission moved into a second special meeting on Friday, June 14. The agenda item for the meeting was to discuss bylaws and the authority of individual commissioners to make decisions without the approval of the full commission.

Holifield said during the second meeting that he wanted to clarify the commission’s policies and procedures.

“People can call CAPC staff or the director at any time, of course,” Holifield said. “We want to be transparent, but all major decisions are made by the commission not by individual commissioners. … I just want to clarify that.”

Given Maloney’s absence, Holifield suggested the commission assign duties related to the CAPC’s daily operations.

Commissioner Kolin Paulk will assume more responsibility for daily marketing functions, while commissioner David Avanzino will review all contracts from Jan. 1, 2024, forward. At Clifton’s suggestion, Holifield announced that all contracts will require the signature of every commissioner.

“It doesn’t have to be permanent,” Clifton said. “We’re just in a situation right now.”

Commissioner Bradley Tate-Greene suggested that commissioners could receive the contracts by email and give their approval that way.

Avanzino asked CAPC administrative manager Danyelle Harris to take a seat at the table. Avanzino asked Harris how many contracts were awaiting signature.

“In my hands, that’s the Basin Park music series, Party in the Park, I only have one that’s unsigned by you, because I’ve run them all by you,” Harris said. “Now when it comes to the Aud rental, I haven’t had those. …” “To make it clear … every single contract from this point forward, whether it’s what I have been signing or what I haven’t been signing, they all need to come to us,” Avanzino said. “Every single contract. I don’t care if it’s for $10. I don’t care if it’s for Aud rental, I don’t care if it’s musicians in the park, whatever. Every single contract comes to this commission for approval before anything is done.”

Harris told commissioners that she will need someone to sign timesheets and approve bills and invoices. Avanzino said he will sign timesheets, while Clifton agreed to review bills and invoices.

Tate-Greene will work with Bardin on negotiating contracts, commissioners agreed.

Harris said she was working with Madden Media, the commission’s contracted advertising agency, to resolve “a glitch” on the commission’s website.