President Donald Trump has fired Delta Regional Authority co-chairman Chris Masingill. The co-chairman was informed of his termination late Thursday afternoon. His removal was immediate, DRA spokesman Andrew Moreau told Talk Business & Politics. A replacement has not been named. Moreau didn’t know if Masingill suspected he might be fired by the president.
“He’s a presidential appointee. He serves at the pleasure of the president,” Moreau said.
President Barack Obama appointed Masingill in 2010 and he was retained by the Trump administration. Why he was let go has not been released, but political appointments tend to turn over during changes in administrations. He made the following statement in a press release.
“I was notified that my holdover position as Federal Co-Chairman of the Delta Regional Authority has come to an end, effective immediately. I am writing so that you are the first to hear of this news directly from me. It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve all of you, and to work on behalf of the Delta region. I have been very blessed to have served in this role, and to serve President Barack Obama and as a holdover under President Donald Trump,” he said.
The former chairman continued: “All of you know our people are our greatest asset, and the residents of the Delta stand with the best our nation has to offer. It has been a privilege to work alongside you and witness firsthand the many contributions you make to our region. Together, we have built a foundation for continued growth and success. I am extremely proud of our many accomplishments, and am confident they would not have been achieved without your support and encouragement.”
Masingill was on-hand for the open of the “Garage,” a creative tinker space meant to provide physical tools to help inventors and entrepreneurs develop prototypes in downtown Jonesboro on July 17. The Delta Center, in affiliation with Arkansas State University, received a $500,000, I-6 Challenge grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to seed A-State Innovate, and the Garage is one of its innovation hubs. DRA supports the program.
The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. To date, the DRA’s SEDAP investments, together with its state and local partners, have leveraged federal resources into nearly $3.5 billion in public and private investment into local small business owners, entrepreneurs, workforce improvement, and infrastructure development projects. DRA investments have helped to create and retain more than 37,000 jobs, train more than 7,300 workers for 21st Century jobs, and deliver water and sewer improvements to more than 66,000 residents.