The American flag at Monticello City Hall was lowered to half-staff Monday in honor and memory of Monticello Mayor Allen Maxwell.
Maxwell died Monday morning. He was 70.
The City of Monticello released the following statement announcing his death:
The City of Monticello deeply mourns his passing. His service to the City was unmeasurable. Funeral arrangements will be announced at a later time. All your prayers will be appreciated for his friends and family.
The cause of his death was not disclosed.
A former state legislator, Maxwell was serving the last year of his first term as mayor and had recently filed for a second term.
Maxwell grew up in Warren and attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello. He retired from Southwestern Bell in 1991, ending his career at Southwestern Bell as the company’s personnel director in Missouri. In that position, he managed a 1,500-employee work force, a $400 million-dollar capital and maintenance budget, and all labor relations.
After his retirement, Maxwell moved back to Southeast Arkansas and spent six years working for former U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey.
“We will all miss Allen Maxwell: his family, friends, the people of Monticello and all citizens of Southern Arkansas,” Dickey said Monday morning. “I count myself as one of his friends, but also an admirer. He was smart, hard-working, dedicated, disciplined, loyal, tough and fearless. He accomplished historically while the Chief of Staff in the Pine Bluff congressional office and the same as state representative and mayor of Monticello. And this all came after a stellar career with Southwestern Bell. My thoughts and prayers go to his family.”
After six years as Dickey’s chief of staff, Maxwell served three terms representing District 10 in the Arkansas House of Representatives.
As state representative, he focused his legislative agenda on tax cuts and lower energy taxes for Arkansas manufacturers. He promoted the Arkansas forestry industry and the University of Arkansas at Monticello, helping secure $4 million to improve the Forestry Resource Center.
“While working with Allen while he was in the Legislature, his passion as an advocate for Southeast Arkansas was always evident,” Gov. Mike Beebe said in a statement Monday afternoon. “It is no surprise that he continued that work after his time in Little Rock and until his last days on Earth.”
Ineligible to run for re-election in 2010 due to the term limits, Maxwell ran for mayor of Monticello winning with 70 percent of the vote.
As mayor, Maxwell focused his energies on infrastructure and capital improvements. Read his recent State of the City address.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., remembers Maxwell as a humble man who kept the best interest of Arkansas at heart.
“Today I send my thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Mayor Allen Maxwell,” Pryor said in a statement Monday. “His legacy will be one of service and dedication to his family, his community, and southeast Arkansas. I, like many others, was fortunate to work with Mayor Maxwell on numerous projects over the years. I will always remember him as a humble man who kept the best interest of Arkansas—the place he loved—at heart.”
A special election will be called to elect a new mayor to complete Maxwell’s term. Until an election is held, the city clerk will serve as mayor, according to David Schoen, legal counsel for the Arkansas Municipal League.