Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Choosing sides in NLR mayoral race

Posted By on Wed, Jun 13, 2012 at 9:31 AM

SELECTIVE MEMORY: Scott Miller cites an example.
  • 'SELECTIVE MEMORY': Scott Miller cites an example.
Scott Miller, the civil engineer, North Little Rock School Board member and erstwhile Dogtown digital journalist, made a post on Facebook today that says the race to succeed Pat Hays as mayor may be one of the hottest races of the season. Indeed.

Hays has designated aide Joe Smith as his successor.

State Rep. Tracy Steele also is running for the job.

Smith is a solid member of the city business establishment. Steele has a powerful voter base. He's black and Smith is white in a city that is moving toward majority black population. Race is relevant because it's a rare election where voting isn't polarized on racial terms when candidates differ racially. Steele will clean up in the black community. If he makes sufficient inroads elsewhere — and he's made some already from Hays fatigue— he might win.

So Miller's knock on Smith has some significance. It's particularly interesting given the careful dance that's been done in recent years between competing financial and political interests of the mayor and the School District, which recently won a huge tax increase for a complete rebuilding of city schools. A School District lawsuit threw a monkey wrench (properly) in Hays' plan to tap school tax revenues for downtown redevelopment. Said Miller:

I recently saw the video you can find below where Mayor Hays to no one's surprise endorses Joe Smith for Mayor. Joe is a truly nice guy and the race will be a good one for the City. My problem with the endorsement is the selective memory Mayor Hays uses in justifying Joe's experience with the construction of the ballpark. Mayor Hays says "I handed the baseball off to Joe Smith and the project was completed on time, in budget"

Last year on April 18th in an article on the ballpark, the Dem/Gaz reported " An overrun of more than $6 million in construction costs led the city to take out a loan to pay off the rest of the debt" Mayor Hays was quoted in the same article ""I feel very strongly that we made the right decision to spend those additional dollars to build the ballpark right...."

For the math challenged that's about an 18% overrun, certainly not on budget. A note for all the candidates...what the City needs is more transparency, more openness and more everyday citizen involvement. Not more of the same and certainly not more selective memory.

Transparency would include, I hope, a full recitation of how Tracy Steele raised money for the private foundation that has paid him a hefty salary. Among the contributors were major corporate interests with issues before the legislature in which Steele sits.

UPDATE: Walter "Bubba" Lloyd Jr., a businessman who'd talked about running for mayor, says he won't run and will support Steele. A vote for Smith is a vote for business as usual, Lloyd said. I think Lloyd is right that the election will, in many ways, be a referendum on Hays. A lot of people like what's happened under his leadership, not including the recent sales tax proposal.

Tags: , , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015
  • Democrats name new House minority leader

    Rep. Michael John Gray of Augusta has been elected leader of the House Democratic Caucus, the minority party. He succeeds Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock. He's a farmer and small business owner.
    • Sep 25, 2015
  • Ex-Hog Darrell Walker spotlighted for collection of work by black artists

    Former Razorback basketball player Darrell Walker and his art collection get a mention in today's New York Times in an article about the rising profiles and prices of black artists.
    • Nov 29, 2015

Most Shared

  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

  • The Jack Jones, Marcel Williams execution thread

    The Arkansas Department of Correction is planning for the first double execution in the U.S. in 16 years tonight. Jack Jones, 52,  and Marcell Williams, 46, are scheduled to die by lethal injection. They would be the second and third prisoners put to death as part of a hurried schedule Governor Hutchinson set in advance of the state's supply of one of the three drugs used in the execution protocol expiring on April 30.
  • Lee's lawyer writes about executed man's last hours

    Lee Short, the lawyer for Ledell Lee, the man Arkansas put to death just before midnight last night, posted on Facebook the following letter of thanks for personal support and a bit about Lee's last hours, distributing his possessions and talking to family.
  • Legislature set to tackle changes to "Arkansas Works" Medicaid expansion in special session

    The governor is expected to call the special session to get legislative approval of his proposed alterations to the private option (now known as "Arkansas Works"). Here's what to look for.
  • Supreme Court hears arguments in case that led to stays for two Arkansas death row inmates

    The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in an appeal yesterday that asks the court to rule that indigent criminal defendants are entitled to an independent expert witness. The case, McWilliams v. Dunn, goes back to the 1984 capital murder conviction of James McWilliams, who raped and murdered a woman in Tuscaloosa, Ala., during a robbery. But the high court's decision will also directly affect the fates of Don Davis and Bruce Ward, Arkansas death row prisoners who were slated to die this month, but given a reprieve by the Arkansas Supreme Court, which issued a stay in each execution, pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in McWilliams in June.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation