Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How much is enough to pay Mayor Mark Stodola

Posted By on Tue, Jul 2, 2013 at 1:26 PM

HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH: Questions on Mayor Stodolas pay.
  • HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH: Questions on Mayor Stodola's pay.
Little Rock City Attorney Tom Carpenter has released under the FOI another memo pertaining to Mayor Mark Stodola's salary.

You'll recall that City Director Brad Cazort wants to raise Stodola's pay. He wants to boost it from $160,000 by 12 percent to match City Manager Bruce Moore's $178,000 pay.

Carpenter had recently opined that state law required that the mayor receive pay comparable to that of other officials and suggested the current gap was too big. But some city directors have balked at moving Stodola up, for a variety of reasons.

Thus this opinion today by Carpenter answering some questions that have been raised. For example:

* Is it fair for a new mayor to make the same as a long-time city manager? That's a policy question.

* Must the mayor and city manager receive the same pay and benefits? "There is no clear answer."

* Must the city board consider pay and benefits of the executive director of a city commission? Again, no clear answer. Airport Executive Director Ron Mathieu makes far more than Moore.

* Could the city be sued if the mayor's pay isn't comparable? Yes, said Carpenter, and it would have to foot its own legal bills.

There is a disparity between the Mayor’s annual salary and that of the City Manager; the question is whether that means the two salaries are no longer comparable. If so, and the Board refuses to act, then there is a chance of litigation.

Carpenter didn't address my question. Who would want to sue on the ground that the mayor isn't paid enough? Besides Stodola himself. And do job responsibilities and amount of time devoted to task figure in definition of comparable pay?

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