Thursday, July 17, 2014

UPDATE: Little Rock Mayor Stodola announces for re-election

Posted By on Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 9:22 AM

click to enlarge FOUR MORE YEARS: Mayor Stodola wants another term.
  • FOUR MORE YEARS: Mayor Stodola wants another term.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola has announced he'll seek a third four-year term as mayor.

To date, little has been heard about serious potential opposition. Benny Johnson, a former Central High security officer and the leader of an inner city group that has worked to get the city more aggressively focused on crime in their neighborhoods, has told me he's thinking about running.

Perhaps the onset of a campaign will encourage more boldness on the part of Stodola, who's paid $160,000. He could, for example, say his appointed Planning Commissioners were wrong to approve a gas station and beer store just down the way from a $70 million Robinson Auditorium renovation. He could, for example, say Brett Morgan should resign from the Little Rock Civil Service Commission, given questions about his residency. He could say he's appalled his Civil Service Commission appointees thought no punishment was in order for a police lieutenant who beat a bar customer repeatedly while working private security. He could champion equal treatment of all people in the city, including domestic partner benefits for city workers and a non-discrimination ordinance such as Fayetteville is considering.

UPDATE: I heard from Benny Johnson, who said he's still evaluating the race. But he's certain about one thing: He thinks the special deployment of 50 police officers to Movies in the Park last night amounted to "total disregard" to the toll of crime in Little Rock.

There have been 29 homicides in Little Rock this year and not once, said Johnson, have police undertaken a "special deployment" in response. But one shot gets fired in the River Market and all hands are on deck.

City Director Ken Richardson also happened to pass me on the street at lunch and noted my remark hoping for a quiet night in the city with such a concentration of forces in one place. "Maybe we all ought to spend the night in the River Market," he said.
 
"Strong Mayor," to date, has been more a concept of Little Rock government than a working reality.

Stodola sees it differently, naturally. What follows is his campaign press release tout sheet: It includes taking credit for private investment in the city and new jobs. 


STODOLA NEWS RELEASE

 Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola has officially announced his plans to run for re-election as mayor this November. “The city of Little Rock is quickly moving in a direction I am proud to be a part of,” Mayor Stodola said. “And I hope to be there to continue to steer our city into further areas of progress and growth in the future.”

During Stodola‘s tenure as Mayor, he has focused on areas of economic development and quality of life for the people of our city. “We have made tremendous progress, but I hope, going into my next term as mayor, to push Little Rock forward even further,” he said.

This past year Stodola cited the redevelopment of Main Street; increased tourism with the development of the lighting of 3 bridges over the Arkansas River; the renovation of Robinson Auditorium which is currently underway; and the establishment of a day resource center for the homeless as just a few examples of challenges he has successfully tackled.

The development of the “Creative Corridor “ on Main Street, a project the mayor has been working on for the last 5 years, has received 8 state, national and international awards. Most recently the plan, which is under development, has resulted in over $76 million dollars in private sector development. Recently announced projects include offices, restaurants, the relocation of arts organizations and the construction of dozens of apartments being developed up and down Main Street making the area a destination for both residents and tourists.

Noting the economic growth of the city since he became mayor, Stodola said over 5000 new jobs, $200 million in new annual payroll, and new capital investment exceeding $1 Billion has been created. Stodola also stressed his leadership in the city’s efforts to develop new revenue streams to repair Little
Rock’s streets and drainage issues. Over the next several years $177 million has been dedicated to repair the city’s infrastructure.

Quality of life issues focused on improved parks and bicycling trails along with programs directed toward tackling the childhood obesity epidemic and improving neighborhoods through the city’s “Love Your Block” grant program have all contributed to Kiplinger’s Research Service naming Little Rock as the “ #1 Most Livable City in the U.S.” for populations under a million. “The future of our city and the nation depends on safe, healthy and prosperous communities where everyone has an opportunity to succeed and everyone’s life matters.” Stodola said.

On the public safety front, Mayor Stodola has added 52 new police officers, the police department has reorganized its operational structure all the while emphasizing crime prevention and reduction with the purpose of developing safe neighborhoods throughout the city. Even with the creation of a new police substation on 12th and Cedar streets and the creation of a police substation in the old Pankey Center on Highway 10 in west Little Rock, Stodola stressed there is still much more to be done which is why the Mayor has joined “Cities United” a coalition of 56 mayors from Philadelphia to New Orleans to cut down of the disproportionate amount of violence among young men and boys of color.

“By showing our collective experience and wisdom, the coalition will help us succeed through prevention instead of just prosecution, and intervention rather than just incarceration,” said Stodola.

Tags: , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

  • Mayor Stodola: Whatever happened to local control?

    February 27, 2017
    Credit where due to Mayor Mark Stodola for noting the national movement by Republicans to seize local control on pet issues, a movement amply illustrated by Arkansas's Republican legislature. /more/
  • Interest light so far in Little Rock City Board elections

    June 25, 2016
    Interest seems limited so far for challenging incumbent directors planning to seek re-election this year to the Little Rock Board of Directors. /more/
  • City Hall leadership lacking on Interstate 30 plan

    November 12, 2015
    When Little Rock city leaders such as Lance Hines and Mayor Mark Stodola are leading the fight against city-damaging freeway plans, there's not much hope that the city will achieve a better outcome from a Highway Department uninterested in forms of transportation other than freeways to the suburbs. /more/
  • A 'used' pot worth thousands and more Roadshow news

    July 25, 2015
    I stopped by the Antiques Roadshow at the Statehouse Convention Center for a couple of hours today to see what gems people had hauled in from their attics and garages and mantelpieces, and right off the bat I learned about the pot shown above from tribal arts appraiser Linda Dyer. Dyer said she believed it was made Hopi potter Nampeyo /more/
  • Police residency requirement fails

    June 17, 2015
    As predicted here, the City Board of Directors voted against an ordinance to require new police officer hires to be residents of Little Rock. The vote was 6 to 4, with Directors Erma Hendrix, who introduced the ordinance; Ken Richardson, Doris Wright and Kathy Webb voting for passage. Webb's vote kept the board from dividing along racial lines on the ordinance. /more/
  • City Board to take up residency requirement for police tonight

    June 16, 2015
    The City Board is set to vote tonight on an ordinance to require future police officers to reside in Little Rock. The ordinance was drafted at the request of Ward 1 Director Erma Hendrix. Directors Ken Richardson and Doris Wright, the board's other African American members, support the ordinance. Director Kathy Webb said today she is "leaning" toward supporting it, "but I am still not 100 percent decided." /more/
  • Little Rock, cops, schools and race

    June 10, 2015
    The Little Rock City Board demonstrated last night some surprising sentiment in support of a residency requirement for Little Rock cops. That won't solve problems in a city too ready to blame schools (many of them excellent) for city problems linked more to race and economics. /more/
  • Erma Hendrix and the battle over bikes

    May 26, 2015
    Much unhappiness on the Downtown Little Rock Neighborhood Facebook page about Ward 1 City Director Erma Hendrix's stifling of a plan to restripe Chester Street to include a marked bicycle lane. It's part of the city's Complete Streets program to encourage use of right of way for all, including bicycles and walkers and runners, not just cars. /more/
  • Griffen: Riot gear purchase panders to 'storm trooper mentality'

    May 20, 2015
    Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen writes that Little Rock is pandering to a storm trooper mentality by purchasing riot gear for police rather than focusing on better training of officers and more community policing in city unmarked by riots but also marked by questionable police actions in the deaths of black people. /more/
  • City to still seek grant for Riverfront Drive bike trail, but not to narrow vehicle lanes

    May 1, 2015
    Neighborhood objections have prompted the city of Little Rock to alter a federal grant application to improve the room provided for bicycles on Riverfront Drive. /more/
  • More »

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Friday's open line

    The daily video and an open line.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • White flag waved on Trumpcare

    House Republicans pulled down the Trumpcare legislation this afternoon and walked out, depriving Democrats of some fun in pointing out all the anti-woman, anti-poor, pro-rich aspects of a bill too generous for hardcare Republicans and too mean for the few remaining moderates.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • Jones Bar-B-Q of Marianna has a related outpost in Jacksonville

    The legendary Jones Bar-B-Q Diner of Marianna is about to have a kissing cousin — supposedly with the same key recipes — in Jacksonville.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Tom Cotton suggests Dick Cheney as House speaker

    Yes. U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton told Politico he'd like to see Dick Cheny as House speaker.
    • Oct 12, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

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