Lottery commission hears the howls | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lottery commission hears the howls

Posted By on Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 2:38 PM

Capsearch is Twittering the lottery commission meeting in Beebe today.

Flash. Gov. Mike Beebe is not alone in concerns about high lottery paychecks.  Commissioner Derrick Smith, an appointee of Sen. Bob Johnson (who's already planted some of his people in key lottery positions) has made a motion that future lottery management jobs paying more than $80,000 be subject to a commission personnel committee vote. Chairman Ray Thorton (Johnson's main man) opposes the idea. The motion for committee review passed 6-2 with Thornton and Patty Shipp, another Johnson appointee, voting no.

Ernie P. gave assurances that Arkies will be hired for lesser lottery jobs, the ones for dummies, I guess. (It might be that fewer Arkies would reduce the buddy system a bit, actually.)

The lotto man defended pay levels and, again, complained about the media. He says he never called Arkies stupid. (No, he merely said the average Arkansan couldn't understand the operation in dismissing complaints about pay level. Even us dummies can understand salaries disproportionate to those in other states that had equally speedy startups.) He also said state lottery should be paid as in private sector, not public sector. Uh, why?

Other news: Springdale, Camden and Little Rock seem likely as sites for lottery offices.

Arkansas Business notes that Ernie P. added three new hires earlier this week at pay from $92,000 to $150,000 before the new review policy was adopted.

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