Arkansas lottery chief: Home-grown or not? | Arkansas Blog

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Arkansas lottery chief: Home-grown or not?

Posted By on Sun, Sep 25, 2011 at 7:55 AM

DO WE WANT ANOTHER OUTSIDER: Ernie Passailiague, the departed lottery director, came from South Carolina.
  • Brian Chilson
  • DO WE WANT ANOTHER OUTSIDER?: Ernie Passailiague, the departed lottery director, came from South Carolina.
An age-old Arkansas political debate is about to play out: Should the next director of the Arkansas Lottery come from in-state or out-of state? Some favor home-grown. Some say the search should not be limited. Bill Halter, father of the lottery, is strongly in favor of hiring an experienced, proven lottery leader. (He's also in favor of talking more about the 30,000 people on Arkansas scholarships than some of the operational minutia that has consumed press coverage on the lottery.)

Stephens Media runs down some of the differing opinions today.

An Arkie will work cheaper. Don't we always? Whoever is hired, it's unlikely he or she will knock down the $326,000 made by Ernie Passailaigue. I think it is fair to look at his pay as something akin to a startup bonus, albeit a guaranteed bonus.

I'd like to hear some sharp assessments from candidates on how they'd 1) lower costs and 2) increase revenue, both necessary to increase scholarship dollars. I'd like to hear some tell the truth: nationwide, lotteries don't have great growth curves and people who look to them as permanent elastic support for vital public aims (see: California and public education) are certain to be disappointed. Lottery money is a supplement — however welcome it may be — but only that.

The lottery commission's personnel committee will meet Monday morning to work on a job description and posting requirements for the opening.

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