Favorite
15coversidebar_image1.jpg

The Governor's Mansion is wet again, and that's not all that's going down.

The usage fee for the Grand Hall banquet facility, $1,500 per event under the Huckabee administration, will be reduced. Mansion Administrator Ron Maxwell said Gov. Mike Beebe “feels strongly the mansion and Grand Hall are to be utilized for the people of Arkansas; it's their home too, and he doesn't feel they should be charged exorbitant fees.”

The $1,500 fee amount was arrived at by looking at charges by other venues around town, Maxwell believes. The new fee has not yet been set. Catering fees will stay largely the same, based on the menu requested. The mansion employs an executive chef (Jason Knapp), a sous chef (Clark Huff) and an apprentice chef (Maria Smith).

Proceeds from the Grand Hall go into the state treasury.

The new administration has ushered in other changes to the mansion machinery: Liquor will be served, as mentioned. And Maxwell said he “will have no role with the [Mansion] Association.” That will be a change from the past, when the Mansion administrator took care of the day-to-day business of the Mansion Association, a non-profit organization that raises funds for improvements to the home. Bingham did not allow public inspection of the association's records, claiming an exemption for them as governor's working papers. He left none behind. An FOI request by the Times last year produced a single page, a form for Grand Hall rental.

“They have their own president, treasurer and officers,” and will take care of their own business, Maxwell said. He will attend the meetings “as an observer.” Maxwell said he and the first lady are working out the procedure “to get this administration on a proper track.”

The association and former first lady Janet Huckabee had plans drawn up for a 5,000-square-foot governor's residence on the mansion grounds. Mrs. Huckabee dropped the idea in 2005, saying it wasn't the right time. Candace Martin, press liaison for the Beebes, was surprised to learn of those plans, and said building a new mansion was not an interest of the Beebes'. “I think they're very happy with the mansion and living there in the private quarters,” she said. “They're enjoying making it comfortable for the people of Arkansas and for themselves, too.”

Among the things that will remain the same: The $5,000 monthly mansion allowance from the state Central Services Fund will pay for the Beebes' groceries, Martin said. The Beebes will not use the account to pay for dinners out or dry cleaning or other personal expenses, Martin said. The Huckabees used the account for both, at least in the early days of their tenure.

The first lady will also use the State Police security detail at the mansion to drive her. Martin cited a section of Arkansas code that states that the State Police are responsible for the safety and security of the governor and family.

However, the code also says the police are to provide security to the lieutenant governor and his family as well. Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has only used the State Police once to drive him to an event, his communications director, Theola Poole, said. The office decides on a case-by-case basis.

Martin said she believes security issues are greater today than in the past.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Whatever secret bill Senate considers, winners and losers are the same

    The U.S. Senate seems likely to vote Tuesday on a secret health bill. Whatever version is rolled out — and if Sen. John McCain's doctor approves a fly-in so he may vote — the outcome is the same. Bad for working poor and previously sick; good for rich people.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Two shot in home on W. 19th

    KARK reports that a 19-year-old woman and 20-year-old man were found with gunshot wounds when police responded to a house in the 4200 block of W. 19th.
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • Magic Springs coaster stops

    The X Coaster at the Magic Springs amusement park in Hot Springs stopped running this afternoon, KARK reports, and the station quotes the park operator ass saying guests are now "enjoying the park."
    • Jul 24, 2017
  • More »

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Fayetteville, Fenix and art-making on Saturday

    If you're in Fayetteville this weekend, you can drop in on several workshops being held by the Fenix Fayetteville artists' cooperative at the Walker-Stone House, 207 W. Center St. downtown.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • UALR artist Mia Hall is off to Penland: UPDATE

    The Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina has announced the hiring of Mia Hall, of the Department of Art and Design at UA Little Rock, as its new director.
    • Jul 19, 2017
  • ACLU asks court to enjoin antiabortion bills

    Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union asked Judge Kristine Baker to grant an injunction against four laws passed this year by the General Assembly that would: * Make abortion after 15 weeks riskier by outlawing what the medical profession considers the safest procedure, dilation and evacuation; * Require doctors to inform local police when an abortion performed on a teenager age 14-16 absent any indication of abuse and that police create a record of the teenager's abortion and be provided the fetal remains; * Require abortion providers to ask women seeking an abortion if they know the sex of the fetus, and, if they do, obtain all of their previous obstetrical records to determine if they have a "history of aborting fetuses" of a certain sex, as the lawyer for the state said today in court. * Require notification of a woman's partner — or abuser — that she intends to have an abortion, ostensibly so they can agree on the disposition of the remains of the fetus.
    • Jul 13, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.
  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  
 

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