by Max Brantley
Former state Rep. Jim Lendall responds to our editorial this week endorsing the mayoral power changes on the Little Rock ballot next week. Perhaps it will foster discussion:
There's a lot of discussion about elections that will occur in the future - school board, primaries, 08 general election - but there have been few threads offered about the election happening right now.
I think there should be more discussion about the LR city government election happening right NOW.
" I oppose this ballot measure and I urge everyone to vote against both proposals on the ballot. They should eliminate the at-large board seats if they want to increase the power of the mayor.
"I seem to remember that the last time when we were voting to change city government from mayor to city manager, it was argued that at-large board members were necessary to represent ALL of the city, because the mayor's powers would be too limited.
"If we adopt the current proposal, the logic for the at-large board members is eliminated. At-large board elections have solidified the power of monied interests and diminished the voices of ordinary citizens.
"The citizens of Little Rock are entitled to direct representation - one person, one vote. Voting against the proposals on the ballot is taking a stand for democracy and against plutocracy."
Let's talk. Also, let's remember the discussions we had before the current form of LR government was adopted.
I'd add that the Times favors elimination of the at-large positions yesterday, today and tomorrow, as Acorn expressed, too, in its endorsement of the mayoral idea. But I also must comment that Mayor Mark Stodola's timid comments on two huge civic issues -- development in the Lake Maumelle watershed and the no-brainer issue of expanding a dump IN THE CITY LIMITS OF LR -- were, at best, unfortunately timed.