by Max Brantley
Bulk up, Mayor Stodola. Looks like you've got the power.
The early voting favored the two measures 69-30 percent. About 1,500 votes were cast early and that set the tempo for the evening.
With all votes counted, it appeared the measures would prevail almost 2-1, about 63-37. It drew more favor among white voters than among black voters.
The business community-backed campaign to give the mayor veto power, appointment power over the city manager and city attorney and city boards now will take effect. Will it produce a city government markedly different than that produced by the consensus-oriented, underrated Jim Dailey? We shall see.
Will the people who promised a vote for this is a vote for a gradual process to end at-large city directors and go to ward representation follow through? I'm less confident.
But Mark Stodola appears to have the power and a pay raise. He should announce tomorrow that he's forsaking any other source of outside professional income so that he may work full time at $160,000 plus car, health, perks as mayor of Little Rock. Not mayor of LR and counsel to various other interests. Will he do it? Ask him.
A federal lawsuit over this change in government is still in progress, but I believe the legal chances are slim.