by Max Brantley
LR Mayor Mark Stodola gets the big bucks now so he might as well get some headaches, too. Restaurateur Mark Abernathy and others in his industry will be challenging the mayor tomorrow at a meeting of the mayoral committee appointed to review operations of the city's convention and visitors effort and the Advertising and Promotion Commission.
Abernathy's group thinks the oversight committee is rife with conflicts of interest, real or at least potential. You can read his analysis here. At least one entry, however, is inaccurate. Committee member Susan Fleming left Stephens Inc. years ago. But Abernathy believes restaurant interests have been frozen out as Stodola shapes the review to produce outcomes he favors.
There's a deep suspicion that City Hall is eyeing the A&P apparatus as a source of city operating money and recent requests for A&P cash provide at least circumstantial evidence. Should be interesting tomorrow. The meeting is at noon at City Hall.