Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola will seek re-election this year. Scratch his name from the field of potential candidates for Second District Congress.
And what of the potential list of challengers to Strong Mayor Stodola's re-election?
It'll be tough, what with the Chamber of Commerce firmly in Stodola's debt for continuing its taxpayer subsidy while community services took cuts.
Stodola takes credit for new jobs, reduction in crime, revitalized neighborhoods and more.
\Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola announced Monday that he will seek re-election as Mayor in November of this year. Dismissing rumors of a race for Congress in the 2nd District, Stodola said he believes that he already has one of the best jobs in the state and can help more people more immediately as Mayor than he could in Congress. The first-term mayor gave credit to the Little Rock Board of Directors, the city’s more employees and the development of neighborhood partnerships throughout the community as the drivers of Little Rock’s success.
“I have been privileged to serve the people of Little Rock as mayor, and I hope they will allow me to continue the progress of moving our city forward,” Stodola said. “Every day I am eager to go to work with our committed city employees and to work closely with our dedicated city directors. City Government is where the rubber meets the road; the work we do makes the most direct improvement in people’s lives.”
Stodola continued, “While our country has experienced a roller coaster of ups and downs, Little Rock has seen new job creation and growth as well as improvements in quality of life for all of our citizens, and I will continue building on that momentum.”
Since Stodola took office in January 2007, he has worked with state and local organizations to bring over one billion dollars of new capital investment into the city, that created over 3150 new jobs. Recently, Business Week ranked Little Rock as having the fourth best metro economy in the United States.
Crime reduction and public safety have been at the forefront of Stodola’s agenda as mayor. Over the past three years, Stodola has sought increases in the number of police officers and fire fighters, investments in new crime fighting technology and the creation of a new mid-town police substation which will be under construction in 2010. Since becoming Mayor in 2007, the city has seen a staggering 50% decrease in homicides and a 23% decrease in violent crime which Stodola credits to an excellent police department under the leadership of Chief Stuart Thomas.
Stodola also highlighted the continued improvements in quality of life and neighborhood revitalization. Under his leadership, the City was recently awarded a competitive grant of $8.6 million dollars for housing rehabilitation and construction targeted toward many of Little Rock’s distressed neighborhoods. The successful reissue of Parks revenue bonds, sought by Stodola, will provide $7 million dollars of new improvements to numerous park and sports facilities throughout the city.
“In this difficult economic environment we are finding creative ways to work with neighborhood associations and community partners, in constructing and improving playgrounds, parks, and recreational facilities all across Little Rock,” said Stodola.