by Max Brantley
Mayor Mark Stodola has called a special meetingt tonight of the Little Rock City Board of Directors for appointments to city boards and to have personnel reviews of City Attorney Tom Carpenter and City Manager Bruce Moore.
Carpenter barely survived a withering session last year. This year? We'll just have to wait and see.
UPDATE: Stodola is unhappy with Carpenter. (Most recently, he was irked when Carpenter called him out of order on a parliamentary point at a Board meeting.) However, he cannot remove Carpenter. It takes six votes of the City Board to do that. Carpenter is viewed by some on the board as a useful check to Stodola. (Think NLR, where the city attorney is just a tool for the mayor's wishes.) How hard Stodola pushes tonight might be the key issue.
The talk tonight also could turn to Stodola's relationship with the city manager, said to be uneasy. Why? Stodola is exercising administrative power within City Hall, critics believe, powers that are not a part of the "strong mayor" model adopted by voters.
UPDATE II: After a lengthy closed session, the city board announced that Carpenter and Moore had satisfactory reviews but no pay raises. Suffice it to say that isn't the whole story. Suffice it to say election year politics were at work.