by Max Brantley
I wrote early this morning about divided Little Rock politics and the lack of trust engendered by city powers' disregard for the have-nots.
Here's a small but symbolic way the City Board could reach out to disaffected residents.
Arkansas Community Organizations has written the Little Rock City Board and Mayor Mark Stodola to ask that the citizen communication period at board meetings be restored to a time when the communications have a better chance to be heard. They've been moved to the end of the meeting, by which time anyone with an interest in the agenda has left the meeting or turned off the TV. The mayor and some of the directors have also been known to depart when the communications period begins.
ACO wants the comment period to follow the consent agenda, but before the portion of the agenda that requires debate. They are willing to accept limitations on comments. It's a reasonable request. A reasonable city government wouldn't treat people with legitimate comments and grievances like leftover to be endured. As ACO notes, the directors and mayor are paid to attend meetings. Citizens come on their own time to make their feelings known. They deserve more respect.