by Max Brantley
At request of LR Mayor Stodola, Director Cazort withdraws ordinance to boost mayor pay. Stodola email: issue "counterproductive."
The City Board meets on Tuesday. Cazort has been pushing to make Stodola's pay "comparable" to City Manager Bruce Moore's $178,000. Stodola makes $160,000. City Attorney Tom Carpenter has said the city might be viewed as noncompliant with state law by paying Stodola a salary not compable with other city officials. Nobody has threatened to sue, however. A compromise effort last week by City Director Dean Kumpuris to boost Stodola's pay by $6,000 fell a vote short.
No mention of the pay raise appears on the board agenda for tonight.
UPDATE: Here is the mayor's e-mail:
Dear Director Cazort:
I would like to request that you withdraw the salary ordinance pending before the Board of Directors from further consideration. While I appreciate your efforts to ensure compliance with both state statutes and the City ordinance which was popularly approved by 62.5% of the voters, after a month and a half of discussion, it has now become counterproductive. There are other more important and critical issues for us to deliberate as we move this City forward.
Over the last few years, Little Rock has received numerous accolades from several respected national institutions ranking us as one of the best mid-sized cities in the U.S thanks to your leadership and that of my other colleagues. I believe I have had a hand in this as well. We need to continue these efforts and work on our challenges rather than be distracted over this issue. As to questions which persist with some in the public on the need for a Mayor as CEO of the city and a city manager as CAO in charge of the daily administrative functions of government, I would suggest a review of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which was recently delivered to the Board. In 2012, independent of our boards and commissions, we generated $285 million in revenue and expended $266 million. As any successful businessman would tell you, running this City is a big operation. It takes all of us and a professional staff working together to make our city all it can be.