Fort Smith government fever: Is it spreading? | Arkansas Blog

Fort Smith government fever: Is it spreading?

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A reader says there's rumbling in Little Rock about beginning a drive here similar to that underway in Fort Smith to change the form of city government.

As the Democrat-Gazette reported this morning (subscription), a petition drive is underway in Fort Smith to change from a city manager to mayor-council municipal government.

Little Rock has a hybrid administrator system. The mayor has a bit more power, but it's limited. The ultimate power rests in six votes of a board controlled by moneyed neighborhoods. Little Rock has a strong city manager and professional staff, but there's often a lack of clarity about who's in charge — mayor or manager — and the board sometimes overrides staff. Mayor-council would be more democratic and leave no doubt where the buck stops.

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