HUNKY DORY: That's our prediction of how Mayor Mark Stodola will find the state of Little Rock.
Today is State of the City
speech day by Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.
Preview: Everything is hunky dory and the Strong Mayor is responsible for the manifest good you see around you. Where we need a tiny touch of improvement, the mayor has a task force. (Should you attend, be sure to lock your car.)
I wonder if he'll brag about working with Lance Hines
to kill Rep. John Walker's
effort to bring democracy to Little Rock by killing the at-large city board seats
that continue the concentration of power in a business community that wants taxpayer subsidies of its anti-labor chamber of commerce
; that worked to end democracy in the Little Rock School District
and that believes the definition of public-private partnership
is the public puts up the money and the private sector reaps the profits.
Walker knew as well as anyone his bill wasn't going anywhere, by the way. So don't credit the city lobby team.
UPDATE: Here's the text of the mayor's address
. Relentlessly upbeat, naturally, complete with a plug for his pals at the anti-labor Chamber of Commerce and an assurance that crime is disappearing. He did have this comment on a matter of recent attention, a plan by North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith to build a new home for the Arkansas Arts Center,, currently in MacArthur Park:
As has been mentioned recently, the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation has begun a public discussion of how to best preserve and showcase the wonderful and priceless collection of art that has been amassed over the last 55-60 years since Governor Winthrop Rockefeller led the effort to bring arts and culture in a major way to the state of Arkansas with the construction of the Arkansas Arts Center in its current location in historic MacArthur Park.
The Arts Center and its collection is a treasure for the state and the city. And with no offense to my friends in North Little Rock (and I do call them my friends), I believe the Arts Center should stay in the Capital City. I do not believe it is good policy to trade the existing assets of either city back and forth, but rather we should work together to build or expand new assets that complement rather than compete with each other.
The reality is the existing facility needs more museum school space, an expanded library, more seating capacity in the Children's Theatre, a larger restaurant and more vault storage space for the priceless collection. As we proceed to explore our options, I want to ask you, the public, to weigh in with your opinions. We have a real treasure here in the Arkansas Arts Center and I believe we should keep it here and improve it for the value it provides to all our citizens.
He'd like to keep the Arts Center. So far no specific plan on how to do that if North Little Rock votes a sales tax for a new building.
Maybe I missed it. No mention of any effort by the city of Little Rock to extend equality to all its citizens.