MAYOR STODOLA: Outside city business lies ahead.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola
recently was elected second vice president of the National League of Cities
at the city lobby's annual meeting Nov. 4-7 in Nashville.
The significance is that, by League custom, Stodola is in the line of succession to become president of the group in 2018, after one year in each of two vice president posts. More significant for city residents lies in the growing demands the jobs place on top league officials. In the year as first vice president, the rising president typically makes plan for a controlling theme of the year as president.
The likelihood that Stodola will eventually be spending more time away from the city on League of Cities business perhaps helps explain his recent push to create a new chief of staff job
in the mayor's office — a job for which a current events planner in the city manager's office, Phyllis Dickerson
, was the only applicant in the short internal window open for applications — and an administrative assistant. Stodola says the League duties had no influence on the staffing ideas, however, that they arose from other city needs.
Future mayoral absences could also make the role of Little Rock vice mayor somewhat more important down the line. That's a position that rotates among board members.
Leadership in the NLC also is a position that can guide some meetings to Little Rock, though not the annual meeting, too large for our facilities currently.