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Stronger mayor

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Little Rock voters today voted on two measures to increase the power of the mayor. Early voters approved the measuresx 69-30 percent and early voting indicated key precincts also were favoring the idea. Going by incomplete returns, voters were roughly split 70-30 in favor of the measures.

The proposals would give the mayor veto power, control over the city manager and city attorney and appointment power. All would be subject to override or approval of the city directors.

The ballot proposals don't mention it, but adopting these ordinances would put Little Rock under a portion of state law that requires pay for the mayor equivalent to that of the city attorney, about $160,000 plus other perks.

A cross-section of organizations have endorsed the proposals, but some grassroots opposition has arisen, particularly in the black community.

A federal court lawsuit challenging the measures still pends.

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