A seat on the Little Rock Airport Commission has long been one of the most coveted appointments in city government, for reasons not entirely clear except prestige. The positions are unpaid, but come with good airport parking places and occasional convention travel.
The seven members serve five-year terms, Commissioner Jesse Mason’s term expired Dec. 31, but he was reappointed to a new term last night. Another slot is open because of the resignation of Kathy Webb from the commission on her election to the City Board of Directors.
Applications are being taken for the appointment to Webb’s seat through Jan. 23. She was the only woman in an appointed seat (City Director Joan Adcock is an ex officio member) so attention tends to focus on a female appointee.
Former City Director Stacy Hurst is reportedly pushing hard for the appointment by Mayor Mark Stodola (appointments are confirmed by the City Board.) She left the Board to make an unsuccessful Republican race for state House, but was rewarded for her losing effort by incoming Gov. Asa Hutchinson with appointment to the $109,000-a-year job as director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Others mentioned as potential appointees include three lawyers, Meredith Catlett, a former law partner of the mayor, and Danyelle Walker and Jean Block, currently a member of Little Rock’s Wastewater Commission.
Complication: By custom, outgoing city directors get to pick a city commission on which to sit. That custom will make other directors sympathetic to Hurst’s lobbying.
UPDATE: These people have indicated an interest in the job to the city clerk: