A gander at the Little Rock City Board agenda for next week shows that it includes the City Board’s consideration of Planning Commission rejection of a plan to put a Popeye’s fast food outlet in a stretch of offices on West Markham across the street from entrances to the War Memorial Park golf course and St. Vincent Infirmary.
Also, appointments to city boards and commissions are on the agenda.
The application period closed this week for interest in one particularly coveted slot — on the Airport Commission. Former City Director Stacy Hurst has demanded this appointment in a long-standing cronyism custom of allowing departing directors to choose a commission on which to serve as a going away honorarium.. It underscores the clubbishness that distinguishes so much of city politics. There are other qualified candidates and citizens shouldn’t be given the impression that they have a shot at participation only after the insiders are served. (Even if, sorry, that’s the plain truth.)
Opposition has been mounted to Hurst’s appointment. She, after all, was rewarded for her unsuccessful Republican race for state House by a $109,000 state agency directorship by Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Mayor Mark Stodola makes the call.
The agenda doesn’t say specifically what appointments the mayor will make this week subject to board ratification. He customarily doesn’t announce them in advance, which makes the decisions fait accompli as far as the interested public is concerned. He’s declined to respond to my inquiries about his plans on the airport appointment. A number of directors support Hurst under the prevailing rule that it is a former director’s due.