The nitty-gritty of life in Little Rock sometimes gets revealed at Little Rock City Board meetings, but unless you tune into the broadcasts on cable or the web it mostly passes without notice.

Here’s some granular stuff that arose recently before the Board about crime and marijuana and taxes in Little Rock.


* MARIJUANA: City Director Ken Richardson has been pressing for a city policy  that de-emphasizes enforcement of marijuana law. The city attorney has indicated it would be unconstitutional to attempt to rein in law officers. In the course of that discussion, the Police Department was asked about the extent of marijuana arrests.

Answer: Since Jan. 1, 2017, there have been 433 reports of possession of marijuana in the city, both misdemeanor and felony level violations. During that same time period, there were 11,894 misdemeanor and felony arrests of all descriptions.


* CRIME ON BASELINE: Crime at a couple of Southwest Little Rock apartments has also drawn city director attention. For that reason, a report was compiled on police and ambulance calls to the two apartments — Royal Oaks at 8621 Baseline and Terrywood at 8723 Baseline. It’s eye-opening. 92 police calls to Royal Oaks and 127 to Terrywood since Jan. 1, 2017.  MEMS made 16 and 37  runs, respectively.

Some of the runs are minor. Some are not. Here’s the full breakdown.


* INTERNET SALES TAXES: The city is pressing members of Congress to enlist in the national effort to require mandatory collection of local sales taxes by Internet merchants. The city contends its revenues have been drained by those that don’t have to collect the tax, though a recent pleading by the city in a U.S. Supreme Court case estimated the loss at $1.4 million a year, not hugely significant against a $300 million annual budget. Stagnant population growth and loss of retail business to suburban shopping center expansion have also played a role.

The city directors wanted to talk to 2nd District Republican Congressman French Hill about the issue and he’s agreed to do so. He’ll meet city directors at 5 p.m. March 27 after a city board agenda meeting in the Metroplan conference room across the street.  Those of you who’ve been unable to reach the congressman to talk about things like his support for the NRA on gun policy; his meeting with a Russian seeking favors from Donald Trump, and other issues might want to join the board at its meeting with Hill. It will be open to the public (by law).