One of Little Rock’s at-large directors plans to ask for a new citizens committee be created to study the city’s form of government, particularly the makeup of the board.
At-large Director Dean Kumpuris’ recommendation comes in response to Ward 1 Director Erma Hendrix’s ordinance on Tuesday night’s board agenda that would ask voters to decide on eliminating the three at-large positions on the Board of Directors.
If Hendrix’s ordinance is approved by the board, the question will be on the November ballot for Little Rock voters to decide. If they vote in favor of the change, the city would be left with seven board members, each elected from a particular ward, and the mayor, who is elected citywide.
Kumpuris wrote his colleagues Monday afternoon to express his opposition to Hendrix’s ordinance.
“My main objection is not the proposal itself, but the method she used to arrive at her proposal. I have been part of two successful changes in our form of government during my time on the Board that were initiated by Future Little Rock and Vision Little Rock. Director Hendrix’s proposal is the product of a small group of confidants and because of that lacks the critical component of the prior processes; in-depth study and extensive public input,” Kumpuris’ letter said.
He said if Hendrix’s ordinance fails tonight, he will propose a resolution that would make the first action taken by the new board and new mayor in 2019 to be a decision on a process where the style of government question can be fully vetted.
He will propose the study group make recommendations and offer them to the public in 2019, well before the 2020 election.
The board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Little Rock City Hall, 500 W. Markham St., where it will discuss Hendrix’s proposed ordinance and Kumpuris’ recommendation.