Two task forces will address compensation and leave-time policies for city employees, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced Tuesday.
The plan is for the groups, led by City Directors Kathy Webb and Gene Fortson, to produce recommendations for human resources policies that are fair and consistent for all employees, Scott said.
"Since becoming mayor, I've been reviewing a number of practices that ... are inconsistent and may be perceived as not necessarily fair and consistent," he said. "I want to make certain that as the mayor, the current mayor, irrespective of what's happened in the past, that we move forward and make certain that we are fair and consistent as it relates to compensation and leave time."
The creation of the task forces comes at the beginning of a year when nonuniform city employees are not receiving pay raises outside of step-and-grade increases, and at a time when the city is still negotiating what compensation former Mayor Mark Stodola should receive for unused paid time off.
Scott declined to specify which practices he saw as inconsistent or unfair, saying that they were personnel matters.
Webb will lead the compensation task force, and Fortson will lead the leave-time task force. Scott said two or three volunteers from the community that have experience in management and human resources would serve on each group.
The mayor announced the task forces on social media.
"Part of Frank's campaign was, you know, kind of looking at everything at City Hall and determining if everything we were doing was the best, that we were doing it in the most open way and the fair way for everybody concerned, for the employees and the taxpayers," Webb said. "I think it's a good idea."
The city last conducted a salary survey in 2013, Little Rock Human Resources Department Director Stacey Witherell said. Since then, the city has studied different pieces of compensation policy individually, such as looking at the salaries of police and code enforcement officers.
Witherell said the human resources department would be involved. She said she was excited about the process, but the city would ultimately need to come up with a plan, possibly involving one of shifting resources, to fulfill any recommendations the groups give.
"When you ask a question, you've got to be prepared to receive that information and more importantly, you've got to be prepared to act on it," she said.
Scott said the task force meetings would not be open to the public. He said that because of the groups' structure, they are not subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
City Attorney Tom Carpenter said he believed that task forces that are advisory in nature and not funded by the city are not subject to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. However, those fulfilling a "public function" and involving city staff members could be, Carpenter said.
In the past, meetings of city task forces dealing with crime and feeding the homeless have been open.
Metro on 01/30/2019
Print Headline: Little Rock mayor unveils task force plan; 2 city directors tapped to look at leave, compensation rules