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story.lead_photo.caption Frank Scott Jr. is shown in this file photo.

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

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Comments

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  • RBear
    January 30, 2019 at 4:45 a.m.

    Another great step by Scott in helping move Little Rock in the right direction. Treating its employees fairly and equitably is key to helping build for the future. Not exactly happy about the closed meetings, but when you're dealing with HR functions sometimes those need to be closed. We'll see what comes out of the task force. I have confidence in Webb and Fortson leading this endeavor. It demonstrates that Scott wants the directors to be engaged and involved in moving the city forward. Let's see how many step up to the plate and help out.

  • Razrbak
    January 30, 2019 at 7:26 a.m.

    Bad City of Little Rock blog has published a list of recent PTO payouts. Scott continues to show that his A.C.T. is B.S. with his lack of transparency. Still waiting for him to come clean about his sealed criminal case ans his attempts to use his position as a highway commissioner to thwart a state police investigation into his criminal activity.

  • Skeptic1
    January 30, 2019 at 8:04 a.m.

    More waste of taxpayer money, so far all he has done is increase the city payroll with has cronies. Another spendthrift feckless Democrat that will turn a blind eye to the murder and violent crime that is out of control.

  • drs01
    January 30, 2019 at 9:01 a.m.

    The most significant statement in this article is: "the city is still negotiating what compensation former Mayor Mark Stodola should receive for unused paid time off." This is for Stodola's"self reported" vacation and sick pay totaling over $175,000. There is no structured accounting of his time to validate his claim. It's kind of like what lawyers do. See you on the street and say "how about them hogs", then bill you 1/10 to 1/4 of an hour.
    It's bad enough that the former mayor will be getting $80,000 a year for life as a pension for serving in a position he campaigned for, and lobbied to get this passed thru the Arkansas legislature. This is the ultimate abuse of public service.
    For 12 years he was a "cafeteria" mayor, selectively picking what he wanted to address, leaving the heavy lifting to the city manager.
    Voters had best follow the outcome of this issue. In just a short time the mayor and city leaders will be asking us to renew the 1 cent sales tax passed in 2012. How they spend our money today should help us decide about more sales taxes.
    City employees should really be pissed at this since they got no raises, just one-time small bonuses.

  • DowBM
    January 30, 2019 at 9:08 a.m.

    Skeptic - these are board members and volunteers, which is much cheaper than having city employees complete the process. Also, he will have three staff members, only one of whom has been hired so far. Do you know how many Stoloda had?

  • Murphy01
    January 30, 2019 at 9:23 a.m.

    "Two task forces will address compensation and leave-time policies for city employees, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. announced Tuesday."
    "Scott declined to specify which practices he saw as inconsistent or unfair, saying that they were personnel matters." This has to do with city employees in general and perhaps the current and future mayor. Yet he declined to specify specific practices. So much for transparency. Chicken s#&t.

  • GeneralMac
    January 30, 2019 at 9:26 a.m.

    move the goalposts, move the goalposts until the inept kicker on your team can make a field goal ?

    No thanks.

    Keep the goalposts right where they are and cement them in place!

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