LR Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. discusses 2nd term agenda; says police chief hire imminent, wants ‘reset’ with city board


Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. says he plans to call a recent police chief “soon,” will advocate for state parole reforms to handle city crime, and needs to “reset” relations with the board of a directors in a second term.

On Tuesday, Scott received 48.65% of the vote in a four-way race between Steve Landers, Greg Henderson and Glen Schwarz. For cities of a certain size in Arkansas, the candidate leading with greater than 40% of the vote is said the winner.

In a wide-ranging interview on this week’s Capitol View, Scott reflected on his tough re-election campaign and discussed his goals in a second term.

“I believe the foremost focus within the second term is to proceed the work that we’ve been doing, but do some recent things. Clearly, we have now to focus and collaborate with our city board to make sure that the vision and mission is inclusive, that we concentrate on unity and growth and transformation for town. The highest priority on my mind at once is hiring our next police chief,” he said.

Scott said there may be a pool of applicants he’s considering, including internal candidates, and he hopes to have a finalist within the near future. He declined to supply a timetable on the choice, but emphasized it will be soon.

“It’s been a top priority to get that done quick, fast, in a rush. But we would like to be certain that that we make the fitting decision,” he said.

Crime was a serious issue within the capital city mayor’s race. Little Rock has set a record for homicides in a single yr with 75 murders to date. Scott said along with hiring the brand new police chief, he desires to proceed a long-term, holistic approach to addressing crime, but there are more short-term fixes in process.

“Our recently announced real-time crime center that adds additional eyes on the streets, that helps with crime prevention. We wish to concentrate on ensuring that our officers have raises and make some pay adjustments,” he said.

“Once I say additional eyes on the streets, there are additional cameras you can’t find out about or where they’re situated, nevertheless it helps us. It doesn’t have any artificial imaging or facial recognition, nevertheless it does helps us really key on suspects which might be out and about that should be captured, helps us if the crime incident actually happens, helps us garner more evidence to capture the respective individuals who’ve committed that crime,” Scott said. “It’s been very successful. It’s only been going for right at a month now, I think, and we’ve already had some successful captures and arrests already. So we predict that’s going to be very outstanding in our holistic approach on how we concentrate on fighting crime.”

Scott, who’s an associate minister that works with prison re-entry programs, said parole reform is a problem that he hopes to see addressed on the state legislature in January. He plans on asking lawmakers and Gov.-elect Sarah Sanders to make it a priority.

“Considered one of the things that town of Little Rock experiences is an unlimited variety of parolees which might be paroled to town of Little Rock who aren’t from Little Rock. While we all know that over and over our brothers and sisters are in need of second and third possibilities, we also know that town of Little Rock shares a brunt of lots of the parolees and it’s not reflected in a really equitable fashion across the state,” he said.

The newly re-elected mayor said one other second term goal is to search out higher ways to work with city board members. His first term was saddled with contentious board fights. Scott said he desires to “reset” relations.

“In leadership, you’ll be able to’t be leader when you can’t reflect and look inward and work out how there are areas of opportunity for improvement. And so one in all the things that I need to do is make sure that I improve board relations because a mayor can’t get anything refrained from six votes,” he said.

“I’m grateful that we were in a position to get quite a bit done with six votes over the past 4 years, but I wouldn’t be totally honest with myself if I said that we got it done very easily. There have been definitely some challenges. I learned numerous lessons. I need to be certain that that I share that with the members of town board that there’s been some lessons learned. I take a look at this next second term as a whole reset,” Scott added.

In recent weeks, Little Rock officials admitted to problems complying with the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not providing public records requested by blogger Matt Campbell of The Blue Hog Report. Campbell has reported on town’s cancelled LITFest contract with ThinkRubix, which hired Scott’s former chief of staff, Charles Blake. Town claims that it has not been in a position to provide a number of the records requested because ThinkRubix has not provided documentation.

Scott may have to testify in a Nov. 16 hearing in Pulaski County Circuit Court on the problem. When asked to elucidate why FOIA compliance couldn’t be met and the way he’ll correct problems on this area, Scott was limited in his response.

“I can’t give all the main points. As you already know, it’s currently under litigation, and so I can’t share an excessive amount of. What I can share to the general public is that town of Little Rock is inundated with quite a lot of different requests. We’ve had some staff allocation issues that should be corrected they usually might be corrected. I just wish to proceed to concentrate on that because we would like to be and we might be accountable, clear and transparent, and we’ll get it corrected,” he said.

You’ll be able to watch Scott’s full interview from this week’s Capitol View within the video below.

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here