Little Rock mayor pushing for $19,000 raise

LITTLE ROCK (KATV) - The city of Little Rock is considering increasing Mayor Stodola's salary to make it comparable to other city officials.

It's a controversial proposal that has many council members and the mayor tight lipped. The topic was deferred Tuesday but it called for a 12 percent or $19,000 increase to the mayor's salary. Officials say it's all to follow the law.

"We've taken an oath to uphold the law whether you like it or not," said City Director Brad Cazort.

Cazort said it's something the residents of Little Rock voted for in 2007. A whopping $19,000 salary increase for Mayor Stodola so that it is comparable to that of City Manager Bruce Moore who earns $178,000 a year.

"They knew it came with a state law requirement that we pay our mayor comparable pay to the highest pay city official," said Cazort.

We compared the mayor's current salary of $160,000 to similar cities. Their mayor's salaries turned out to be significantly lower. The highest paid mayor is in Memphis. He recently took at $9,000 dollar pay cut.

The proposal is causing waves among some city council members who say there's a vital question going unanswered.

"How do you quantify comparable is it 10,000, 15,000, 20,000, 30,000," said City Director Ken Richardson.

Cazort admits it's a tough question to answer because this is the first time this law has been put to the test.

"We are trotting new ground and there are a lot of questions about how are we dealing with it and are we doing it correctly," he said. " There are no great answers for that because nobody has had to do it before."

And Richardson says it is precisely for that reason that he will likely vote against the proposal.

"It's a lot of questions that I don't think we have the answers to so I'm probably not going to be a supporter of this," he said.

City council members quickly decided to defer voting on the proposal to July 2nd for further discussion.