Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. Convenes Transition Team

Jan 7, 2019

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. convenes the first meeting of his transition team. (Left to right) Sen. Joyce Elliott, Dr. Sara Tariq, Kathryn Hazelett, Baker Kurrus, Gus Blass III, John Rutledge, Mayor Scott, Antwan Phillips, Dr. Jay Barth, Will Rockefeller, Cristina Monterrey and Tamika Edwards.
Credit David Monteith / KUAR News

New Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. has begun working to determine how best to achieve the goals he laid out during his campaign. On Monday, Scott convened the first meeting of his transition team which includes a board of directors and a team of advisors.

"What I hope will come out of this is a transition report that will serve as a playbook for my administration the next four years," Scott said.

Mayoral transition teams are common in other cities, but this 11-member group is a first for Little Rock. Much of the meeting was closed to the press, but among the items said to be discussed is a plan for changing Little Rock's form of government to a mayoral council in which the city manager would act more like a chief operating officer.

"I didn't hand-select everyone that agreed with me in that room right there, so I'll be able to listen, look and learn from that process. That's kind of how we started that process on that first day, the three-L process of listening, looking and learning," Scott said after meeting.

Little Rock lawyer Antwan Phillips was a member of Scott's campaign team and is now one of the co-chairs of the transition board of directors. The other is Will Rockefeller, vice-president of Winrock Farms.

"This is our first time getting together to understand what the mayor expects out of us and how the transition process will work. He made it clear that this is a 60 to 90-day process and that the city is going to be cooperative in helping us understand what’s going on and for us to ultimately make some recommendations to implement his agenda that he ran on," Phillips said.

Scott has said his priorities includes focusing on providing opportunities for youth and education, public safety, and government reform.

There are eight citizen-led subcommittees, which will also be a part of the transition process. Scott reiterated his goal of transparency as the new leader of Little Rock.

UPDATE: Late Monday afternoon details of the eight subcommittees were released, along with who will serve on each. A press release also said Little Rock residents can submit applications to also serve on the subcommittees via Frank Scott's website. The deadline to apply is Monday, Jan. 14.

Subcommittee descriptions, chairmen and participating board members are:

  • Education: Sen. Joyce Elliott, Chairman, and John Rutledge – Will build framework to implement Scott’s Opportunity Agenda
  • Economic Development: Gus Blass, III, Chairman, and John Rutledge – Will develop organizational plan for the formation of the Little Rock Economic Development Corporation, stated in Scott’s Jobs Agenda
  • Finance and Administration: Kathryn Hazelett, Chairman, and Baker Kurrus – Will review internal and external financial operations of the city and assess adequacy of the City’s revenue streams
  • Inclusion: Dr. Sara Tariq, Chairman, and Cristina Monterrey – Will shape how Little Rock can improve and welcome every resident, no matter their zip code, their background, or social status for implementation of Scott’s Inclusion Agenda
  • Mobility: Tamika Edwards, Chairman, and Kathyrn Hazelett – Will build framework for implementation of Scott’s Mobility Agenda, making sure that residents who use all forms of transportation have the ability to travel across the city and that Little Rock’s infrastructure is modernized
  • Public Safety: Tamika Edwards, Chairman, and Cristina Monterrey – Will shape recommendations for public safety services, entities, and organizations for implementation of Scott’s Public Safety Agenda
  • Quality of Life: Jay Barth, Chairman, and Sen. Elliott – Will shape how city leadership can improve the quality of life for residents in every corner of the city
  • Transformation and Government Reform: Antwan Phillips, Chairman, Will Rockefeller and Baker Kurrus – Will build the framework of the new administration’s operations, as well as a the future structure and operation of city leadership