The Little Rock City Board seems likely to have lots to talk about at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Agenda items include:
* UBER: The smart phone-driven car service is already operating in LIttle Rock (and already wrecking taxi business according to a drive I spoke with this week). Perhaps by next week it will be operating legally, under the proposed ordinance to regulate “transportation network companies.” They’ll get a break from insurance rules covering cabs and some other modifications in the driver, vehicle, permitting and other operational rules for cars operating for hire. At the ordinance link, you can find the changes highlighted. The insurance differences are the meat of the matter.
* HEALTH INSURANCE: The Board will vote on a new health insurance provider for city employees. On the table is a deal to go with the Arkansas Municipal League group coverage, which will produce a significant savings over what the city would have had to pay to stay with Qualchoice. Note the ordinance cites both comparative costs and the unexpected meager growth in revenue from a sales tax increase. The second half of that equation bodes ill in months and years ahead for the inexorable rise in health costs, not to mention every other aspect of city service.
* POT-BELLIED PIGS: Up for action is an ordinance to effectively push Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs out of the city of Little Rock and thus resolved conflicting passages in existing code. The proposed ordinance would prohibit keeping such an animal as a pet within 300 yards of another residence or business. W.P. Sooie, who started this fuss because of neighbors’ objection to its aroma (or its byproduct), would have to go.