LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Less than 24 hours after voters elected Frank Scott Jr. as Little Rock city mayor, Scott is already preparing to take office. After a long night of celebrating a victory campaign Tuesday, Scott is getting his plans ready for 2019.
"To the voters, who voted for Frank Scott Jr, I'm just so grateful to them, and to the voters who did not vote for Frank Scott Jr. I have work to do to earn their support,” Scott said.
The Southwest Little Rock native said becoming mayor is a lifelong dream. He said he still has not woken up from Tuesday night.
“The feeling I have right now is the spirit of gratefulness, appreciation, humility,” he said.
Scott said his priority now is the entire city. He said he will make sure every neighborhood is represented well.
"Now am I going to pay special attention to underserved areas? Yes. But as I'm paying special attention to those areas, I'm also going to pay special attention to areas that are growing,” Scott said. “You can’t pick one side. I have to make sure we’re being very intentional and deliberate about how we grow the city and how we make the city a more unified city.”
Unifying Little Rock is Scott's platform. He said he plans to do that by working to keep businesses and grow business opportunities.
“It’s time for Little Rock to create an economic development corporation that focuses on how do we cut the red tape for existing small business owners and entrepreneurs right here in the city making sure they can thrive and grow all while how do we recruit and market companies,” Scott said.
But Scott one of his main focuses is going to be on the Little Rock School District.
"I plan to be a strong advocate and strong negotiator making certain we get the LRSD board back under local control,” he said. "We have to sit down with Gov. Hutchinson. We have to sit down with commissioner Johnny Key. Lay out the reasons why we need local control, how that will contribute to unifying the city."
Scott said he wants to make sure every child has the opportunity to get a good education – no matter where they go to school.
“Whether it’s private, public or charter, we want to make certain if you live in the city of Little Rock that you have access to a quality of education and that’s what I plan to advocate for,” he said.
Making sure Little Rock is a safe place to live also tops Scott's list.
"One of the first things I plan on doing is increasing our police force from 593 to 700 over the next four years. What that looks like is somewhere around 25 new officers each year over four years, that will be somewhere between $10 to $15 million dollars in our budget,” Scott said. "I firmly believe we can find it in our budget even if we have to cut something from our budget to make certain safety is a priority for the city of Little Rock."
Scott will be sworn into office Jan 1. He said he plans on announcing his transitional board and team next week.