Did Arkansas Pay Too Much For Lottery Chief?


daddyFayetteville No. 2 for Forbes Economic Turnaround forecast 

By Daddy Warbucks

Daddy W. has come to the realization that in life you get what you pay for. So amid all the wild talk that the amount paid for the expert services of the former South Carolina State Senator and formerly head of the South Carolina Lottery, is not surprising.

Ernie Passailaigue’s first year salary as head of the Arkansas lottery is $324,000. Woo Pig. Sooie. Ernie, sell them ducats.

Arkansans who voted for and want a successful lottery to generate money — upwards to $125 million a year for college scholarships — need to ante up. That way we can expect big bucks in return for his (and his high priced assistants) expertise. 

Arkansas is set to pay its lottery head the third-highest salary paid to a state lottery director, behind only Tennessee and Georgia.

Does any one who has followed these “educational based” games see what is going on here? Georgia, which has a wildly successful game sending thousands of first-time students to colleges — most of whom would not go if it were not for the scratchers and Powerball tickets is No. 2 with a payout to its lotto chief. Tennessee is No. 1 in pay to its lotto chief at $436,144. Enough said.

And before all the whining starts, ask yourself this: When was the last time Arkansas elected a governor, or even lieutenant govenor, who didn’t spend more than his state salary to just get elected to the job that we pay so poorly for to someone who oversees the state budget.


Big Question

What is the number of employees who do not typically take a lunch break? See end for the answer.


Bark Park

The new dog park at Bryce Davis Park will open soon, we hope, for our canine friends. The 2-acre site at 1595 Dartmouth Ave., will be filled with frisky pups.


New Green

Word is that Wilma’s restaurant in south Fayetteville, the spot that formerly housed Masion des Tarts, is moving to a North College Avenue location and the Greenhouse Grille will be moving to the Wilma’s spot.


New Roll

Also heard around town … a roller rink is coming to central Fayetteville … a big one. Stay tuned.


New At FLP

Susan Foley, a veteran fundraiser who has worked with several area nonprofit organizations, will become the new development director at the Fayetteville Public Library.


Tithe Troubles

Looks like hard times has hit the former Lake Hills Baptist Church, which has closed. First Federal Bank, has filed a lawsuit against the church and its former board members. The church owes the bank some $1.18 million, which is secured by a 3.8 acre plot of land out of 2828 Crossover Road. Yikes. Pass the plate.


Forbes Best

Again the NWA area has been recognized as one of the best. We never doubt it, but Forbes says Fayetteville is the No. 2 spot to be when the economy really turns around. No. 1 was Austin, Texas where Shorthorn University is located. The others listed were No. 3 Boulder, Colo., No. 4 Huntsville, Ala., and No. 5 San Antonio. Everyone pat themselves on the back for without all that we have here in NWA we wouldn’t be on this list. 


Good Grants

A big federal grant for food safety was given out in Northwest Arkansas this past week. Some $1.7 million and scientific equipment were awarded to the Arkansas Public Health Lab from Uncle Sam. The only other states to get money for keeping the food supply safe went to Nebraska and Wisconsin.


Big Answer

Four out of 10 employees do not typically take a lunch hour. Some 55 percent take 30 minutes or less each day.

Categories: Features