The banker will fill the Ward 1 seat previously held by the late Erma Hendrix.
The Little Rock Board of Directors has selected banker Virgil Miller to fill the Ward 1 seat that became vacant following the death of Erma Hendrix in September. Mayor Frank Scott announced the board’s selection following an executive session during last night’s special meeting.
“I’m excited and I want to thank all of you for your vote of confidence,” Miller said.
In a public vote, all board members affirmed Miller’s appointment except Ward 2 City Director Ken Richardson who voted present.
Twenty candidates applied for the open seat and Miller was one of eight finalists who gave 10-minute presentations to the board during Tuesday’s meeting. Miller has lived in Ward 1 for more than three decades and said he’s “worked in Little Rock serving the city as a corporate, civic and community leader” for more than 44 years.
Miller will serve the remainder of Hendrix’s term, which expires Dec. 31, 2022, and is eligible for re-election. The position will be on the ballot in the November 2022 General Election. Miller still needs to be sworn in before he can officially begin working.
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get started,” Miller said. “Like everyone has said, I’m not Erma Hendrix. No one can be Erma Hendrix. I’m going to be Virgil Miller and that’s going to have to be good enough.”
Hendrix first served on the Little Rock City Board of Directors from November 1993 to December 1994. She was serving her fourth term when she passed Sept. 8 at the age of 91. She had been reelected in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.
A long-serving member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church, Hendrix was active in a variety of community organizations in Little Rock, including the National Council of Negro Women, and was a charter member of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association and Martin Luther King Heritage Center.
“We again continue to share our appreciation for her service and continue to remain in prayer for her family’s strength and comfort,” Mayor Scott said.
Ward 1 includes downtown Little Rock and stretches eastward along the Arkansas River. City directors will be redrawing ward boundaries as part of their once-a-decade redistricting efforts. When new census data is released every ten years, officials redraw districts to reflect changes in the population.
In a statement issued last week, Mayor Scott said it’s important redistricting decisions are made with public input, and his goals for the process include eliminating I-630 as a dividing line in the community and avoiding wards that are overwhelmingly single-race in their composition.
Residents can share their ideas for new wards by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.