Now is the time for new leadership for the city of Fayetteville. Northwest Arkansas has seen tremendous growth and prosperity over the last eight years, and we are fortunate enough to live in an area able to recover from the 2008 recession, while many parts of the country are still catching up. However, since 2008, our city’s leadership has not provided adequate support for entrepreneurs and local businesses, transparency with tax dollars, or respect for each citizen wishing to approach the city administration. It is time for leadership in City Hall that is a champion for all citizens, not for just for a small group who makes the most noise. Leading means making hard choices and doing what is best for all – not one. I know how to lead and engage people, as well as respect others, even if we personally may not always agree. Each city employee works for you, the taxpayer, and you deserve to be represented in the most fair and efficient manner possible. Responsible leadership means managing your tax dollars in an efficient and economical way to provide opportunities for you to thrive economically and socially.
I strongly believe public service shouldn’t be one’s career path. Being the Mayor shouldn’t be a long-term job. It is an honor and a privilege, but most of all, it is service. After eight years in office, I believe our current administration has become distracted and forgot the difference between public service and personal careers. If two terms is enough for President and Governor, it’s enough for Mayor. I am not a career politician, and do not want to be Mayor forever. I want to bring oversight, transparency, and responsibility back to the office responsible for providing opportunities for you by efficiently and effectively allocating your tax dollars.
As Mayor, I will be the voice for all people in Fayetteville; therefore, I will listen to your voices to hear your concerns and ideas. I want everyone who lives here to feel at home, and all who visit to feel welcome. The current environment in Fayetteville has created a stark divide between groups within the city by taking vocal stances that are not part of the municipal government’s purpose. The office of the Mayor is a nonpartisan office and should absolutely stay out of partisan, divisive issues that tear people apart. Instead, I believe the Mayor should be a conduit for every person living in Fayetteville, and focus on responsible management of city funds to provide opportunities for citizens to thrive economically and sustainably (stay tuned for my post discussing the need for improved infrastructure). As Mayor, I will show respect for your opinions and listen to them, by having open office hours every week to always provide time to meet with the citizens of Fayetteville and hear directly from you about your concerns, issues, and ideas. I will create an environment where every citizen feels welcome to walk through the doors of City Hall and directly to the Mayor’s Office.
The city currently has a budget of $147,268,000.00, of which over 15% goes directly to paying off debt services. That is over $22 million annually paid toward the debt of the city. This amount of debt is far too high and accounts for an enormous amount of the money that the city brings in – money that could be spent more wisely, to meet current needs and provide relevant opportunities. I believe the city should be run like a business, where we end the year with more money in the bank than we started with, so the city is profitable for its citizens (not its Mayor). I want to see citizens spend less on taxes and more on goods and services that drive our economy and help your local businesses grow. As Mayor, I commit to executing stronger strategies to pay off this debt in the fastest and most efficient way, so we can reallocate those funds to be more useful and timely for the citizens of Fayetteville.
Responsible leadership means making thoughtful, transparent, and sustainable decisions that are best for the city and all citizens, not a select group of people. This means focusing on our city’s goals and how we allocate and spend your tax dollars. Responsible leadership means prioritizing and establishing goals and projects that assist the city’s aim to be stronger, safer, and more sustainable. I want to be the Mayor for everyone in Fayetteville, not just a small group of friends. I want to help you make Fayetteville the best place to live in the country.