A Fayetteville businessman and long-time advocate of animal welfare is so far the only resident to formally announce plans to take over the Ward 4, Position 2 City Council seat up for grabs in November.
Alan Long, 30, made his intentions public in a statement issued today, just two weeks after Alderwoman Sarah Lewis announced she would not run for a second term because of personal and professional obligations.
Ward 1 Alderwoman Brenda Boudreaux, a member since 2001, told us earlier this year she won’t seek a fourth term in the Nov. 6 election. Sarah Marsh is so far the only resident to announce plans to replace Boudreaux.
Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell has said he likely won’t run for reelection this year either. Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty told us he will seek a second term. While we’ve heard whispers of some possible contenders for both seats, there have been no official announcements made.
The council’s four other members (Adella Gray, Ward 1; Mark Kinion, Ward 2; Justin Tennant, Ward 3; and Rhonda Adams, Ward 4) are not up for reelection until 2014. The filing period for City Council and other municipal candidates begins July 27.
Name: Alan Thomas Long
Residency: Lived in Fayetteville for 10 years, native of Batesville, Arkansas.
Employment: Buyer for Newlyweds Foods, INC.
Education: B.A. Communication, University of Arkansas, 2005; Masters in Business Administration UA Walton College, 2007
Political Experience: Chariman of the Animal Services Advisory Board; founder and original President/Director of The Friends of the Fayetteville Animal Shelter
What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?
I decided to run because I believe that we need a strong voice for Ward 4 on the City Council and I can be that voice. I have been considering running for City Council for some time now, but decided a few weeks ago to run for election in 2012.
Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 4? How would you describe that part of town?
Ward 4 has always been an attractive area to me because of its association with the University of Arkansas and the unique access to 540; I see a lot of growth potential in Ward 4 – growth that will require thoughtful planning. Ward 4 does lack much of the infrastructure that the rest of Fayetteville has. We see fewer infrastructure projects like sidewalk improvements in Ward 4. We also have little to no access to Fayetteville’s connected trail system. I think Ward 4 residents should be able to enjoy the benefits of the trail system, sidewalks and nice streets in their neighborhoods just like the rest of Fayetteville.
As chair of the Animal Services Advisory Board and founder of The Friends of the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, we assume animal welfare will be a priority for you if elected. Are there any other issues or recent council actions you agree or disagree with?
Animal welfare will always be important to me. I think that Fayetteville and its residents consider animal services as a high priority and I intend to always stand up as an advocate for animals.
I also consider the thoughtful planning for Fayetteville’s growth as a key component to maintaining a thriving community. The development of a University overlay district will help Ward 4, Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas build a stronger relationship. The recent ordinance that allows up to five people to live in one unit (in a planned zoning district) was, in my opinion, unwise. I think changes like this need to be implemented in conjunction with a long term plan – not just a case by case approval process. However, it is important that we look forward, not back, to focus on how we can improve our great city.