A longtime health care consultant and former vice-chair of the Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods is now the sixth person to announce plans to replace departing Ward 4 Alderwoman Sarah Lewis, entering the City Council race in the Nov. 6 general election.
Jimmie “J. P.” Peters, 65, announced her candidacy on Thursday and plans to hold a kickoff event on Aug. 30 at R.O.T.C. Grill.
Peters is the owner of Peters HealthCare Consultants, which advises state officials and legislators on federal matters relating to health care. She said she has an extensive background in public service with specialized experience in Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Programs, all with an emphasis on combating fraud and abuse.
“Throughout most of my career, I’ve been part of a coaching team helping our leaders make good decisions,” said Peters in a news release. “However, as we face tough economic times, incredible opportunities to grow our city and monumental changes to our health care system, I decided to get in the game and work hard so that I could personally help families and small businesses who call Fayetteville home.”
Peters said other top priorities include adding more Ward 4 connections to the city’s bike trails, seeking new funding sources for public transportation, supporting greater tree preservation and protection, participating in the Wedington Drive Corridor study, and further developing the newly created Town & Gown Advisory Committee.
Others to announce plans to seek the Ward 4, Position 2 seat include Alan Long, Mike Emery, Terry Coberly and William Chesser. As of Thursday morning, only Long and Coberly had filed paperwork with the county clerk’s office.
The filing period for City Council and other municipal candidates ends at 12 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17.
Name: J. P. Peters
Residency: Lived in Fayetteville since December 2006.
Employment: Peters HealthCare Consultants
Education: Attended the University of Arkansas while working on bachelor’s degree in Political Science
Political Experience: former vice-chair of the Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods; member of the Tree and Landscape Advisory Committee
What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?
I have been encouraged by many friends to run for City Council long before it was known there was a vacancy in Ward 4. After careful consideration, I decided to enter the race for Ward 4 because it is my lifelong dream to run for office and I believe I can help Fayetteville continue to be the vibrant community that it is. I have been involved in city government for several years and understand the role of the City Council in terms of its legislative policy and budgetary functions. I believe I have the experience and background that qualifies me for the position and welcome the opportunity to serve the residents of Fayetteville.
Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 4? How would you describe that part of town?
After living in major metropolitan cities for most of my adult life due to my job with the federal government, I wanted to live in an area that had a feel of being in the country. At the time, the Mt. Comfort area provided that sense of living. Since my return in 2006, west Fayetteville has undergone a surge in growth and development. It is now a thriving, diverse community and a great place to live. I would be honored to represent the residents of Ward 4 on the City Council.
Are there any recent citywide or Ward 4 council decisions you agree or disagree with?
I strongly agree with the City Council’s decision to establish the Fayetteville Town and Gown Advisory Committee. This committee will serve a vital role in the decision making process with regards to issues that affect both the City and the University. I look forward to seeing this partnership develop over the years and the successful outcomes as a result of this committee.