Adam Fire Cat, a busboy and perennial local political candidate, filed Thursday for the Ward 2, Position 2 seat on the Fayetteville City Council.
Cat, 37, ran unsuccessful campaigns for City Council in 2010 and mayor in 2008. He also announced plans to run as an Independent for U.S. Senate in 2010, but backed out of the race to focus on a council run.
Less legislation, less regulation, and a careful look at city spending were top priorities in his 2010 campaign.
This season, Cat takes aim at incumbent Matthew Petty’s decision to co-sponsor an ordinance that would ban smoking in all Fayetteville bars. The measure did not pass, but Cat said the fact that it was even up for a vote is what still frustrates him (see below).
Early voting begins Oct. 22.
Name: Adam Fire Cat
Residency: 20-year Fayetteville resident
Employment: Village Inn, independent contractor of various jobs
Education: Former University of Arkansas student majoring in law
Political Experience: Former candidate for Ward 2 alderman in 2010 and mayor in 2008
What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?
The same reasons still drive me as before. I continue to maintain that if one wishes to be as effective as possible to make a stand on political issues you disagree with, then it is best conducted by working from within the system.
Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 2? How would you describe that part of town?
My being within the confines of this Ward happened to be coincidental rather than specifically geared. However, everything from losing my home to finding new residence has been within its boundaries. As long as I’ve run for office, I’d lived here. Description… now that gets a bit tricky as it fits into no one description given the area the Ward covers. In one part, I can point out the convenience store diagonal from my home with what used to be plagued with a yearly armed robbery average of three. However that average has dropped off to one a year, so there’s that. I can point to a rotting trailer, and then contrarily to some of the nicest homes in Fayetteville, always depending on what road you walk. My favorite coffee shop is there, the good ol’ CG. In the middle of the night, I’ve seen brawling under the streetlamps in more than a couple of instances. It’s less poetic than it sounds, and rather boring to boot. There are positives and negatives to everything, and Ward 2 is no exception to the rule. However, the things that one could complain about are what I’d probably refer to as first world problems, and thus I am grateful for what we do have here rather than what we don’t.
Are there any recent citywide or Ward 2 council decisions you agree or disagree with?
I would say there is one more prominent on my mind than most, yes. I began with the smoking ordinance, which was discussed at great length. After much compromise between the businesses, the city government, and the people individually, the vote was made by the City Council whether to pass it. It was an even split, and the Mayor acted as a tie breaker, passing the smoking ordinance as we know it now, almost. Another group stepped forward, Free Choice Fayetteville. They worked toward a successful effort to petition the ordinance for referendum, sending it to public vote. Between Free Choice and Smoke Free, both put up their best efforts to keep citizens informed, although both had made the use of cherry picked data to support their preferred opinions. Still, Fayettevillians went in knowing full well what we were voting for, what compromises were decided on between all parties involved, and why. When Fayetteville’s votes in this issue were counted, it wasn’t a completely lopsided decision. This was close, both sides of the issue represented properly in their own respect. After all was said and done, and even though I was never a fan of the idea, the smoking ordinance was passed. And I’m okay with that, because that’s how it’s supposed to work. People don’t always agree, but when a population gets together and makes an agreement, one to the other, that is something to respect. This we all know.
But, flash forward some years later, and we find Council members sponsoring an ordinance amendment to ban smoking from bars as well. They just had to deal with the problem of overturning the decision of the voters as provided by state law. Because the ordinance was sent to a public vote by referendum, they had to have six of eight votes from the Council.
It was rejected by one vote, and that it ever went up as an issue is what disconcerted me. The smoking issue is not what I have a problem with. I do make issue with the fact that no one in city government should ask us to disrespect our final compromise on this issue. To suggest that Fayettevillians didn’t make the right decision by one another is something I consider highly insulting. One may expect that from the CTFA. They treat each success as a baby step toward a greater goal. But that any Council member wouldn’t respect our decision as a community, I find that unacceptable, and it will not stand with me.