Fayetteville City Council candidate Phillip McKnight will have at least one challenger in Ward 4 this year.
Ray Boudreaux, who recently retired as Director of Aviation the Fayetteville Executive Airport, this week launched his bid for the soon-to-be vacant seat.
Boudreaux, 70, retired in March after 12 years at Drake Field.
Boudreaux said if elected, he’ll promote strong economic development programs; a vibrant parks and recreation program; continued maintenance and repair of city streets and sidewalks; and efficient water, sewer and solid waste programs.
He said he supports the city’s trails network and is “convinced that our outdoor trails and recreation assets are essential to attracting new business to our community.”
After graduating from the University of Arkansas in 1966, Boudreaux entered the United States Air Force where he served as a Command Pilot, Detachment Commander, Squadron Commander, Security Police Commander and Base Commander. He is Vietnam War veteran and was retired a Colonel in 1991.
Boudreaux is president of the Arkansas Air and Military Museum board; chairman of the Sequoyah United Methodist Church Council; chairman of the Northwest Arkansas Certified Development Company Board; vice chairman of the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District Board; and president-elect of the Rotary Club of Fayetteville.
His wife, Brenda, served as an alderwoman in Ward 1 from 2001 through 2012.
An expected candidate has cancelled his plans to run for the Ward 4 seat.
Mike Emery said in June he would run in the Nov. 4 general election, but released a statement today saying he will not file for the position.
“After considerable consideration and some sleepless nights over the past weeks, I have decided that I will not be seeking the position of Alderman, Ward 4, position 1 at the city of Fayetteville,” Emery said. “I will be focusing my energies on specific topics of interest as well as remaining on the Environmental Action Committee and the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. I want to send my thanks and gratitude to all who have shown support. Anyone who has donated money will get a refund.”
There are three other Position 1 seats up for grabs this fall, including positions held by Adella Gray (Ward 1), Mark Kinion (Ward 2) and Justin Tennant (Ward 3). The city attorney position, held by Kit Williams, is also up for election.
Gray, Kinion, Tennant and Williams all said they’ll seek re-election.
Sonia Davis Gutierrez, a Fayetteville graphic designer and creative educator, said in June she’ll challenge Gray for the Ward 1 seat. Robert Patton, a retired U.S. Navy captain, physician and lawyer, told us today he’ll run against Kinion in Ward 2 (we’ll soon have more on Patton).
Ward 4 Alderwoman Rhonda Adams plans to serve out her term before moving to Tampa, Fla. with her husband, Charles, who recently accepted a position as dean of the Honors College at the University of South Florida.
The filing period for City Council candidates ends at noon on Friday, Aug. 15.
Profile: Ray Boudreaux
Position sought: Ward 4, Position 1
Residency: Ward 4 resident since 2001
Employment: Retired Director of Aviation at the Fayetteville Executive Airport
Education: Master of arts in business management, Webster University; bachelor of arts in vocal music, University of Arkansas
Political Experience: None
3 Questions for Ray
We send each candidate three questions after receiving their announcement. We post their answers here once they respond.
What made you decide to seek election to the council? Is it something you’ve been considering for a while?
I have always had a job and most have been in public service. I have always tried to be involved with a desire to make a difference wherever I can and whenever I was asked. Over the years, friends and acquaintances have suggested that I consider elected office. Today I have the time and the energy to serve, so after many months talking about this opportunity with Brenda, we decided that the time is now or never. I would like to serve the citizens of Ward 4.
Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 4? How would you describe that part of town?
I returned to Fayetteville in late 2001 to take the Aviation and Economic Development position under then Mayor Dan Coody to redevelop Drake Field following the opening of XNA and the loss of Commercial Aviation to the new airport. Our realtor only showed the east side of the community but we wanted a ranch style home on a large lot in a neighborhood with easy access to I-540 (I-49). One afternoon when we were in town visiting family for Thanksgiving (Fayetteville has been my family home since 1961) and had been all over the City with our realtor, my brother and I decided to drive around on the west side. We found the perfect house in Silverthorn Addition. It was still unfinished and backed up to a tree filled draw on a one acre lot and was in our price range. It had a country feel while still in a neighborhood. It has easy access to the interstate and we have great neighbors. The west side is a great place to live.
Are there any recent citywide or Ward 4 council decisions you agree or disagree with?
The west side has seen explosive growth over the last 10 years. The expansion of Wedington Drive was great and now serves as the artery to the interstate, the U of A and Downtown from the west. I am excited about the commercial growth near the Interstate but believe that we failed to plan for the traffic entering, leaving and crossing Wedington. I support the Council’s work on solving this issue and would be proud to help if I am elected.
News Release: Ray Boudreaux
Ray M. Boudreaux, Col USAF (ret): Candidate for Alderman Ward 4 Position 1
Ray Boudreaux announces his candidacy for Ward 4 Alderman. He was born in Houston, Texas in 1943, moved to Fayetteville in 1961 and graduated from FHS in 1962 and the U of A in 1966. He then entered the USAF where he served as a Command Pilot, Detachment Commander, Squadron Commander, Security Police Commander and Base Commander. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War and was retired a Colonel in 1991. Following service in the military Ray served the community of Rantoul, Illinois and the City of Fayetteville in aviation and economic development/reuse positions. He retired from the City of Fayetteville in 2014 as Director of Aviation.
Ray promotes strong Economic Development programs and creating a business environment which promotes job growth and creation in the community. He also supports creating a business and industry environment which maintains our high City standards and which allows business and industry to grow and prosper. He believes that Drake Field is a key economic asset for the City and that the Arkansas Air and Military Museum can continue to contribute to the historic significance of the White Hangar in which it is located.
Ray supports a vibrant parks and recreation program, excellence in the maintenance and repair of City streets and sidewalks and our efficient water, sewer and solid waste programs. He supports the trails network and is convinced that our outdoor trails and recreation assets are essential to attracting new business to our community.
As all public officials, Ray is a strong supporter of our professional public safety departments. Our residents deserve safe streets, secure neighborhoods and well patrolled public areas and he will strive to insure police and fire departments receive top priority.
Ray is married to Brenda (Thiel) Boudreaux former Ward 1 Alderman. They have four grown sons and eight grandchildren together.
President, Arkansas Air and Military Museum Board
Chairman, Sequoyah United Methodist Church Council
Chairman, Northwest Arkansas Certified Development Company Board
Vice Chairman, Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District Board
President Elect 2015-2016, Rotary Club of Fayetteville
Member and Past Chairman, Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee
Fayetteville High School graduate 1962
University of Arkansas graduate BA 1966
Webster College MA 1979
Economic Development Institute completed 2 years 1992