This interview is the fifth in an ongoing series that will help us all learn a little more about who’s running for mayor here in Fayetteville. Links to these interviews will be easily accessible in the Mayoral Candidate Zone located on the front page. In order to create a repository of information rather than a battlefield for supporters, comments will be closed on these interviews.
Fayetteville Flyer: How long have you lived in Fayetteville?
Steve Clark: I have lived in Fayetteville a total of 9 years during my life. I returned to Fayetteville to stay for the remainder of my life just over two years ago. My two daughters and their husbands live here, as do my 5 grandchildren. My family first came to Fayetteville in the 1950’s to pastor Central Methodist Church. Besides my daughters and their families, my brother and mother have both lived here. Since I came to Fayetteville to attend law school in the 60’s, it has always been a part of my life.
FF: One of the questions we always ask everyone is “what have you been listening to lately?” What kind of music do you like, and what are some of your favorite artists?
SC: Currently, the CDs playing in my car are Corrine Bailey Rae, the Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Norah Jones and Janis Joplin. I like all types of music. Among my favorite artists are blues guitarist Albert King, Tony Bennett, David Allan Coe, Ray Charles, and John Denver.
FF: You have some pretty extensive experience in politics, but everyone has to start somewhere. Ever have a less glamorous job when you were younger?
SC: Yes, I’ve had some very un-glamorous jobs. I canned peas one summer in Illinois and one summer was a well digger in Jonesboro. I sacked groceries in high school and I sold paint and light fixtures working for Sears when I was in college. I worked on the clean-up crew at the Swanson’s plant here, now Pinnacle Foods, where we made frozen TV dinners while I was attending law school. And also during law school I worked for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, where I had the enviable task of driving every street in Fayetteville doing a count of all the houses on each street.
FF: Are you a Razorback fan? If so, have you ever called the Hogs? What do yo think of that tradition?
SC: Yes, I am a Razorback fan, any sport. I have called the Hogs my entire life, so I think it’s a great tradition. I’ve called the Hogs in Fayetteville, Little Rock, and many other cities around the country. I think calling the Hogs was once selected as the best college cheer. I still think it is.
FF: We’ve asked a couple other candidates about food. What are some of your favorite dishes? Any local favorites?
SC: Strawberry pancakes at Emelia’s; cheeseburger at Hugo’s; the chicken berry salad at Marketplace Express; tortellini at Mermaids; the Mariachi plate or fajitas at Mariachi’s on the square; and chicken tenders at Chick-Fil-A with my grandson.
FF: We know you’re a busy guy, but everyone needs a break every now and then. What do you do for fun? Any interesting hobbies?
SC: As mentioned in the next question, movies are a great break from the grind. I also like to jog and take care of my plants. I read about 8 newpapers a day, mostly online. I know that is not everyone’s idea of fun, but it is for me. Most importantly, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren. We’ve had a great time recently going to the Naturals games. I get hog dogs and cotton candy. It does not get much better than that.
FF: Seen any good movies lately? The Dark Knight, possibly?
SC: Suzanne and I love movies. We went to see Dark Knight the week it opened. Heath Ledger was an incredible Joker, and I want that bat-motorcycle. Suzanne wants to see Mamma Mia, but I’m hoping for a reprieve on that one.
FF: The Arts have been an important part of the culture of Fayetteville for a while now. Do you have any favorite artists, either local or otherwise?
SC: I am a big fan of Susan Morrison from Eureka Springs and have a couple pieces of her art. I like Native American art and have two favorite pieces that were done by Troy Anderson. I also am a big fan of impressionist art.
SC: I agree the media was tough when I first announced, but a diligent, tough-questioning media is what we want and expect. It is part of the political process. When I decided to enter this race I understood that my past would immediately be an issue. I never shy away from voters who want to ask me about it or have concerns. I made the worst decisions of my life 18 years ago and I was properly punished for those decisions. For your readers who would like a more detailed discussion, I address it in the “About Steve” section of my website, those who would like to check it out can just click on the link. Overwhelmingly, the voters I have talked with are most concerned with focusing on Fayetteville’s future. And for readers who have any questions, whether they relate to my past or my platform for Fayetteville, I hope they will come up to the Farmers Market and visit with me, or contact me through the website.
FF: These days, everyone has a blog. You have one yourself. What do you think about small, community-based blogs? Do you see them as a benefit to local residents or do you believe that community journalists could do more harm than good?
SC: I believe that community-based blogs are a positive contribution. Some bloggers are portrayed ,or portray themselves, as only complainers and critics. Complainers get initial readers, but I submit, not many repeat readers. Blogs that analyze community problems, goals, or dilemmas by discussing community issues, highlighting community differences, and proposing community solutions are valid and very important to the political and sociological fabric of Fayetteville. Free speech is the cornerstone of democracy. Community bloggers are the 21st century’s free speech conscience.