Over the last few months you’ve gotten to know the candidates personally and politically as they’ve been kind enough to answer all of our questions. Even the silly ones.
With election day fast approaching and early voting already underway, we’ve invited all six of them to share some final thoughts. Just like the previous interviews, comments will be closed on these posts.
From Walt Eilers:
I announced my candidacy for mayor almost a year ago. It’s been an incredible run during which I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible about our community. I’ve run more than 1,000 miles throughout town, covering every inch of trail and most every sidewalk, street, and alley. I was the first mayoral candidate ever to request to ride with the police, firefighters, and sanitation personnel, just as I was the first mayoral candidate ever to request a meeting with the UA Executive Council. I’ve personally knocked on the door of more than 3,500 homes (and I plan to keep knocking through the election). I’ve learned a lot and heard hundreds of stories, ideas, and complaints, and the one common thread throughout all of them is the idea that Fayetteville needs a fresh start. People are tired of egos, half-truths, and outright lies; they’re tired of excuses and inaction and constant fighting between the Mayor and City Council. (The Mayor openly admitted in one debate that he doesn’t talk with half of the Council.) People are frustrated, and rightfully so. Yes, Fayetteville is a truly wonderful community, but we face a number of pressing issues, many of them created or exacerbated by the current administration.
I decided when I got into this race that I’d do things differently. I’ve run with goal of creating a positive legacy to outlive the campaign, and I feel we accomplished that in a number of ways, not the least of which is the Green Heart Initiative. With help and hard work from fifty-two local businesses, we helped bring commercial recycling to Fayetteville in just eight months. It’s a terrific example of how I’d serve as Mayor: when addressing a problem, bring together local talent committed to the task of solving it. With the resources our community offers, there’s very little (if any) need to continually pay tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to outside consultants.
I like to think the Green Heart Initiative also demonstrates my willingness and ability lead. When asked in January how I’d handle the problem if elected, I didn’t offer a campaign promise; I took action. For all its talk championing sustainability, the current administration has had eight years to do something about commercial recycling, and yet it’s done almost nothing. The current administration’s also had eight years to generate an economic development plan, and yet just now—in an election year—is it moving toward that goal. Where’s the leadership?
I’m no politician. I’m not as polished a speaker as a few of my opponents, but I know my stuff. I’m the only candidate to have led both labor and management, so I’ve been on both sides of the table. I’m the only candidate with a solid background in business. I’ve managed a staff of several hundred people and overseen a $126 million IPO for a telecommunications company. I’ve the broadest experience of all the candidates, and I have the ability to set aside personalities for the purpose of working with others to get the job done.
I ask for your vote. Whether you vote early or on November 4th, I ask for your vote so that together we can make a fresh start and move Fayetteville forward.