Ward 4 representative Alan Long would like to serve another four years on the Fayetteville City Council.
Long, a buyer for Newly Weds Foods, Inc. in Springdale, on Monday announced he will seek a second term in the Nov. 8 general election.
The 35-year-old alderman is a 14-year resident of Fayetteville who won the Ward 4, Position 2 seat in 2012 after defeating Mike Emery by 123 votes in a runoff election.
Long and Emery were part of a five-person race for the seat that required a runoff after the two emerged as the top contenders with Long receiving 1,943 votes (37 percent) to Emery’s 1,159 (22 percent).
Long joined Sarah Marsh in Ward 1 and Martin Schoppmeyer in Ward 3, who each ran unopposed in the 2012 general election. Alderman Matthew Petty won his second term that year after narrowly escaping a runoff election in Ward 2.
Marsh and Petty have said they will each seek re-election this year, but Schoppmeyer told us he plans to step down after his term is complete in December.
“I have been proud to represent Ward 4 on the city council and to serve as your voice to keep Fayetteville moving forward,” Long said in a statement on Monday. “The past four years have seen incredible growth for our community. I have been honored to serve the city and find ways to make our city government more responsive. I want to continue to be your voice to secure the future of Fayetteville.”
Ward 4 contains a large portion of west Fayetteville, including Razorback Stadium, Holt Middle School, Holcomb Elementary School, and the Boys & Girls Club of Fayetteville.
Since beginning as alderman in 2013, Long has served as chair of the council’s Ordinance Review Committee, and was appointed by Mayor Jordan to serve as the Ward 4 representative on the Water, Sewer, Solid Waste, and Recycling committee, as well as the Transportation and Nominating committees. He is the former chair of the Animal Services Advisory Board and founded the Friends of the Fayetteville Animal Shelter group.
Long has sponsored several proposals, including support for expanded police beats and additional patrol officers, protecting wetlands in west Fayetteville, increased funding for the Fayetteville Animal Shelter, support for firefighter health care protections, and increased restrictions for door-to-door solicitors.
“In my time on the City Council, I have listened to you and carried your voice to city hall,” Long said. “Together with my constituents, I want to continue working for our neighborhoods and small business owners to make Fayetteville one of the truly great places to live in America.”
As of Aug. 1, no other candidates had filed to challenge Long.
The filing period for all municipal offices in the Nov. 8 election runs through Aug. 19.
Profile: Alan Thomas Long
Position sought: Ward 4, Position 2
Residency: Lived in Fayetteville for 14 years, native of Batesville, Arkansas.
Employment: Buyer for Newly Weds Foods, Inc., Springdale, Arkansas
Education: B.A. Communication, University of Arkansas, 2005; Masters in Business Administration UA Walton College, 2007
Political Experience: Ward 4 Aldermen since 2013; Former chair of the Ordinance Review Committee and Animal Services Advisory Board; founder and original President/Director of The Friends of the Fayetteville Animal Shelter
Why run for re-election? Is there anything in particular you want to introduce or continue working toward?
I’m running for re-election because I enjoy being my constituents’ voice on the Fayetteville City Council. I plan to continue supporting the preservation of neighborhood integrity and encouraging smart growth in Fayetteville. I believe that planning for the future of Fayetteville is an alderman’s key responsibility.
Four years ago you said Ward 4 was lacking in infrastructure like sidewalks and nice streets, and that west Fayetteville citizens deserved better access to the city’s trail system. In your opinion, have there been any improvements since 2012?
There have been several major improvements and more will start very soon. The Rupple Road infrastructure enhancements and the linkage of Wedington Drive to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard are among the best improvements in Ward 4. Additionally, the overpass improvements at both Mount Comfort Road and Wedington are closer to reality. Ward 4 must have impactful infrastructure improvements to continue handling the growing vehicle and pedestrian traffic patterns. Ward 4 has also received major trail improvements and new trails in the past three years, allowing greater trail access to Ward 4 constituents. I am looking forward to more trails opening in west Fayetteville, including a connection to the new regional park.
During your time in office, are there any council decisions were you especially proud of or frustrated with?
Has the council ever made a decision that made me feel excited or frustrated on behalf of my Ward 4 constituents? Yes. I have had the honor of casting my vote, either for or against, many difficult council decisions. However, I keep focused on achieving positive outcomes for my constituents and improving our wonderful city. I remind myself at every meeting that my job is to gather as much information as possible and listen to as many constituents as possible before I vote. My greatest hope, with every vote that I make, is to genuinely represent my constituents.