A certified public accountant and tax attorney wants to serve another term on the Fayetteville City Council.
John La Tour, 62, has filled the Ward 4, Position 1 seat for nearly four years, will run for a second term on the council in the Nov. 6 election. He’ll face challengers Adam Fire Cat and Teresa Turk for the seat.
La Tour was first elected to the position in 2014 when he took 43 percent of the votes to replace outgoing council member Rhonda Adams. La Tour defeated Ray Boudreaux (20% of the votes), D’Andre Jones (14%), Phillip McKnight (10%), Craig Honchell (8%) and Robert Williams (5%).
During his campaign, La Tour was an outspoken opponent of the city’s civil rights ordinance that was passed by the City Council in August 2014. He was part of Repeal 119, a group that gathered enough signatures to force a special election which ended with the repeal of the ordinance. A new civil rights ordinance was passed by voters the following year.
If re-elected, he said he’d push for completion of “The Mayor’s Box,” a series of projects that make up Mayor Jordan’s plan to build a “box” of four-lane boulevards around the edges of the city. The goal is to not only to help motorists more easily travel through town, but also to drive economic development.
La Tour said extending Rupple Road to Howard Nickel Road could drive development and increase sales tax revenue needed to further support the police and fire departments.
Meet the Candidates
The following candidates have responded to a request from the Fayetteville Flyer for more information about their candidacy in the Nov. 6 election.
He said he’s taken a “common-sense approach” while on the council.
“To me, it’s common sense that we not impose a needless risk to the citizens of Fayetteville in the form of introducing wastewater from a former nuclear test facility into our city’s water and sewer ecosystem,” said La Tour this week, in reference to a 5-2 council vote in May to approve an agreement with the University of Arkansas to accept wastewater from a deactivated reactor facility into the city’s sanitary sewer system for treatment. Officials determined the radiation levels of wastewater from the facility was nearly nonexistent, and was safe to process. La Tour, along with then-member Alan Long, voted against the agreement, citing concerns over the possibility that future research might prove that small amounts of radioactive material are indeed dangerous.
La Tour also spoke out against a decision last year to appoint Kyle Smith to fill a council vacancy left when Long resigned. State law allows municipalities to either appoint a new member to serve the remaining unexpired term or call for a special public election. At the time, La Tour said despite the added cost, a special election should determine the new member. He said anything less would be “immoral.”
“It’s common sense that the people of Ward 4 should be able to vote for their representative, not have one assigned to them without their involvement in the decision,” said La Tour.
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.
La Tour is expected to join Turk and Fire Cat in a public candidate forum at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 inside the Fayetteville Public Library’s Walker Community Room.
Profile: John La Tour
Position sought: Ward 4, Position 1
Residency: Fayetteville resident since 1979; Ward 4 resident for 33 years
Employment: Certified Public Accountant and Attorney – Owner, John S. La Tour, CPA; president, La Tour Law Firm, PLLC
Education: Juris doctorate in law, Oak Brook College; Master of Business Administration; University of Arkansas; Bachelor of Science in Management and Accounting, Louisiana State University
Why run for re-election? Is there anything in particular you want to introduce or continue working toward?
I am running for re-election because I want to keep our city moving forward. We need to complete the mayor’s box in Ward 4 by extending Rupple Road to the north to join Howard Nickel Road. I want our city to continue a growth pattern so that we can generate more sales tax dollars. We need this additional revenue so that we can adequately pay our fire and police personnel.
How would you describe Ward 4? Has it changed much in the past four years?
Ward 4 is a residential ward for the most part. However, we are growing with the additions being made and planned for Rupple Road. We need more services out west. If we are going to reduce greenhouse gases produced by driving, we need services out west so that people can shop there instead of driving all the way in.
Are there any council decisions you were especially proud of or frustrated with during your most recent term?
The Council decisions that I favored were the addition of ADUs to our planning code; the decision to keep recycling voluntary, and to not institute “trash police;” the decision to rezone 40 acres in west Fayetteville; the decision by the administration to give pay raises to police and fire personnel. The two decisions that frustrated me most were, a) the decision to appoint a replacement for Alan Long when there was still 3.5 years remaining on his term and b.) the decision to dump any level of nuclear waste water into our drinking water stream. If it was that safe, why not just dump it out on the ground? The UA safety claim would have been much more credible if they had not been the ones making it!