Longtime local busser and political candidate Adam Fire Cat is back for another attempt at winning a seat on the Fayetteville City Council.
Cat, 43, hopes to occupy the Ward 4, Position 1 seat currently held by John La Tour, who is seeking a second term.
Cat ran unsuccessful campaigns for City Council in 2012 and 2010. He ran again in 2016, withdrew his candidacy after moving to Ward 4. He also ran for mayor in 2008. This year he’ll face La Tour and Teresa Turk for the west Fayetteville representative position.
Less legislation and less regulation were top priorities in Cat’s past campaigns. He said fiscal responsibility and personal freedom are pillars of his candidacy this year.
“I am willing to tell you ‘no.’ No you can’t have something that you want just because you want it,” he said during a recent candidate forum. “I am willing to defend your freedoms – even from you. You may be willing to give it away. I am willing to stop you from giving away your freedom.”
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.
Cat said he’s not a fan of the upcoming bond referendum, which would fund another round of transportation infrastructure projects.
The last rounds of bonds were approved by voters in 2006, and provided funding for a variety of projects through the years, including the flyover and continued improvements to North College Avenue, the rehabilitation of the historic Maple Street and Lafayette Street bridges, extensions to Van Asche Drive and Rupple Road and more.
City officials hope to extend the bonds through a public vote tentatively scheduled for March 2019, but Cat said he would rather let the bond issue expire.
“You can still have everything you are asking for in terms of additions to the roads,” he said. “But you don’t need to extend the bond to do it. Let it expire, and then vote individually on those issues.”
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.
The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Profile: Adam Fire Cat
Position sought: Ward 4, Position 1
Residency: 24-year resident of Fayetteville; 2-year resident of Ward 4
Employment: Host and Busser, Village Inn restaurant
Education: Former University of Arkansas student majoring in law
This will be your fourth City Council bid since 2008. What keeps you coming back?
Masochism. At least one might imagine this to be true in part. Beating the street and canvassing for signatures this year resulted in a great deal of scrutiny. Several of those doors I’d knocked on were rather concerned with what party I was or was not with. It seems the last national election had a negative effect on the outlook of any position in politics, city-based nonpartisan offices or otherwise. Mind you, most people don’t know who their representatives in Fayetteville are, but that stops no one’s residual angst to the local runnings. And of course it would be on two of the hottest days without a cloud in the sky, because the experience isn’t complete until I’m red and peeling. Be that as it may, I ate the criticisms whilst soliciting my case door to door, and found myself on the ballot yet again. Then there’s people who’ve been kind enough to stop by my place of work to tell me they don’t appreciate my entering the race, because I must be taking away votes from their preferred candidate in less than kind language. I think Spock described these as “more colorful metaphors”. Some of those phrases I was impressed with to the point I wrote them down in the case that I might use them in my own written works. Still, I respect this more than the random internet troll. At least it’s to my face. This is nothing new. I’ve done this about three and a half times now, since (2008), and the pattern of human behavior is consistent.
But why continue this trek? Because I still believe the same things that drove me to politics in the first place. I don’t like excessive ordinances, nor the deceptive language involved in passing ordinances that are aesthetic in nature. Let’s not talk this “Keep Fayetteville Funky” jazz while looking for a way to restrict the freedoms of others. Otherwise we might as well consider it a generic ad campaign, like “Keep Springdale Springy” or “Keep Farmington… Farmy?” Needs before wants in all matters financial. A break even budget, something we managed to accomplish in (2013), but was horrendously off kilter in (2008). Dealing in waste on a much grander scale. In other words, same as it ever was. My ideas may be old hat, as they’ve been uttered out of my talkhole time and again, yet I believe this is the best way to manage this city. In fact I believe it so much, I’m willing to be disliked and outright despised to my face. You can’t offend me. My metaphorical skin is thicker than the compressed matter in the center of a neutron star. My actual skin is… well… skin.
You were a longtime Ward 2 resident who now lives in Ward 4? What are the similarities between those parts of town? What are the differences?
For most part, there’s little difference within the wards, one to the other. It’s all one organism that is Fayetteville. Ward Two contains the entertainment center of town. We have a limited variant of that in Ward Four, but them’s the breaks. I’d say there are more duplexes on this side of the Wedington bridge. Also, Wedington is… a beast, probably the most dangerous and accident prone road Fayetteville contains. At least in Ward Two the traffic is rather easy to traverse. But hit peak traffic hours on the Wedington bridge, and you’re going to be at the mercy of an unforgiving concrete time vampire. Though we’re looking forward to what is now termed “The Mayor’s Box”, this won’t be a sufficient relief of the flow as the city expands in population. That specific aspect will, in all likelihood, require an overhaul.
Which recent council decision(s) do you agree or disagree with?
I’m not one for the bond issue being thumbed up by council presently. At no point in time do I consider it acceptable to treat other people’s money like an abstract piggy bank. If there is a bond one believes is justified enough to use this money on, let them come forth and justify the case on an independent basis. What would be notable then is whether one truly has the strength of their convictions on each issue requested for the aforementioned funds. It is, after all, your money, and deserves to be treated with the respect of being asked for in each separate instance. This isn’t the Oprah Winfrey Show. “You get some bond money! And you get some bond money! And you get some bond money..!”