ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — There are eight people running for four city council positions in Springdale.
Springdale is in Washington County and is the fourth-largest city in Arkansas with a current population of 81,000.
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The election is on November 3.
SPRINGDALE CITY COUNCIL WARD 1, POSITION 2
SPRINGDALE CITY COUNCIL WARD 2, POSITION 2
SPRINGDALE CITY COUNCIL WARD 3, POSITION 2
- Tyler Smalling
- Jeff Watson
SPRINGDALE CITY COUNCIL WARD 4, POSITION 2
KNWA/FOX24 asked all eight candidates three generic questions:
- In your opinion, what situation needs to be dealt with in Springdale, for example, roads, water system, environment, community safety?
- Overall, what can Arkansas do to improve its economy?
- Black Lives Matter, what does this US-based international movement mean in Arkansas, in your opinion?
Mayra Carrillo: There will be plenty of work integrating Bethel Heights’ water system into Springdale’s, but the city’s lack of walkability, especially in Ward 1, needs to be dealt with. If elected, I will work to build and improve sidewalks and public transportation throughout the city.
A greater focus on the trades and skilled laborers would benefit our overall economy. For Springdale specifically, I would work to remove barriers to small businesses and make Springdale even more of a destination where people want to live and work. I live in Springdale, I work in Springdale, and I spend most of my money in Springdale, and I want others to do the same.
The movement is definitely bigger than Arkansas, but I sometimes think about it in terms of Arkansas history; I think about those nine children at Central High School in 1957, I think about sundown towns, and I think about the horrible atrocities like what happened in Elaine, Arkansas. That hate is still here. The Black Lives Matter movement in Arkansas has meant seeing a community built through a collective vision led by Black voices, it has inspired people to get organized and speak up.Mayra Carrillo, Ward 1, Position 2 Candidate
Randall Harriman: One of the largest issues we are facing is rapid growth. We are on pace to become the second-largest city in Arkansas very soon. With that comes the need for additional infrastructure. Not just roads but police, fire, water, sewer, new lots, subdivisions, multifamily like we talked about. I think we have a pretty good plan right now but we need to stay in front of growth and keep awareness up in our committee meetings.
I would like to direct this question to Springdale since that is the economy I will be focusing on. We need to have retail and restaurants that will keep our tax dollars in Springdale. During COVID our sales tax revenue went up. We were the only city in NWA that that was the case. That tells us that there is a dispensable income in Springdale. We don’t have a shoe store. We don’t have a lot of up-scale restaurant options or places to buy clothing. We need to tell that story to potential businesses and encourage them to take a look at Springdale. We have a ton of potential! I believe it is our time to shine.
Black Lives Matter is a movement formed to address systemic racism and violence against people of color. It stems from police brutality acquittals in our country. I believe in the right to protest, and know that this cause is a worthy one, but feel the message became overshadowed by the violence, riots, looting, and destroying of personal and public property in places like Portland. The focus moved to, “how can they destroy these cities,” instead of, “how can we fix the problem.”
I don’t think calls to defund our police are the answer as you can see in cities where they tried this and crime skyrocketed. I feel if we continue to blame all police officers for the actions of a few they will not want to continue to serve. I already know of good police officers leaving because of what is happening all over the country.I don’t have an answer as to how to fix this international problem. I feel locally, we need to make sure we have a ZERO tolerance approach to dealing with anyone who uses hate to cause harm to another person. You have probably heard the saying “No one hates a bad cop as much as a good cop”. I believe that is true. I believe we have good leadership locally and our police departments do a good job of getting rid of bad employees. I believe there is a long term fix. We must teach our children to love one another and to treat everyone with respect no matter what race, background, etc.“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” — Nelson MandelaRandall Harriman, Ward 1, Position 2 Candidate
Rick Evans: There are two situations in Springdale that we are currently dealing with and have to continue to address. 1) Mitigating the effect COVID-19 has on our community. We have authorized almost $1M in funding (from Federal funds) to Springdale non-profits that have brought tremendous assistance to our residents during this pandemic including the Marshallese Education Initiative (MEI), CASA of NWA, Returning Home, and many more. 2) Managing our robust growth. Springdale’s sales tax is up almost 9% this year and we are expanding infrastructure at a rapid pace which means we have to properly manage the growth so it’s healthy growth.
Springdale has one of the strongest economies in Arkansas this year as we are the only large city that hasn’t had a single month with a loss in tax revenue. I’m proud of the efforts we’ve made to stay strong economically during the pandemic and that we continue to see so many developments going full speed ahead.
The formal organization Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization that has promoted defunding the police and is against capitalism, which has lifted more people from poverty than any other system in the world. I believe that individual Black lives matter and that the cause was hijacked by the formal organization and ANTIFA.Rick Evans, Ward 2, Position 2