All 3 F’ville posts face challengers

Tue, 09/08/2009 - 4:22pm
By: Ben Nelms

It has been a while since each incumbent on the Fayetteville City Council had a challenger. But the times they are a changin’. Council members Walt White, Larry Dell and Paul Oddo will all face opposition in November.

The Post 3 race will see long-time Councilman Walt White challenged by newcomer Patty Hawkins. The 58-year-old Hawkins has been a resident of Fayette for three years. Employed at Cooper Lighting for a dozen years, Hawkins said she lost her job six months ago when the firm downsized.

“I think it’s time for a change and for some fresh ideas and fresh views,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins, in terms of budgetary concerns, described herself as being very frugal, noting that being widowed for four years and recently losing her job lends itself to adopting an outlook that prompts her to save wherever she can and still maintain a good quality of life. The same concepts hold true in the life of a city, she said.

Hawkins said that while new to the political process she knows enough to know that she will not make promises she might not be able to keep. With that in mind, Hawkins said she would like to see what could be done about bringing new businesses to Fayetteville and would like to explore putting recreation activities in place for young people as long as it can be done within the budget.

“I just want to do the best job I can do for all the citizens and I’m not going to make promises I can’t keep,” Hawkins said of her first go in politics.

Addressing the reality that she and challenger Mickey Edwards are in-laws, Hawkins said she and Edwards are two different people that often hold two different views. Perhaps the biggest difference of all exists with the make up of the council, Hawkins said, noting that if elected she would be the only woman on the board.

“Women sometimes see things differently than men,” said Hawkins.

Challenger Mickey Edwards will be running against Councilman Larry Dell, another long-serving official, in the Post 4 race. The 66-year-old works in auto parts sales and gave several reasons for his candidacy. He said that, generally speaking, the council does a fair job running the city, adding that the strategies from the past will no longer work.

“We need new strategies to attract businesses and to keep the businesses we have today,” Edwards said. “If we lose the existing businesses it won’t take long for our tax base to sink.”

Edwards suggested that the City Council might look at tax breaks or other incentives to help attract new business to Fayetteville.

In terms of a larger perspective, Edwards said that if elected he would reach out to businesses and community groups by bringing them together to determine their needs and how those needs might be addressed.

Another issue for Edwards is the need to improve the city’s older neighborhoods. Citing an example, he said the city could work with churches and service organizations to help with the needs of the elderly in areas such as cutting grass in difficult areas of their yards and with other tasks they are no longer able to perform.

Of his sister-in-law who is running for a council seat, Edwards said it would not cause a problem if both are elected. Citing an example from American history, Edwards noted that the daughter of one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was married to one of the other signers. It was a situation “that worked out pretty good,” Edwards said.

Edwards had an unsuccessful bid for the City Council in 2007 when he was narrowly defeated in the Post 2 race against Al Hovey-King. Edwards garnered 49.49 percent of the vote compared to 50.51 percent for Hovey-King, a difference of 6 votes.

And running against Post 5 first term incumbent Paul Oddo is tax revenue agent Bill Dick. The 69-year-old Dick is a former city controller who likes governmental work and has lived in Fayetteville for 20 years. Dick said he wants to give something back to the community.

“I’m not better than anybody else. I believe I can provide some expertise to the city and I can devote the time to do it,” Dick said. “As a trained accountant, I believe in simplicity, and that includes in the running of a city government.”

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Shoebox's picture
Submitted by Shoebox on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 12:07pm.


Tiger Dad's picture
Submitted by Tiger Dad on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 8:47pm.

Please...Most of the people there now know absolutely nothing about running a city...except running it into the ground maybe, or doing special favors that only benefit themselves or their neighbors (see Pye Lake). It's way past time for a change for the city of Fayetteville. Hopefully we'll get some new faces in the council this year and when the mayoral election comes up, boot Ken Steele to the curb.

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Thu, 09/10/2009 - 9:21am.

Walt White and Larry Dell have been on the council for too long. When in office this long the power they have is astounding! It's time for new faces, better ideas and someone who will listen to the citizens of Fayetteville.

I've been to council meetings when citizens would have to endure rolling eyes, boring looks and disrespect. I have to say I have never seen Paul Oddo do that. Mr. Oddo is always willing to listen respectfully.

How refreshing to have a woman running for council. I can't wait to meet her, I like her ideas. If she's like me she has her own opinion. My husband and I were very close but we never agreed on everything. Sometimes he would vote for one person and I would vote for someone else.

I have met Mickey Edwards and his wife, wonderful people. Mickey doesn't have a magic wand, but he like Paul Oddo will listen to the citizens with respect and do his best for the good of Fayetteville.

Citizens of Fayetteville please vote on November 3rd. Let's get some new people on the council who will be for the people!

Tug Smiling

Submitted by Doug on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 11:22pm.

I was introduced to Larry Dell about two years ago. He had a crude mouth and chain smoked. Seems like Fayetteville could do a lot better.

Tug13's picture
Submitted by Tug13 on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 1:52pm.

A crude mouth and the chain smoking are his own personal problems.

Fayetteville CAN do much better, vote Larry Dell OUT.

Vote for Mickey Edwards on November 3rd.

Tug Smiling

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