Fort Smith Mayor: No decision yet on reelection run

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 43 views 

Fort Smith Mayor Ray Baker said Tuesday (Aug. 25) he has not made a decision about running for reelection, countering what he called “rumors in the community” that he will not run again.

Baker told The City Wire he would make public his decision “by March” of 2010.

Primaries — if needed — for the next round of municipal elections will be held on the second Tuesday of August. The position of mayor and the three at-large city director positions are up for reelection in the 2010 election cycle.

“I have not made any statement,” Baker said during a statement at the end of a noon study session of the Board of Directors.

Baker will have served 20 consecutive years as mayor at the end of his present term.

In a brief interview after the meeting, Baker also reiterated his belief that the form of Fort Smith government should be a mayor-council form in which the mayor manages the city in collaboration with the council. Fort Smith now has an administrator-council government, in which an administrator is hired by a seven-member board and the elected mayor is a ceremonial position.

“The mayor should be answerable directly to the people. As it is now, all he (city administrator) must do is try to please four directors,” Baker explained. “That’s not right. The person who runs the city should answer to the people.”

City Director Cole Goodman, one of the three at-large directors, told The City Wire that he is not seeking reelection. The other at-large directors are Gary Campbell and Kevin Settle. The City Wire has asked Campbell and Settle about their plans.