Pevehouse seeks return to Fort Smith Board

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 158 views 

Former Fort Smith City Director Ken Pevehouse seeks a return to the city Board with a challenge to City Director Steve Tyler for the Ward 1 post.

Pevehouse, 48, was elected to the Board in 1998 and was defeated by Dr. Cole Goodman in the 2002 election. Pevehouse, who has been employed by Arkansas Best Corp. subsidiary Data-Tronics more than 24 years, serves on the Board of Westark Area Council Boy Scouts of America and most recently was a member of the city’s Homelessness Task Force.

Tyler said he is "in the process of deciding" on a re-election bid.

Pevehouse said his “primary objective” is to rebuild Fort Smith.

“As we begin to come out what is being called ‘The Great Recession’ I want to once again be a part of rebuilding Fort Smith. I want to help replace what we have lost these past few years, and jobs are Job 1!” Pevehouse noted in the statement.

Bringing jobs to Fort Smith requires a clean city, according to Pevehouse.

“One responsibility of city government is to create an environment for companies to want to bring jobs to Fort Smith. Businesses want the same things that individuals want – the nicest place in the nicest neighborhood that they can afford,” Pevehouse explained in his statement.

Pevehouse also said the city must continue to expand its work with regional partners to recruit jobs to the area. He said progress has been made on the regional front, but instead of “just shaking hands with regionalism, we need to embrace regionalism.”

He also said the city must do a better job of selling itself to the world.

“A lot of our growth is going to come from marketing. We have everything in place to make this a great community, we just need to market ourselves,” Pevehouse said.

As to his opinion on a near-term issue, Pevehouse said he hopes voters approve a more than $168 million bond refinance package that would further improvements to the city’s water and sewer system and help pay for an aquatic park and ball fields at Ben Geren. Voters are being asked to extend a 1% sales tax. The vote is set for March 13.

“I think it is imperative that we do that,” Pevehouse said Tuesday of the tax extension. “It has the benefit of not being a new tax … and the things that it does for us, it’s critical for all of Fort Smith.”

Pevehouse also said he would like to see televised board meetings return. Tonight’s meeting (Jan. 17) of the Fort Smith Board is the last televised meeting. The Board nixed funding for the televised meetings to find money for Fort Smith Convention Center operations.

“Since we’ve had them, it has opened the door that we need to keep open. I hate to see that go, but that was a decision that was made for budget purposes by the directors,” Pevehouse said.

Elections will be held for Fort Smith’s four wards in 2012. Directors serve four-year terms. The city filing period is May 16 through June 5. If needed, a municipal primary will be held Aug. 14.

City Director George Catsavis, who represents Ward 4, has announced his re-election bid.

PEVEHOUSE STATEMENT
Ken Pevehouse announces his bid for Fort Smith City Director Ward 1, stating that rebuilding Fort Smith is his primary objective.

Pevehouse, 48, stated that when he was elected in 1998 to the Board of Directors, it was a time of rebuilding. Two years before, Fort Smith had been hit by a tornado that destroyed a large portion of downtown.

“As we begin to come out what is being called ‘The Great Recession’ I want to once again be a part of rebuilding Fort Smith. I want to help replace what we have lost these past few years, and jobs are Job 1!” says Pevehouse.

When asked how he will bring jobs to Fort Smith, Pevehouse responded, “One responsibility of city government is to create an environment for companies to want to bring jobs to Fort Smith. Businesses want the same things that individuals want – the nicest place in the nicest neighborhood that they can afford.”

We need to aggressively market the qualities of Fort Smith and make known the value the city has to offer.

Ken has an extensive civic resume. He currently serves on the Board of Westark Area Council Boy Scouts of America and most recently was a member of the city’s Homelessness Task Force. Pevehouse said that serving on the city board would be an extension of the service he has already given to the city that has given him so much.

Additional information can by found on Facebook by searching for “Ken Pevehouse for City Director” or by sending email to [email protected]