Salamone, Aldridge enter local political races

by The City Wire staff ( 22 views 

The candidate roster for Fort Smith and Sebastian County grows, with Salvatore Salamone announcing for a Fort Smith Director position, and former Sebastian County Quorum Court member Danny Aldridge seeking a return to that body.

Salamone, vice president-taxes for Golden Living, is running for the Ward 3 position now held by Director Don Hutchings. Hutchings, a pastor at Evangel Temple, is not running again, saying instead he will focus on raising $8 million for a church expansion.

Three primary issues are top of mind for Salamone. He wants to improve civility between the board and citizens, increase fiscal responsibility and oversight, and do more to support job growth. (Salamone’s complete campaign announcement is at the end of this story.)

“I’d like to see a little more oversight over the budget process,” to include “more questioning and more scrutiny” during the process, Salamone explained.

On the job growth front, Salamone hopes to foster “a better relationship … between the directors and the chamber of commerce.” Salamone is on the board of the Fort Smith Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Salamone also is a proponent of returning televised board meetings. The Board cut funding for the televised meetings, which ended in January, to find money for Fort Smith Convention Center operations.

“I would hope that we could find some room in the budget in the next six to 12 months and televise those, sooner rather than later,” he said.

Three candidates, including Salamone, have announced for city director positions.

Ward 4 City Director George Catsavis has said he will run again. Catsavis survived a municipal primary and general election in 2010 to complete the two years of a four-year term (Position 4) vacated by former City Director Bill Maddox.

Ken Pevehouse, a former City Director, has announced he will seek a return to the Ward 1 seat. Ward 1 Director Steve Tyler, now in his first term, has not announced a decision.

Elections will be held for Fort Smith’s four wards (Wards 1-4) in 2012. Directors serve four-year terms. The three at-large Director positions are up for election in 2014. The city filing period is May 16 through June 5. If needed, a municipal primary will be held Aug. 14.

Aldridge, who served on the Sebastian County Quorum Court for three terms (January 1997-December 2002), said serving on the county’s legislative body is “more than being a Republican or a Democrat. You have to build coalitions of all the Justices of the Peace to  insure that all the citizens are treated fairly and their tax dollars are spent as wisely as possible.”

Other political announcements in the county include:
Sebastian County Clerk Sharon Brooks, a Republican, is seeking re-election. She was first elected to the office in 2010 in an open race following the retirement of longtime Clerk Doris Tate.

Sebastian County Treasurer Judith Miller, also a Republican, is running again. She was first elected to the Treasurer’s office in 2008.

Denora Coomer, a 28-year veteran of the Sebastian County court system, announced Aug. 17 she will run as a Republican for the Circuit Clerk post now held by Republican Ken Blevins.

Chief Deputy Circuit Clerk Kathy Guthrie, a 14-year veteran of the Sebastian County Circuit Clerk’s office, announced Dec. 29 she will seek the office as a Democrat.

Sebastian County Judge David Hudson (R) and Sebastian County Assessor Becky Yandell (R) have also announced plans to seek reelection.

FORT SMITH, AR (February 1, 2012) – Salvatore F. Salamone has announced his candidacy for the position of Fort Smith City Director, Ward 3.

Salamone is Vice President – Taxes for Golden Living and has spent more than 25 years in his career as a tax, legal and accounting professional. He holds a law and accounting degree and has specialized in federal and state & local income, sales & use and property taxes in the financial services, copier and healthcare industries. In addition, he has focused on both public and corporate accounting, business, budgeting and forecasting experience.

“This is something I’ve thought about for many years and this is the right time. It’s crucial that we restore a sense of civility and trust between the City Directors and Administration and Fort Smith residents and I’d like to be a part of that happening,” said Salamone. “In addition, with my fiscal background, residents will know that I’ll be critically looking at how Fort Smith funds projects and works within its budget. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that I can make a difference representing residents of Ward 3 and other Fort Smith citizens.”

Salamone is a member of the Fort Smith Chamber of Commerce Board, U. S. Marshal’s Museum Board, and Fort Smith Symphony Board. He is also a Commissioner on the Fort Smith Planning Commission. He served as a previous board member for the Fort Smith Noon Exchange Club, Leadership Fort Smith Alumni Association, Fianna Hills Property Association, and First United Methodist Church Foundation. He has also been actively involved with the United Way, serving as a volunteer for Project Compassion since 2008.

Prior to Golden Living, Salamone worked with Global Imaging Systems, PharMerica, Deloitte, MasterCard and Ernst & Young in various related positions. He holds a JD Degree from Fordham University School of Law and graduated from City University of New York-Hunter College with a BS Degree in Accounting. He is a member of the Florida Bar Association, Tax Executives Institute, American Bar Association, Healthcare Financial Management Association, and National Association of REIT's.

He and his wife, Marcie, have one daughter.

For more information, you can search Facebook for Salvatore F. Salamone For Fort Smith City Director, Ward 3.

Danny Aldridge today announced his candidacy for Sebastian County Justice of the Peace District 6.

Aldridge, a Republican, has been a resident of Sebastian County and Fort Smith for over 30 years. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons. Aldridge is a concerned citizen and business owner who believes in and has fought for individual and business owners rights.

Aldridge has been involved in politics on the local, State, and National levels for many years. He previously served on the Sebastian County Quorum Court for three terms from January 1997-December 2002. During his tenure on the Quorum Court he had a financially conservative voting record, voted to spend every tax dollar wisely, voted for effective and efficient government, and supported accountability in government spending.

While serving on the Sebastian County Quorum Court, Aldridge successfully recovered over $300,000 of disputed funds owed to the County from the Arkansas Department of Corrections. He assisted in the recovery of over $16,000 in road fuel taxes improperly collected on fuel used in emergency vehicles. He lobbied for the replacement of all the ‘old style’ metal playground equipment at Ben Geren Park and was successful in obtaining many safety upgrades to the park. Aldridge was instrumental in getting a new standard issue sidearm for the full time members of the Sheriff’s Department, resulting in increased safety for the Deputies. Working with the Juvenile Detention Department he was able to establish funding for the Merit Meal Program. This program rewards scholarship and good behavior and has reduced vandalism resulting in saving the County thousands of dollars in potential repairs to the Juvenile Detention Center.

In his announcement, Aldridge stated, ”being a Justice of the Peace is more than representing a district in Fort Smith or other areas of the County. It’s more than being a Republican or a Democrat. You have to build coalitions of all the Justices of the Peace to  insure that all the citizens are treated fairly and their tax dollars are spent as wisely as possible.” He further stated “I have proven my ability to work closely with both political parties for the fair and equable treatment and respect of the taxpayers.”

As your Sebastian County Justice of the Peace, District 6