Fort Smith Director Tracy Pennartz has endorsed Robyn Dawson for the At-Large Position 5 race for the Fort Smith Board of Directors. In an email to Talk Business & Politics on Wednesday (July 11), the outgoing city director touted Dawson’s status as an educator and entrepreneur as making her uniquely qualified for the position.
“I am pleased today to formally endorse Robyn Dawson for the position of City Director At-Large, Position 5. There is no doubt in my mind that Robyn is well-qualified and extremely committed to a positive future for Fort Smith,” Pennartz said, adding that Dawson’s “chosen profession of education and current position as Principal of Spradling Elementary School, keeps her grounded in motivating and guiding future Fort Smith leaders every day.”
As a partner in business enterprises under the Town & Country Contractors, River Valley Concrete, and River Valley Pools banners with husband Steve Dawson, Pennartz said, “Robyn understands the dedication and just plain ‘hard work’ that it takes to make payroll and deliver quality services to customers.”
In addition to her work and business ventures, Dawson served on the Fort Smith Civil Service Commission prior to filing her statement of candidacy.
Pennartz concluded: “As someone who has had the great privilege to represent the citizens of Fort Smith for almost ten years, I truly believe that public service is an honorable endeavor. All of us have the responsibility to elect leaders who possess character, integrity and the courage to do what is best for our city. I believe Robyn has shown herself to be such a leader! Therefore, I ask each of you to vote for Robyn Dawson for City Director At-Large, Position 5, on August 14th.”
Dawson’s opponents in the Aug. 14 primary will be Samuel Price and Libby Piatt. The race was initially a four-way, but Jerry Neel, Jr. dropped out following the May 31 filing deadline. If one of the remaining three doesn’t receive 50% or higher of the vote, the top two candidates will head to the Nov. 6 ballot.
In a statement to Talk Business & Politics, Dawson said she is “honored and humbled to have Director Pennartz’s endorsement.”
“I will work hard to ensure that the confidence she and hopefully the great citizens of Fort Smith have put in me, will result in additional progressive leadership for our city. I do not take the responsibility lightly and truly appreciate her vote of confidence. I plan to be fully engaged in our city’s future and would appreciate the opportunity to use my leadership skills to serve the community.“
In a previous interview explaining her outlook and qualifications, Dawson said there are “many positive things already happening that we can support and many more we can create.”
“The Marshal’s Museum and the osteopathic medical college are two great examples.” Dawson said she doesn’t want Fort Smith to “mimic NWA, rather just enhance the great community we already have.”
Her issues of interest include “continuance of a balanced budget” for the city, analysis of “possible revenues that are not currently being utilized,” working towards consent decree changes “already in the works,” and working toward “underground infrastructure needs to continue the transition of Fort Chaffee Redevelopment lands to the city of Fort Smith.”