Director Settle to not run for Mayor, will seek Board re-election

story by Ryan Saylor

Fort Smith City Director Kevin Settle announced Tuesday (April 22) that he would seek a third term on the city's Board of Directors. Settle, who serves as an at-large director and as vice mayor, so far has no announced opponent in his race.

And while rumors have been swirling for months that Settle had his eyes on the mayor's office, Settle said it just wasn't the right move for him.

"I was asked to look at a few things the last couple of years. I felt that with my experience and leadership as a city director, I could best serve the city in that capacity. I felt like that was best for me and my family and the citizens of Fort Smith."

A press release announcing Settle's re-election detailed some of the projects he said were highlights of his second term, which include "residential, industrial and I-49 growth in Chaffee Crossing; continued wet weather, drainage and street improvements; new job recruitment and existing job retention; sewer and water plant treatment expansions; fire station upgrades, expansion and new equipment; Vision 2025, including comprehensive plan updates; reduction in sanitation rates for all citizens, and the progress the City has made in developing regional economic relationships."

While Settle listed a wide range of highlights the city has experienced during his time on the Board, he told The City Wire that there was still a lot more to do.

"Continuing the wet weather improvements — we need to follow through on those and they are vital to our city. Continuation of the comprehensive plan updates — as we heard from the (former) Oklahoma City mayor (Kirk Humphreys on Tuesday, April 22), they put a plan together and stuck to the plan. We want to make sure that we stick with that plan."

He said improvements to the city's parks system, as well as completion of the Ben Geren Aquatics Center, are high priorities, as well.

Settle said improvements are also needed to make the city more business friendly, adding that one way to improve working relationships with businesses and the public at large would be adding a way to apply for business permits online.

As for how Settle has handled the added responsibilities of serving as vice mayor during his second term on the Board, he said it has been a seamless transition.

"It's just what the Board asked to me to take care of when (Mayor Sandy Sanders is) not there. It's just part of being a director, it's part of the city. I take it in stride with being a director. It was asked of me by the directors and I've done it."

Settle, a graduate of Southside HIgh School, WestArk Community College and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, works as an engineering manager at Exide Technologies. He and his wife, Terri, have two daughters.


Other announced candidates for Board positions this year include former City Director Don Hutchings, who is running to replace retiring City Director Philip Merry. Mayor Sandy Sanders is seeking a second term in office.

City Director Pam Weber's at-large position is also up for re-election this year, though she has not yet announced whether she plans to seek re-election.

Five Star Votes: 
Average: 4.3 (6 votes)



4 more years of "Settling" on Kevin is propabley the worst decision for Fort Smith ever. If the city really wants to move forward, he is not the man for the job. We are extremly lucky he is not running for mayor b/c we'd be in big trouble then. I'm begging any reader at the City Wire, please run against him. If I was in a position to do it, I would I just can't at the present moment. We' e suffered through 8 years of him, we need a new direction and he is not for moving forward.

Settle for this

Forth Smith is a lost cause. The most tragic decision I ever made was to retire here. Now I'm stuck here to die along with this forsaken backwards town. Only an act of God will save this place. A few supercell tornados back to back should finish-off the place. Then we can take the insurance money and move away.

Against Settle

The last time someone ran against Settle, they called out all the dogs to spin the election in Settle's favor. Maybe the pet lady will take him on and put a binder on his hinder.

Shame on Kevin

The dog lady is nobody's fool. Fool her once, shame on you. You won't fool her twice. Her's and many other fellow Ft.Smithians' time is too valuable to play petty politics with Settle, Hutchings, Good and their partners in municipal mischief. They are small town fools, this is as far as they go in life....stuck in the box too spineless to think outside of it.

Settle Up

Funny how you don't hear about the dog lady anymore. There's a reason for that. Give Settle enough credit for seeing the need to intervene before you obviously have.

What reason would that be?

Settle was micromanaging to create a political scapegoat distraction. He's also a bully. For an engineer, he sure ignores science unless it is political science. Then his calculations are with fuzzy math.

Now I Like That

"partners in municipal mischief" is a great description of Settle, Hutchings, Good, and a few more of our failed leaders who seems to constantly get the heaven and hell message backwards. Are these people really the best Fort Smith has to offer? If so, it explains why the Fort is always last to get anything done.

Jack, here's your chance!

You've called out Settle many times and how he has ramrodded many things which you like to bring up, along with comparitive facts from other cities in Arkansas. Now's your chance to run against him and take him to task personally in a campaign, while also giving your specific ideas on how to improve Fort Smith. I await the debates!

Credit or Blame

Is Mr.Settle implying that he should be given credit for all of what happened?: -residential, industrial and I-49 growth in Chaffee Crossing -continued wet weather, drainage and street improvements -new job recruitment and existing job retention -sewer and water plant treatment expansions -fire station upgrades, expansion and new equipment -reduction in sanitation rates for all citizens -progress the City has made in developing regional economic relationships Taking credit for someone else's accomplishments would not be ethical or honest. Blame him for: -Vision 2025, including comprehensive plan updates -Ben Geren Aquatics Center (what was the name of that corrupt OK contractor, again? ) To Kevin's credit, perhaps he just stayed out of the way to let things workout for itself. Maybe ceremonial directors are the answer...Now there's a thought !!

Director Settle and all politicians

They all take credit for jobs coming to town (on those rare occasions when they do), but they never take credit for lost jobs. They take credit for building a water park, yet no where to be found when cost overruns, bad budgeting and lies about the cost come out. They all take credit for sever repais and good streets but we cannot get anyone to bill Van Buren for water. Anyone take credit for that? Settle ran 4 years ago on a platform. Did he keep any of those promises? Mayor Sanders ran on a platform of ending government waste and said he would cut $100K from the Mayors budget. Did that happen? Hutchings says he has a church to build and now he is back. Yes the question is: is this the best Fort Smith has to offer? No. There are better candidates. However, they will not run because dealing with this lot is trying and difficult. You cannot make deals with the devil(s). In addition, everyone things its a great idea for the candidates to run and then do not support them. You want good leaders? They are there. Ask them, support them (advice, $$$, real support) and they will run. Otherwise, stop whining when no good one runs. Fort Smith has only itself to blame.