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Weber will not seek return to Fort Smith Board of Directors

story by Ryan Saylor
rsaylor@thecitywire.com

City Director Pam Weber has decided to not seek re-election to her position 5 at-large seat on the Fort Smith Board of Directors, she confirmed Friday (May 16).

Weber, who began her term on the Board in 2011, said the decision to not run was made with input from her family.

"That was a difficult decision because I have absolutely loved being a city director. There has been no greater honor in my public service career than serving the city of Fort Smith," she said. "But for me and my family, I feel like right now is not the time to seek re-election."

Weber said the process of making a decision involved looking "at what the next few years hold."

"As you know, I have a new grandbaby and a family business. It was a joint decision and after discussing with (my family) — I decided I would never leave my commitment to public service — but I felt it was the right time for a new person to step forward and take my position on the Board."

In discussing her decision, Weber reflected on the last three and a half years and pointed to the creation of a city beautification committee as one of the highlights of her time in elected office.

"I'm proud that Mayor (Sandy) Sanders has asked me to serve on that committee. Some of the things we've done that have been personally gratifying (include) the efforts underway on the I-540 interchanges," she said, mentioning landscaping and tree planting that has taken place at the intersection of Phoenix Avenue, Greenwood Road and I-540, as well as another project planned for I-540 and Rogers Avenue. "Those have been personally very gratifying for me."

Other projects have also ranked high in terms of accomplishments, she said, adding that she was pleased to have been a part of efforts to get sales tax issues passed for fire station improvements, funding for parks projects and funding for the Ben Geren Aquatics Center.

Among the most challenging issues Weber said he and the Board have faced during her time in office has been the budget, which has struggled with lower than expected sales tax revenues. But she said even during the difficult times that have come with the budget, the work has been personally fulfilling.

"The budget has been very challenging the last few years, but the staff and administration has done a good job of managing the difficulties. All of those have been extremely gratifying."

As for what her last six months of service on the Board hold, Weber said beautification efforts will continue to be her focus, as well as promoting Fort Smith.

"Obviously, I want to complete some of the beautification efforts I've started and work with citizens until the very last day. And I want to continue to talk about how wonderful Fort Smith is and (how happy I am to) call Fort Smith home."

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Weber's position creates the second vacancy on the Board following City Director Philip Merry's announcement that he would not seek re-election to his position seven at-large seat on the Board. Former City Director Don Hutchings and Parks Commissioner Sherry Toliver have announced their intentions to run for Merry's seat.

As of Friday, the only candidates to have filed to run for Board positions were Sanders and Vice Mayor Kevin Settle, who holds the position six at-large director position. Both are seeking re-election to their respective positions.

The filing period for municipal Fort Smith offices runs from May 14 to Noon on May 29. An election will be held Aug. 12. If needed, a run-off election will be held Nov. 4.

Five Star Votes: 
Average: 5 (8 votes)

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Comments

Director Weber

Free at last...free at last...Thank God we are free of her at last! Not a big surprise. Good decision. Let's move forward with some new blood.

Beautify Fort Smith

So, Mr. Really wow what do you have against beautifying Fort Smith or have you resigned yourself to settling for lipstick on a pig as a characterization of improving the appearance of our town? Would you prefer for Reverend Don to return to the board?

We'll spruce her up a little bit even with Pam gone

Don Hutchings will be back so count on him to strike a happy medium between our local property extremists who care nothing about the plight of other humans, and the many well adjusted normal people in Fort Smith. Thanks to MS Weber for her efforts to make the town look nicer and for doing a good job as a City Director!

Done with Don

Don's a hypocrite. His church is a business for him. He goes through the motions and gullible people believe him. We don't need another charlatan adept at talking out of both sides of his mouth. We have too many already in local government. As for your straw man: Property owners who care nothing about the plight of other humans.....bring them to your house or send them to a place with more opportunity for work and success. That place is not Fort Smith currently.

Needs more than a little bit

This town needs more than a little sprucing-up and it needs it fast. If even just a couple of ordinances are enforced consistently and frequently, then we would see a dramatic change for the better in the appearance and curb appeal of our city. Instead you imply that urban blight and human blight should co-exist. Do you live on the Northside or downtown? How about you invite all the wandering freeloaders to a housepainting party at your place in exchange for a "sack-lunch".

Hi yo silver!

You left out the part about it not being all that necessary to for people to do anything at all if they are have connections to things that you are interested in yourself. If not you apparently are powerless to see anything wrong with them dragging their entrails behind them as they go about doing your bidding.

Never Go Back

Lets all say a prayer before we start the meeting and then pass the plate while we spend our city into bankruptcy. Hello common sense because a clean, beautiful city with a growing job market and vibrant downtown with visitor orientated events seems to be the key to turning things around so lets not repeat our past mistakes and failures by electing people that lack the vision to move forward.

So Be It

Yes, we have no room for a woman on our sharia type BOD and now you will be "free at last" to move forward to the financial cliff.

The Weber Era

My personal opinion is the Pam Weber did everything that she could do to make Fort Smith a better place to live but only had 1 Vote on the BOD. We should all thank her for her service to the community and wish her well in whatever she does in the future.

Director Merry Frustration

Phil Merry also tried to right the ship but was given very little cooperation from the you know who's. Now they want the Don back so they have a gang of five so poor old George won't have any say in decisions because the deck will be loaded.

E-heads......

...as in "Eraser Heads" who will "rubberstamp" for whoever is calling the shots from above. BOD is a waste of time and taxpayer money.

Thank God...

I am now heading to pick up my forms and run myself. Now I truly believe in the system based upon some of these Directors dropping out. Of course, I am running against Director Settle just so he has to run a campaign. No free rides.

Let The Contest Begin

It will be interesting to hear Settle try to talk about his accomplishments over the past 6 or 7 years.

Thank You Pam Weber

I hope Pam's leaving doesn't start a trend where progressive ideas are supplanted be regressive ideas. Don Hutchings will bring back that "old time religion" into backwards political chicanery....the last thing this town needs.....What every happened to the idea of "forward Ft.Smith".....not backward.

PC and RC

Political chicanery and religious chicanery usually bring the same results using someone else's money that ends in the failure to reach the promised land.

Pam Weber

Thank you Pam for your service to the city. Thanks for your leadership in the beautification of Fort Smith.