Crabtree, Wall differ on issues
Standing on his foundation of nearly a quarter of a century of experience, Mayor Jackie Crabtree said he’s proud of where the city has come in the past 24 years since he’s been mayor. He praised city employees and said the community and city employees are all part of the success.
“Pea Ridge is a unique place, a place where you can feel like you’re family. My door and my office is always open. I’ve assembled a team of quite capable individuals,” he said. “We work very well with the school system. We have a unique building that’s the only one in Arkansas because of cooperation with the school system.”
“Like Bright Futures, PRMBA, City Hall — first of its kind in the state of Arkansas,” he said. “We have plans. We have master street plans. It all comes down to funding.
“We’re working on a bike park … there are a multitude of things. This is not something I’ve done by myself, it’s what we have done as a community. It has to be done as a team,” Crabtree said
Mechel Wall said vision is essential and it takes vision and said she has the ability to bring people together from different backgrounds to work together. She said she wants accountability to the office, communication with the taxpayers and to make sure information is available to them. Citing her founding of the Benton County School of the Arts which, she said has become one of the best schools in the state, she said she has the experience and vision needed for the job.
“Some may think this election is about popularity. It’s not about who you know or if you grew up here. It’s about the future of our children,” Wall said. “There is some very real concern … the current administration’s response is we don’t have money.”
Wall said that Pea Ridge spends far more on salaries than similar sized cities. “That cannot be sustained on the backs of an aging population,” she said.
Question: What can and should the mayor do to work with the State Highway Department officials to improve the state highways that run through Pea Ridge?
Crabtree: “Stay in constant communication with the Highway Department … for example, the four-way stop downtown by Arvest Bank, if you put a stoplight there and don’t put in a turn lane, you’ll have a worse situation.”
Wall: “To provide a master plan or work with leadership to provide a master plan … having a master plan is key. If you have to get in line for state funds, you have to know what it is you are trying to accomplish.”
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on the candidates for mayor of Pea Ridge.
Mayor Jackie Crabtree and mayoral candidate Mechel Wall fielded questions about their visions for Pea Ridge at a forum Monday evening.