City council candidates want cooperation
Three men running for City Council answered questions at the Pea Ridge Municipal Candidate Forum Monday night. Questions were presented by Rusty Turner, editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, parent company of the Pea Ridge TIMES.
Cody Keene, candidate for Ward 2, Position 2, faced no opposition as incumbent Lance Sanders, who initially filed for reelection, has withdrawn from the election. His name will still be on the ballot.
Incumbent Bob Cottingham and Matt Ahart, are both seeking the Ward 1, Position 2 seat. Council elections are voted upon citywide.
Cottingham, who said he has lived in Pea Ridge for 36 years, was initially appointed to the seat to fill a vacancy in 2005. He was re-elected twice.
“I want to be sure that every citizen has a voice in the decision making process,” Cottingham said.
Ahart, who said he moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2001, said he has lived in Pea Ridge for three years.
“We really like this town and have set our roots down here,” Ahart said, adding that he and his family looked at other cities in the area and “chose Pea Ridge … We’re very excited to be here and we just hope we can be here for many years to come.”
Keene said he’s a long-time resident of the area, was born in Rogers and graduated from Bentonville High School. “I really
want to help continue to grow this town and see it thrive.” Question: Ahart:
What’s your understanding the role of a City Council member?
“As a group to work together as the legislative branch of the city government. The mayor and his administration would be the executive side. It’s important as council
members to work as a team to make decisions for our future.”
Cottingham: “One thing I’ve always tried to do is be in close contact with citizens of Pea Ridge, kind of as the spokesman for them. It’s paramount that we work together as a team under good leadership for what’s in the best interest of the people.”
Keene: “We all need to be together as a unified council, not divided, arguing for decisions that best fit the community, not our own agenda… doing exactly what you guys ask us to do.” •••
Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series on the candidates for Pea Ridge City Council.
Candidates Cody Keene, Matt Ahart and Bob Cottingham spoke to about 50 people attending a municipal candidate forum Monday evening in the cafeteria at the high school. The forum was sponsored by The TIMES.