Ayres is can­di­date for Gravette mayor

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTS

GRAVETTE — Dale Ayres of Gravette has an­nounced he is a can­di­date for Gravette mayor, chal­leng­ing in­cum­bent Kurt Mad­dox. Ayres says he and his wife Diana en­joy spend­ing time in the Gravette com­mu­nity and shar­ing both com­mu­nity and fam­ily tra­di­tions with their chil­dren and grand­chil­dren. He hopes to con­tinue the progress Gravette has made and make im­prove­ments where pos­si­ble.

Ayres says that, if elected, there are a few key ar­eas he would fo­cus on im­me­di­ately af­ter tak­ing of­fice. These in­clude strate­gic plan­ning, zon­ing and de­vel­op­ment of cur­rent in­fra­struc­ture such as wa­ter, sewer, street, fire and po­lice de­part­ments; main­tain­ing trans­parency with all par­ties in­volved, whether in­di­vid­ual, com­mu­nity group or busi­ness owner, through­out plan­ning and im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects; and pri­or­i­tiz­ing the needs and safety of city po­lice, fire and EMS per­son­nel while re­view­ing the op­er­a­tion, spend­ing, em­ployee re­ten­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence of their de­part­ments.

Ayres was born in So­dus Point, N.Y., where his fa­ther was a light­house keeper, and lived in a light­house the first five years of his life. His fa­ther joined the mil­i­tary and the fam­ily lived in sev­eral states and in Guam dur­ing his grow­ing up years. He grad­u­ated from high school in Bruns­wick, Mo., in 1972 and joined the Army later that year.

Dale was in the Army from 1972 un­til 1975. While in the mil­i­tary, he was a he­li­copter me­chanic and re­ceived his air­frame and power plant cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. He stayed in Alaska for about a year af­ter leav­ing the mil­i­tary and then moved to north­west Arkansas near the end of 1976. Utiliz­ing his back­ground in avi­a­tion me­chan­ics, he be­came a mem­ber of the Ben­tonville air­port com­mis­sion and served as pres­i­dent of the board while there. While lead­ing the group, he ap­plied for and re­ceived sev­eral grants to im­prove the safety stan­dards of the land­ing process.

Ayres built a log house east of Hi­wasse in 1977 and lived there un­til 1987. They moved into Ben­tonville and lived there un­til 1993 when he and Diana pur­chased land west of Gravette to set­tle down and raise a fam­ily in the same small town where his wife, the for­mer Diana Buf­fer, spent her child­hood.

Dale be­gan work­ing for Wal­mart in 1985, where he started out in main­te­nance. He spent al­most 33 years at Wal­mart and rose through the ranks to earn the ti­tle of se­nior man­ager of two of the four data cen­ter lo­ca­tions in the United States. While in Wal­mart man­age­ment, he had to stay cur­rent on se­cu­rity pre­pared­ness and have a plan in place should a dis­as­ter strike. He also han­dled large-scale bud­get­ing for mul­ti­ple teams and lo­ca­tions, project man­age­ment and men­tor­ing, as well as strate­gic plan­ning for fu­ture needs. He says that, as mayor, he would uti­lize his ca­reer train­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence with man­ag­ing large, com­plex sys­tems to help him run the var­i­ous de­part­ments of the city.

Ayres re­tired from Wal­mart two years ago, in 2017, and de­cided he wanted to give back to the com­mu­nity, so he and Diana moved into town. They have three chil­dren, Anas­ta­sia, Dale Ayres II and Marie. They have nine grand­chil­dren, four of whom are en­rolled in Gravette pub­lic schools. Two have al­ready grad­u­ated.

Dale is a vol­un­teer fire­man, with his wild­lands cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, with the Maysville Fire De­part­ment and a mem­ber of the John E. Tracy Amer­i­can Le­gion Post in Gravette.

Ayres

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