Oct 13, 2022 - Politics

4 in the running for Springdale seat

From left to right: Brian Powell, Alice Gachuzo-Colin, Rick Culver, Mike Stevens. Photos: Courtesy of the candidates.

Springdale voters will soon select between four candidates to represent Ward 3, Position 1 on the City Council.

Be smart: Ward 3 is in the southwest part of the city. All Springdale voters can vote in the election, and council members must live in the wards they represent.

Details: Incumbent Brian Powell is challenged by Rick Culver, Alice Gachuzo-Colin and Mike Stevens.

  • Culver is executive director of the Rodeo of the Ozarks and previously served on the Springdale City Council before losing re-election in 2018. He also sits on the city's Advertising and Promotions Commission.
  • Gachuzo-Colin is a banker at Bank of America and founder of the city's annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
  • Powell is a construction project coordinator for the Arkansas Department of Transportation and retired from the U.S. Air Force. He has served on City Council since 2019 and is chairperson of the Police and Fire Committee. Powell formerly worked on the Planning Commission and as chairperson of the Health, Sanitation and Property Maintenance Committee.
  • Stevens is a franchisee at H&R Block and co-owner of Quadrivium, a cybersecurity company.

What's next: Election Day is Nov. 8, and early voting starts Oct. 24.

  • Council members serve four-year terms.
Q&A: Meet the candidates

Axios: Why are you running for Springdale City Council and what is your main goal or priority?

Culver: I am running for City Council again because I love the city of Springdale. I grew up in Springdale. I will do what is best for Springdale.

  • My goals are to help see that we have the best police and fire department, make sure they're funded the way they should be to protect our citizens. Also work on infrastructure [so] that we have the roads that will help our citizens get around the city. And also work to make sure the city has a better path for developers for new homes.

Gachuzo-Colin: I am running for Springdale City Council ... because I don't believe the council is currently representing the people who live in the city and who make this city what it is. I don't believe anyone should speak for someone that they haven't taken the time to know.

  • I am running because I have a genuine connection with the citizens of the city from the Latinx to the Marshallese, to the ones who are born and raised here in Springdale.

Powell: Springdale is such an amazing city that is growing rapidly. The citizens of Springdale make this city the best in NWA. We have been through a pandemic, economic downturn, huge inflation, and yet the love and resilience of our citizens continues to bolster this city.

  • Businesses and housing are expanding in Springdale, which is bringing economic growth and more opportunity for our city to thrive.
  • I am experienced in infrastructure and have been very pleased with the new road construction with our last bond program, but much work is still needed to sustain a growing city. With this growth, the need to expand services provided to our citizens in roadways, fire/EMS, police, parks and trails, along with water and sewer is a critical part of infrastructure growth.
  • I fully support our Springdale employees in all areas needed for retention and recruitment, so that services provided to our citizens and visitors will continue to be the best in NWA.

Stevens: I want to see our city continue to grow and prosper. To me, getting involved at the local level of politics is about the desire to improve things, such as communication, economic growth, community identity and effective management of our resources.

  • As a businessman and parent, I will bring a positive and creative mindset to the council, and through my work, help the city move forward in a positive way.

Axios: Other than efforts to revitalize downtown, where should the city turn its attention to to draw people to entertainment and dining?

Culver: Our downtown is in what is called an opportunity zone, which helps investors with taxes so they will invest in our downtown — new buildings, new businesses.

  • The city will need to help furnish parking if we're going to have events and bring people to our downtown area. We have to have the amenities that make it inviting and easy to get downtown and to have a good time. ... With [the] overlay district downtown, we made it easier for investors and developers to come and be a part of what is going on in downtown Springdale right now.

Gachuzo-Colin: I believe that Springdale needs to be more inclusive in the kinds of bars that they open downtown. I also think that Springdale needs to offer some sort of incentives for young entrepreneurs who choose to open their new club/restaurant in the downtown area.

Powell: The great thing about Springdale is we are very family friendly and business friendly. The growth we are currently experiencing in downtown is due to the hard work and efforts of so many in our business community, local investors, our Downtown Springdale Alliance, Springdale Chamber of Commerce, city employees and our great community. The most important piece to this continued growth is our Springdale [residents].

  • Now with the construction of the new Luther George Park finally starting, the landscape in downtown is about to be transformed for sustained growth for years to come.

Stevens: As a city, we could bring more attention to local/national nonprofits that would put us on the national scene as a location that welcomes and can serve larger groups. Partnering with local restaurant owners, we could attract more … diverse, small business entrepreneurs to start their dreams in Springdale.

  • The downtown revitalization has and is going well, but there are other areas in our city that could easily become entertainment districts as well. Our city parks could provide space for small concerts. Arvest Park certainly could entertain larger groups for concerts during a large part of the year.
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