A Fort Smith resident will run for a spot on the Fort Smith Board of Directors.
Sam Price, 24, will run for the at-large, position 5 seat held by Tracy Pennartz. Pennartz's term expires Dec. 31. She has not announced whether she will run for re-election.
Price is a department manager at McDonald's. He is also working toward a degree in elementary education. The Fort Smith native said he decided to run because he wanted to help with issues going on in the city such as the federal consent decree that requires the city to make an estimated $480 million worth of upgrades to its sewers in a 12-year period. Sewer rates have increased three times to help pay for the work, and city officials have said they intend to renegotiate the consent decree in part to avoid any more rate increases.
Price also said he does not want to see businesses leave Fort Smith and would like to revisit the $100 annual business license fee the board recently voted to implement, largely to help fund the Police Department. Price said he does not want to get rid of the fee but would like to see if there's a way to give longtime Fort Smith businesses a discount and allow new businesses to be exempt from paying the fee for their first two years in business. New businesses are currently exempt from paying the first year.
The director position is nonpartisan. City directors serve four-year terms and make a salary of $1,000 a year based on meeting attendance and $400 a month in reimbursement for vehicle expenses. Election Day will be Nov. 6.