Tim Hatman has served in the position since July, when Mayor Charles Reece appointed him to fill the unexpired term of Bill Niven.
In November, Hatman will compete to hold onto the position against political newcomer Bill Emerson.
Following is the text of a question-and-answer exchange meant to introduce readers with each candidate.
Both were given the same set of questions and told to limit each response to 100 words. (Note: Question 5 is a two-part question, so candidates' full answers were allowed.) Responses were received by email and have received only minor editing. The contenders are presented alphabetically. A brief biography is followed by the questions and answers.
Bill Emerson, 58, hails from North Bend, Neb. However, for the past five years, he and his wife, Evelyn, have made their home in Green Forest.
Emerson owns the Cozy Motel motor lodge, which he inherited from his mother, and he said he hopes to open another business soon. Emerson earned his associates degree in marketing and management before embarking on a career in the hospitality industry.
He has 20 years of experience managing hotels in Las Vegas, Dallas, and Phoenix. He also served for four years in the U.S. Navy. This is Emerson's first time seeking political office.
I am not running to:
a) get my picture in the paper everyday
b) solve generational problems
c) make money from the city. (I will donate every cent I make from the City to a fund set up to buy a new fire truck.)
I am running to:
a) give a voice to our citizens who feel they have no say in the direction of our city
b) try to offer different solutions to some problems without spending tax dollars
c) make Green Forest as business friendly as possible.
As a community, we have to grow. I hope we can lure some small businesses to Green Forest by being the most business-friendly town in the area. Green Forest has some very successful business people. I would encourage them to offer their input on ideas to make this happen.
I would also like to see two lingering issues - the waste water treatment and funding for a new fire truck - come to a final decision.
Also, we need to start discussing our increasing property taxes. Mine have gone from $700 in 2001 to nearly $3000 in 2011. A 400% increase in 10 years.
I have several friends who work for the city, but no relatives. I have never been employed by the City of Green Forest.
A senior citizen told me that she requested time to ask the council why a city employee was measuring her grass at 7 a.m. She was told she would have to wait until next month's meeting. She was not on the "agenda" for that night's meeting.
I pledge that if you are in my ward and want to speak, you will be able to. The council person who represents that citizen should be the one who determines when to end the discussion - not the Mayor. I would extend this professional courtesy to my fellow councilmen.
The City Council performs a very important function in Green Forest. They should be the checks and balances of city government. Right now we are lacking transparency. Councilman Mike Miller was not made aware of the vote to double the mayor's salary until that meeting was starting. If he did not know this was about to happen, how could any regular citizens? No time was given for anyone to offer input on this issue. I will change that so all interested parties have at least one week notice on all major votes.
America is a very generous country. Every year we allow over one million immigrants to legally enter our country. I should know, it took me nearly two years and thousands of dollars to bring my wife Evelyn to Green Forest.
Our newest neighbors have been a plus for this community. They account for over 40 percent of the customers at Harps, PizzaPro, and many other businesses. They have begun to buy homes which adds to our tax base.
Their work ethic has helped Tyson's prosper and many of our businesses prosper. They should be treated with the respect they deserve.
This (along with our aging streets and emergency equipment) may be the biggest hurdle we are facing right now. I think this administration has done a good job of trying to solve this problem from different angles. I would hope that all avenues are considered before any rate increase. Many of our citizens, especially our senior citizens, are surviving on a thin line and any increase could be disastrous to them.
Tim Hatman, 32, has never run for political office before. He was appointed earlier this year to fill the unexpired term of Bill Nevin, after the former alderman accepted an out of town coaching position. Hatman has lived in Green Forest for the past six years. He is a graduate of Berryville High School and is currently employed as a district sales representative for Ben E. Keith Foods.
I am running for office to help the city grow and prosper.
What would be your priorities and goals if elected?
My priority if elected would be to attract new businesses to Green Forest.
I believe the public has the right to speak as long as they come to City Hall and get on the agenda before the meeting, but in case they didn't attend, the mayor gives anyone a chance to ask questions at every meeting.
I believe the most admirable thing is that city business is run by the mayor, but he always asks council's opinion on everything.
I would try to gain their trust and try to get them involved in the city.
I believe that the city has found new suppliers for chemicals, which should keep costs down.