Please click on image to ENLARGE PHOTO OF CITY COUNCIL MEMBER NANCY ALLEN at the June 30 meeting of Ward Four residents.
The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Allen Not Seeking Re-election
By Skip Descant
The Morning News
FATETTEVILLE - Fayetteville City Council member Nancy Allen announced Wednesday she does not plan to seek re-election.
Allen has also remained mostly silent on what her plans might be.
"I have not given any thought to what I might want to do after my time on the council has ended, but I do know I will not be happy sitting at home eating Twinkies and watching 'Mister Ed' reruns. So, I will find ways to continue to be involved," said Allen, a long-time teacher in Fayetteville public schools.
Allen, 61, who represents Ward 2, came forward with a statement Wednesday saying she did not plan to seek re-election.
"After months of soul searching, I have decided not to seek re-election for Ward 2 Alderman," wrote Allen, a one-term alderwoman, in her statement.
"The council has been the most interesting job I have ever had," she continued. In addition to her time spent as a school teacher, Allen has also served on the Fayetteville Planning and Zoning Commission and the Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods.
"It has also been disillusioning. I have discovered that I am not a politician, but I regret none of it and am proud that I did not deviate from the things I said I would do, stood up for my principles, asked hard questions, and have not been intimidated," she wrote.
The Times article shortens Nancy's e-mailed announcement to the news media. Here is the full version:
"After months of soul searching, I have decided not to seek reelection for Ward 2 Alderman.
"I have served as president and vice president of FCON (the council of neighborhoods) for two years each, six years on the Planning Commission, and two years on the City Council and find I would like to take some time for other things I care about and enjoy.
"Serving on the council has been the most interesting job I have ever had. It has also been disillusioning.
"I have discovered that I am not a politician, but I regret none of it and am proud that I did not deviate from the things I said I would do, stood up for my principles, asked hard questions, and have not been intimidated.
"I will hold to those values as I continue through my elected term.
"I have given over half of my salary to social programs that were affected most by the budget cuts. Doing that has given me great pleasure. And, while the money will be gone, the passion is not. I can still work for these programs.
"I am proud that, when serving on them, I have never missed a meeting of FCON, the Planning Commission, or the City Council.
"Some of my personal highlights during my term have been being invited to eat Christmas dinner at the High Rise, voted outstanding alderman by a labor union, presenting rings to the FHS Bulldogs for winning the State Championship, and being a part of renaming 6th Street to Martin Luther King Boulevard.
"I have met many wonderful people I would not otherwise have known. Thanks to the people of Ward 2 for putting your faith in me these past two years and allowing me to serve my beloved Fayetteville."
I hope Nancy's friends in Ward 2 will let her know how much they appreciate her service. And maybe suggest she change her decision before the day comes for official registration as a candidate.
Nancy resigned from the Council of Neighborhoods and announced her candidacy for the council position after Don Marr resigned from the council less than half-way through his second term. That was right after the council was stampeded into voting to approve the Divinity Hotel across Dickson Street from Collier's Drug store and the U.S. Post Office. Thanks to a couple of long-time Fayetteville residents who filed suit against the city for passing the project it was never built and the developer got invited to bankruptcy court for some of his previous mistakes. Meanwhile, Nancy led the effort to limit building height on Dickson Street, something those who loved Fayetteville back when Fayetteville was cool could appreciate.
Her announcement was the start of what I expected to be a serious change for the good on the council. Women just seem to understand the needs of people more than a lot of men. At that time I thought we were headed toward a truly "kinder, gentler, more thoughtful council."
This announcement diminishes my hope for such a change. But maybe another highly principled woman will step up and campaign for the seat. Fayetteville needs men and women who care what the people think and care about. And Nancy's example should certainly inspire someone else, man or woman, with integrity to make the sacrifice to seek the position and take the responsibility.