This interview is part of a series of posts designed help us all learn a little bit about who’s running for city council in Fayetteville on November 2.
We sent two rounds of questions to all of the candidates and we’ll post one interview each weekday in the order that we received them beginning with Round 1.
Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to vote for the candidates who are running in your ward and that only two wards (Ward 2 and Ward 4) have contested seats.
In Ward 1, nobody filed to run against Adella Gray. In Ward 3, only Justin Tennant filed for the open seat.
For a ward map and more information on all the candidates, visit our 2010 City Council Election page.
Jeff Dickey – Ward 4, Position 1
Fayetteville Flyer: If you make it to the council, you’ll be forced to take sides on incredibly controversial issues. You’ll also have to make important decisions that have direct impacts on certain individuals or groups. Are you ready for that kind of pressure?
Jeff Dickey: Of course! Working in cardiology and within cardiac surgery, I must often use critical thinking skills within a matter of seconds. Having said that, I work well in stressful conditions. Passion is what drives me in medicine and it will also drive me in making Fayetteville a better place to live, work and play!
FF: We’ve come to learn that the city council meeting agendas are far more in depth than what is handed out to the audience. It’s not uncommon for a full agenda to include over 300 pages. Will you have time to absorb that much information twice each month?
JD: Yes, I work Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays which will allow me to fully work on city issues and agenda information all day on Mondays and Tuesdays. Agendas are important informational meetings as they give city council members detailed presentation to the information being voted on the following week.
FF: The paid parking issue is almost 12 months old. Why do you think those in opposition waited until the program was implemented to formally voice their opinions? Did they have to see it to believe it or did the city (or media) not do enough to inform us of what was coming?
JD: People get caught up in busy lives. I have been there and I believe that most citizens are busy in their lives and they don’t always understand how certain issues will affect them until they notice an imbalance in their life. Many citizens have busy lives with children, work and family commitments. They expect only the very best from their Alderman to keep them informed of issues that may affect their lives or businesses.
I pledge to stay engaged with my ward citizens, citizens of the city, and businesses to make sure they understand issues that may impact them.
I am AGAINST paid parking as it cost way too much money to implement and it works against business in a district we just got done revitalizing. Let’s fully understand the impact before spending money on a project.
FF: If the Walton Arts Center decides not to build its new facility in Fayetteville, will the world really end?
JD: No, as we have a lot of culture in Fayetteville. The citizens of Fayettevile are resilient in nature and we will work hard to implement other cultural arts programs within our community. Hopefully, we can keep the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. But if not, the City of Fayetteville was here long before the Walton Arts Center, so we will re-focus on making this an even better city to live, work, and play in!
FF: We’ve seen you at city council meetings before. Is there anything the council has done in the past that you were totally against? Anything you were really proud of?
JD: Yes. I believe if we pass ordinances then they need to be fair across the board for all businesses. Recently, the City Council passed an ordinance that I was in favor of, but disapproved of the wording of the ordinance. This was the 45-day “junk car” ordinance which disallowed “junk cars” sitting on auto repair lots more than 45 days, but excluded auto body shops.
Personally, I disagree with discriminating against certain businesses meaning that the ordinance should be uniform across the board for all businesses. In example, we can’t pass ordinances that allow pizza delivery but not Chinese delivery.
I was also against the “paid parking” implementation knowing full well it would affect businesses in a new revitalized area.
I am proud of the city for recognizing our volunteers and the many hours that are contributed within the community.