Heated Exchange In Fort Smith Mayor's...

Heated Exchange In Fort Smith Mayor's Race

There are 23 comments on the 5News KFSM story from Oct 22, 2010, titled Heated Exchange In Fort Smith Mayor's Race. In it, 5News KFSM reports that:

What began as a polite exchange at a chamber political forum erupted in fireworks at the end.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at 5News KFSM.

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Small Biz Owner

Springdale, AR

#1 Oct 22, 2010
Way to go, Mayor Baker! Ft. Smith has enough people trying to run the city as it is. We don't need someone else who thinks the mayor should play a role in "economic development" on the case. If Mr. Sanders wants to help with economic development then he should be president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Donnie

Van Buren, AR

#2 Oct 22, 2010
I am not from Fort Smith but Mayor Baker is THE MAYOR! Have you seen him on TV during the city directors meetings. There is no mistake who is in control of that meeting. Keep up the great work, Mayor Baker.
Dubya

Springdale, AR

#3 Oct 22, 2010
Mayor Baker is the embodiment of Fort Smith: nice, caring, hard working, stubborn, tired, old and in declining health.
Ready

Fort Smith, AR

#4 Oct 22, 2010
Mr. Baker is ready for retirement
Fed up

Fort Smith, AR

#5 Oct 22, 2010
If Fort Smith has ANY hope of progressing in the future, they better elect Sandy Sanders Mayor. Otherwise you might as well close your doors b/c FSM continue to loose opportunities to NWA & LR
Neighbor

Van Buren, AR

#7 Oct 22, 2010
Prediction: 3 to 5 years and FSM will not be Arkansas' second larges city. I place it somewhere around 4th or 5th. It will soon be passed by Rogers, Fayetteville, Sprindale, Jonesboro, Conway. Not necessarily in that order.
CeCe

Fort Smith, AR

#8 Oct 22, 2010
Mayor Ray Baker has a good heart but that is getting Fort Smith no where. This city needs so much cleaned up so we could develop into something more. He has been in office 20 years too long I think he feels it necessary to be the Mayor after such a long time but it is time to give it to someone who will change us for the better. Baker needs to retire and focus on his health and it is agreed that we have lost too many opportunities to NWA me need reformed.
Very sad

Rockford, IL

#9 Oct 23, 2010
While his dedication is admireble - His forsite is in the 18th century?! The catch phrase "Life's worth Living in Fort Smith!" is silly. The unemployment - factory's closings left & right, we are all responding "No it's not." Please retire & let someone with business experience take over & take care of yourself & family - it's not worth the grandstanding anymore. We all loose if you stay in it because of pride.
Best Mayor

Tulsa, OK

#11 Oct 23, 2010
Mayor Baker is and always will be known as the best Mayor Fort Smith has or will ever have.
You will NEVER find anyone as dedicated to their job as Mayor Baker.
I watched the debate. One could tell by looking at Mayor Baker that he should have been home in bed, but NO, what was he doing? He was showing just how dedicated he is as Mayor of Fort Smith.
I love Mayor Baker's saying of...
"LIFE IS WORTH LIVING IN FORT SMITH."
Smithville

United States

#12 Oct 23, 2010
There is many changes that will happen if Sanders is elected, Sooner or later Mayor Baker will leave office. And Fort Smith will be better for it. All the hard work he has done over a lifetime will be his legecy. And no one has cared with as much passion as he. But he knows his place and has been the communitation pipe that the public has used to voice to the directiors, They run the city and that is why they are elected from each section of town so that Fort Smith can form a common bond thru them. To change that would be a shame and not in the best intrest of all. Sandy Sanders was head of HR at whirlpool for many years. he is used to getting his way and not listening to people. He will push when he should pull. If he ever learns that he might make a good MAYOR and not be the new HR director/Mayor of Fort Smith.
Huntinfool

Fort Smith, AR

#13 Oct 23, 2010
This shows exactly what is wrong in Fort Smith. Mayor Baker has run his coarse but its time to move into modern times and let someone else take control of these idiots on the board.
Matt Garth

Louisville, KY

#14 Oct 24, 2010
It is ludicrous that two aged over the hill characters are the only candidates for mayor.
I don't know anything about the challenger but I have been tracking Ray Baker since high school.
He is a ridiculous parody of old age. Check out the chicken dance he does when he gives his Fort Smith is the best place to live spiel.
Even his theory of the Mayor being a figurehead is wrong. True, under him that is correct. But FS has problems that require forward thinking solutions.
The streets are terrible, the flooding is unacceptable, the traffic lights are dangerous, paying Walmart to open another store is downright criminal.
Perhaps down the way an acceptable candidate will arise, but for now it appears to be the devil and the deep blue sea.
Get an annual for FSSH Northside for 1957 and you will discover Ray has been a politician all his life, his personal accomplishments are meager.
He has never worked for a business or owned one and the city should be run by a businessman, not a caricature of an old fool.
In high school, he was a snitch and a teacher's pet.
Ask anyone from that era.
Very sad

Rockford, IL

#15 Oct 24, 2010
Isn't it time to step aside - God forbid but I don't think Baker will make it to the end of another term - his health will force him out wether he chooses to admit it or not. We have a buisness professional who can help add to the interest of corporations considering Fort Smith. Once heard someone say Mayor Ray would go to the opening of a can of peas if his picture was involved. Sorry but we need more than that....and soon!

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#16 Oct 24, 2010
Matt Garth wrote:
It is ludicrous that two aged over the hill characters are the only candidates for mayor.I don't know anything about the challenger but I have been tracking Ray Baker since high school.He is a ridiculous parody of old age. Check out the chicken dance he does when he gives his Fort Smith is the best place to live spiel.Even his theory of the Mayor being a figurehead is wrong. True, under him that is correct. But FS has problems that require forward thinking solutions.The streets are terrible, the flooding is unacceptable, the traffic lights are dangerous, paying Walmart to open another store is downright criminal.Perhaps down the way an acceptable candidate will arise, but for now it appears to be the devil and the deep blue sea.
Get an annual for FSSH Northside for 1957 and you will discover Ray has been a politician all his life, his personal accomplishments are meager.He has never worked for a business or owned one and the city should be run by a businessman, not a caricature of an old fool.In high school, he was a snitch and a teacher's pet.Ask anyone from that era.
I remember Ray Baker from my own High School years & to me he was the embodiment of what was GOOD about public schools. He was a Class A teacher & to this day I think he is a class act.

& For anyone to compare who someone was in their 1957 class days makes me suspect they personally wanted whatever "political seat" Mr. Baker had back then;) We all evolve & I would hope I would not be judged solely on my High School days.

& A read of the way Fort Smith's Government is set up will tell anyone that the Mayor's position is a ceremonial figurehead. They have very limited "power" - that is vested in the City Administrator. As it stands, the City is run by the Board of Directors, the only thing that will change that is a change in the form of Government it operates under.

& Yes Fort Smith has its problems BUT no matter who the Mayor was/is they can not change those, that power is vested in the City Board of Directors. BTW, the majority of those Directors are businessmen BUT without taxpayer approval, at the polls, NO idea will be feasible.

You seem to have such "inside" knowledge of Mr. Baker & yet say you know nothing of his opponent? I think you're talking out of both sides of your mouth.

Mr. Sanders has been in Fort Smith for many, many years. I understand he was HR Director at Whirlpool for many of those years, YET Whirlpool has been shipping jobs to Mexico for a LONG time. IF Mr. Sanders is SO forward thinking then why didn't he try & stop these moves? Possibly because he was SO busy jumping on every political board he could land on.

I believe Mr. Baker has done a fine job as Mayor. I believe IF Mr. Sanders & his cronies manage to get him in as Mayor the fun will just be beginning. Since the form of Government is the way it is I will expect fireworks if a bossy, pushy caricature of a wanna be politician/ businessman [that just sat back & watched many jobs get exported to Mexico while he played politics] tries to start running the City. That job belongs to the City Administrator.

IF you don't like the form of Government then do something about that.

I also agree with Mr. Baker that this whole escapade of his opponent's running REEKS of corrupt, political CRONYISM and if you think that's a forward step then more's the pity.
baker fan

Rockford, IL

#17 Oct 24, 2010
Mayor Baker was so right when he said that their were secret groups supporting Sandy Sanders. Jus remember the suspicious circumstances when Ken Pyle went from being a city director to head of the Housing Authority---A really cushy job with a big salary and lots of nice raises. Look at Richard Griffin, the head of the housing commission. The man is a contractor. If that isn't a conflict of interest, I don't know what is. Pyle, Sanders,Griffin, Westphal,White. All good ole boys dedicated to helping each other out. Mayor Baker wasn't kidding!
Fed Up

Fort Smith, AR

#18 Oct 24, 2010
and I'm fascinated with morons who says "well....we'll vote for Sanders because he's going to jump in there and do this and do that" because if they or he actually believe that, then he's not even smart enough to even know what the job duties are in the position he is seeking.

I'm not all about Mayor baker's conspiracy theory, but is it that much of a leap to think that Sanders and his cronies are going to try and run an end around and change the structure of the city government if he's elected?

Otherwise, he's running on campaign promises he can't expect to keep. Kind of like our current president.
Matt Garth

Louisville, KY

#19 Oct 25, 2010
How amusing states that I probably was jealous of Ray Baker in high school.
Boy you hit the nail on the finger with that guess..
Actually Ray Baker was a sissy pasty faced crybaby who was a star on the tiddledewinks team who instead of accomplishing something in life as did most of his classmates hid out in a classroom. Ray marched to a different drummer back then and probably still does.
It tells me a lot about you since you see him as such a great hero..

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#20 Oct 25, 2010
Matt Garth wrote:
How amusing states that I probably was jealous of Ray Baker in high school.Boy you hit the nail on the finger with that guess..Actually Ray Baker was a sissy pasty faced crybaby who was a star on the tiddledewinks team who instead of accomplishing something in life as did most of his classmates hid out in a classroom. Ray marched to a different drummer back then and probably still does.It tells me a lot about you since you see him as such a great hero..
LOL - Oh ya boy, the NHS Class of 57 put out some real high accomplishing folks - NO insult meant to the likely many that just attended & then raised their families in Fort Smith.

& Your comment tells me you have had a bad attitude towards Mr. Baker for a LONG time - & I bet that 53 years ago you too walked to a different beat & probably still do. I have seen your other comments across Topix;)

& If my thinking someone was a good teacher translates to your saying I called them a Hero then I can only respond with this: It's an election year;)

Why don't you read the FACTS before you spout off. Where is your offense at all the Whirlpool jobs that were sent to Mexico on Mr. Sanders' watch?

Mr. Baker is right. This election reeks of cronyism. If that doesn't bother you I have to wonder if you're in on it.
Matt Garth

Louisville, KY

#21 Oct 25, 2010
Metaphorically, I sit in the smallest room in my house.. your letter is before me, soon it will be behind me..
(I got to admit I got that from a quote of Voltaire, the father of the French revolution).

Since: Aug 10

Location hidden

#22 Oct 25, 2010
Matt Garth wrote:
Metaphorically, I sit in the smallest room in my house.. your letter is before me, soon it will be behind me..
(I got to admit I got that from a quote of Voltaire, the father of the French revolution).
LOL well it's good to know you "think green", keep up the recycling;)

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