Businesswoman Mechel Wall filed for mayor of Pea Ridge Monday.
Wall, 50, is the owner and manager of WallFlower Farm and the Cottage Flower Shop and is a published author.
"I'm ready to invest in the future of Pea Ridge," Wall said recently, "and be an integral part of the right kind of growth that will ensure economic stability for our area."
Making a statement on a social media platform last week, Wall wrote: "So, this became official today. I'm NOT a politician, so I won't be playing political games, just practicing good leadership. If you want to follow the process, join the group."
Wall began Benton County School of the Arts in 1999 by founding the nonprofit and putting the board together, then opened for classes in 2001.
"When I started BCSA, I took people from different backgrounds and we formed a cohesive group that accomplished things," she said. "I think I have the ability to bring people together to accomplish big things and solve big problems. So, building consensus is what we need.
"We need to be unified to face the big decisions that Pea Ridge is faced with. I'm creative in problem solving. I'm a good listener."
Wall said the problems facing Pea Ridge include unmanaged growth without a clear vision and plan for how to grow.
"We have made commitments to home owners by putting in subdivisions. Residential growth has to be balanced by industrial or manufacturing ... we need a long-term tax revenue. Impact fees aren't really going to cover the growth," she said. "The costs of fire protection, water, sewer, actual running of city needs to be funded by additional business somehow.
"We need to court them, need to invite them here. They need to fit with the culture. There are businesses that would fit really well here. Given the right package of benefits, we could bring some businesses that make sense for our city."
Wall said: "The taxpayers should not have to shoulder all of the burdens for what it takes to run a city and provide services. We can't just keep raising the taxes for the people who live here. If that growth is planned ahead of time, your infrastructure is put in place ... it's like a huge puzzle. Each piece plays its part and all the services are right there because you've planned ahead for them."
Wall serves on the Parks Commission.
She grew up in Pierce City, Mo., and moved to northwest Arkansas in 1994.
"When we were making $30,000 with four kids, we started paying for land in Pea Ridge," she said, emphasizing the appeal of living in Pea Ridge. "We searched all over the area and decided Pea Ridge was where we wanted to sink our roots."
In 1997, they purchased 10 acres. "We scraped every dollar we had until we paid it off," she said, adding that they found the farm on It'll Do Road they now own and "fell in love with it. We didn't see it as a temporary home, but as a long place to sink our roots."
Wall and her husband, Barry have eight children.
The following candidates have filed for municipal offices as of Monday, Aug. 6:
• Ward 1, position 2: David H. Edwards
• Don Deckard
• Cheryl Tillman
• Andrew J. Tillman Jr.
• Jackie Crabtree
• Mechel Wall
Ward 1, Position 2
Filing for municipal elections closes Aug. 17. The nonpartisan election will be Nov. 6.
Ballot Draw to be held at 6 p.m. Aug. 23, 2018, by Benton County Election Commission.
General News on 08/08/2018
Print Headline: Wall files for mayor