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Gachuzo-Colin faces Powell in Springdale City Council runoff

by Laurinda Joenks | November 27, 2022 at 11:23 a.m.
Candidates for the Springdale City Council Ward 3, Position 1 seat are Alice Gachuzo-Colin (left) and Brian Powell.

SPRINGDALE — Alice Gachuzo-Colin and City Council member Brian Powell will meet Dec. 6 in a runoff election for the Ward 3, Position 1 council seat.

Ward 3 serves the southwestern quarter of Springdale.

Early voting for the runoff starts Tuesday at the Benton and Washington county clerks’ offices in Bentonville, Rogers and Fayetteville. Part of northern Springdale lies in Benton County.

Council members must live in their wards but are elected at large, meaning everyone in the city votes for each council position. Municipal offices are nonpartisan.

Powell said he has put Springdale first during his current term and would continue that as a priority if he wins another term.

“Springdale is family,” Powell said. “It’s not about politics. You can’t go into it with an agenda. It’s what’s best for Springdale.”

Powell has served one term on the council, 2019 to present, and served on the city’s Planning Commission from 2011 to 2019.

Voters can see proof of his and the council’s priorities in the $67.5 million budget for 2023 that passed Nov. 9, Powell said. He noted a surplus in tax revenue has left the city in good financial shape should the economy take a downturn. The city would still be able to provide services to residents, he said.

Gachuzo-Colin didn’t return numerous phone messages over the last two weeks, including Friday. In an earlier interview, she listed sidewalks, homelessness and city growth as issues.

“One of the main reasons I’m running is I truly believe people who sit on the council should be representative of their community,” said Gachuzo-Colin, who is Black, in that early interview. “They should speak for the community when making decisions, shaping and moving information and infrastructure for the residents.”

The census breakdown of Springdale’s population is 44% or 38,574 non-Hispanic white residents; 39% or 33,993 Hispanic residents; 8% or 6,746 Pacific Islanders; 3% or 2,803 Black residents; and 3% or 2,365 Asian residents.

This is Gachuzo-Colin’s first run for political office.

Powell received the most votes among four candidates in the Nov. 8 general election. He recorded 4,842 votes, or 36% of 13,623 votes cast. Gachuzo-Colin had 3,558 votes, or 31% of the votes.

A candidate in a municipal election with more than two challengers can win outright with a majority, which is 50% plus one vote. Or, a candidate can win with 40% of the vote or more by being ahead of the second-closest candidate by at least 20%. Otherwise, the two top vote-getters compete in a runoff.

Other candidates were Rick Culver, who received 3,202 or 24% of the votes, and Mike Stevens with 2,201 or 15% of the votes.

City Council members earn $12,000 a year and serve four-year terms.

Alice Gachuzo-Colin

Age: 44

Residency: Springdale for 29 years

Education: Medical assistant diploma from Blue Cliff College 

Employment: Accounts manager for Bank of America

Political experience: None

Brian Powell

Age: 56

Residency: Springdale for 25 years

Education: Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Arkansas

Employment: Construction project coordinator for Arkansas Department of Transportation; retired as a lieutenant colonel after 33 years with the Air Force and the Arkansas Air National Guard

Political experience: Springdale council, 2019 to present; Planning Commission, 2011 to 2018

Laurinda Joenks can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @NWALaurinda.

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