The race for Ward 3 Alderman pits incumbent Glen Brown against challengers Ronnie Reynolds and Ramone Penister in the Nov. 6 general election.
Alderman Glen Brown believes that his love for Pine Bluff and its people have made him a good alderman and will continue to serve him well as a member of the City Council.
“I love Pine Bluff,” Brown said. “Nobody can beat me on loving Pine Bluff. Any time anyone calls me I’m going to answer. I have grown up in this ward and I have a whole lot of family in this ward. So it is very important to me what happens here.”
Brown said that he will work to ensure that additional affordable housing units are constructed in Pine Bluff.
“I have worked to have affordable houses built here in Pine Bluff and will continue to do so,” Brown said. “I am chairman of the Traffic and Aviation Committee. Anyone with a question about traffic can call me. I also take a lot of pride in working with the airport.”
Brown mentioned the city being able to use money raised by the one cent city sales tax passed by voters in February 2011 to fund various projects.
“We are going to be a totally different city in 2013,” Brown said. “We are going to use some of the residual money from the bonds to do a lot of things to improve Pine Bluff’s image and downtown is definitely in that image.”
Ronnie Reynolds seeks the Ward 3 seat to change what he says is the tendency for city leaders to talk about getting things done without actually getting them done.
“I was tired of seeing business as usual,” Reynolds said of his decision to enter the race. “People are always talking about things but nothing is ever getting done. If elected I will be a positive difference in the 3rd Ward. I feel that I am the better candidate for the job because I plan to serve all of the citizens of Pine Bluff. I want to meet the people where they are and whatever their needs are.”
Reynolds said that he will push for more youth programs in the city if elected.
“It bothers me to see youth playing basketball in the streets,” Reynolds said. “We need more community centers like Chester Hynes and adequate security to staff them. We have nowhere for the young people to go swimming.We just need to have more organized activities.”
Another priority for Reynolds is improving the local infrastructure.
“We have bad drainage in Pine Bluff,” Reynolds said. “We have been dealing with this for decades. New drainage is needed to take care of the problem.”
Ramone Penister is running for Ward 3 Alderman in part to combat what he says are complacent city officials.
“I want to see somebody who takes progress seriously,” Penister said. “There needs to be more accountability. We also need to pay our police officers more. Pine Bluff is one of the largest cities in Arkansas and their pay needs to reflect that.”
Penister said that he wants to see more community space in town.
“We need more parks and cleaner parks,” Penister said. “We need more community centers in town. There needs to be a community center in the Watson Chapel area of town.”
Penister said that the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff does not receive enough visibility in the community and wants to change that.
“If you go to Fayetteville you know you are in the Razorback nation,” Penister said. “You don’t get the same feeling in Pine Bluff about UAPB. I would like to see the university area looking a little better.”
Penister pointed t0 his youth as a key strength.
“I’m young and I think that is a good thing because I am thinking about the long term economic development of Pine Bluff,” Penister said. “I don’t plan on going anywhere either. I want to build Pine Bluff for the future.”