BELLA VISTA — Jerry Snow said he’s lived in Bella Vista for 25 years, moving to the city after his work with Sam’s Club brought him to the area.
Snow said he was attracted by the city’s beauty and the short commute.
“The surrounding geographical area, just the general lay of the land … Just the beauty of the area,” he said.
Snow said his background is in law enforcement and business management and he’s previously served as a special investigator for the 5th Arkansas Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney.
Snow said he was the CEO of a dealer finance company before he was hired by Sam’s Club, eventually working up to special investigations manager in asset protection.
Snow currently serves as a Justice of the Peace on the Benton County Quorum Court — the county’s legislative and administrative body — but is not eligible to run for reelection because he was appointed.
He’s previously served two terms on the Bella Vista City Council, he explained.
Snow said he’s got experience in law enforcement, paralegal work, risk management, financial work, governmental operations and business management.
“I’ve got all kinds of experience,” he said.
Snow said he’s running for the council because he believes the city could use his skills and experience and he intends to bring a common-sense approach to the council.
“I think that Bella Vista is at a critical point in the future of this city, I think we’ve reached a point where the growth of this city is happening so rapidly that we’re faced with many opportunities and many obstacles,” he said. “So many critical decisions are going to be required in the next few years.”
The council needs to control the budget and legislation in addition to tackling the different challenges and opportunities the city is faced with, he said.
Snow said he wants to serve the city and be a hands-on council member. If there’s a problem or a complaint, he said, he intends to go speak with the individual or look at the issue in person.
“I want to see what that situation is,” he said.
Snow said he believes the city’s primary challenges are infrastructure, traffic and the lack of a water system to get water into parcels not served by the POA.
These challenges are compounded by or the results of growth, he said.
While the bypass may alleviate a significant portion of the traffic on U.S. Highway 71, the city still has a lot of vehicles coming and going and taking their toll on the city’s streets, he said.
It’s important that residents have quality roads to get where they need to go, he added.
By contrast, the city benefits a great deal from its attractive landscape, low crime and more affordable housing than nearby Benton-ville, he said.
“The city’s greatest strength is obviously our surroundings, the amenities, the lakes. Just the general beauty of the area. This is God’s country,” Snow said.
Snow said he’s concerned with a proposed plan to take the city into 2040 because he isn’t sure it offers enough guidance, and he wants to be sure the city has a quality plan to guide it forward.
Further, he said, he’d like to see the city increase its income, preferably through an expansion of the commercial tax base.
“We have got to find sources of revenue,” he said.“We need to have an increase in retail and our tax base.”
Snow said he’d also like to see the city improve its traffic flow.
If the council aggressively pursues these issues, Snow said he expects solutions can be found and the city can be progressed in a way that works for its residents.
“There are so many challenges and opportunities that have to be addressed in order for us to be at a point that we need to be in the next five to 10 years,” Snow said. “That is going to require some creative as well as unique ideas.”
Keith Bryant may be reached by email at [email protected] .