Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

SATURDAY EDITORIAL >> Bill Harmon: A class act

Sherwood Mayor Bill Harmon will not seek re-election this November after nearly a quarter century in public service. He made the announcement at last week’s Sherwood City Council meeting, following a “good news” state of the city address.
In an interview with The Leader, Harmon admitted to some of his accomplishments, spreading the credit around and saying his job was done.

He will now let a new generation take over a community that has been called one of the finest suburbs in the nation. Under his leadership, Sher-wood has grown dramatically, but it has avoided many of the problems associated with suburban sprawl: Clogged roads, overburdened city services, outdated infrastructure, inadequate law-enforcement and more.

Sherwood has thrived through Bill Harmon’s leadership. He has stood up for the interests of ordinary residents rather than special interests. When, for example, the North Belt extension threatened to disrupt too many neighborhoods, the mayor came out against the proposed route and has supported a less destructive route.

Harmon has been a great ambassador for his city, building a reputation as a straight-talking mayor whose ever-present Stetson symbolizes small-town values. You always knew where Bill Harmon stood, and he has always kept his word.
He didn’t suffer fools lightly, and when he made up his mind, he was hard to move.

Always quick to safeguard Sherwood’s interests, the mayor appointed a committee to watch over the consultants doing a study of the feasibility of dissolving the Pulaski County Special School District and reconfiguring all districts in Pulaski County.

Always an advocate for the young and old, he oversaw construction of new parks, a recreation center and a senior center as well.

Bill Harmon also showed class when he announced his retirement in plenty of time for prospective mayoral candidates to jump in the race before the May filing deadline. Sherwood has a deep bench with good leadership ready to go to bat: Alderman Denny Stedman has announced that he will run for mayor, signifying the passing of the torch to a younger generation that is ready to take Sherwood forward, thanks to Bill Harmon’s stewardship that will make the town better that it has ever been.