Leader Blues

Monday, January 18, 2010

TOP STORY >> Stumbaugh to seek old job

By JOAN McCOY
Leader staff writer

Former Cabot Mayor Stubby Stumbaugh said Friday the official announcement that he will run again will likely come next week and if not then, the week after. But he definitely is running for a second four-year term as mayor.

“Everyone knows I’m running. I’m excited about it and I’m just elated that there are so many people who are excited about me running,” Stumbaugh said in a phone interview from the same cell phone number he had as mayor three years ago.

Now working for IESI, a waste-management company where sales commissions are a part of his salary, Stumbaugh said he would take a pay cut to serve again as mayor.

“It isn’t always about the money,” he said. “It’s about making Cabot a better place to live.”

Stumbaugh said he doesn’t see it as a disadvantage that voters likely know more about him than about the announced candidates: Alderman Eddie Cook and Bill Cypert, secretary of the water and wastewater commission.

He will be able to stand on his record, which includes building the community center and animal shelter and holding a special census that increased the city’s cut of state tax revenue.

Asked about Mayor Eddie Joe Williams’ plight when he took over the office three years ago with little money to operate on, Stumbaugh said he could have said the same thing about city finances when he took over as mayor.

“I could have made statements, but we moved forward,” he said. “I did not spend, as the mayor, anything that the city council of Cabot didn’t approve for me to spend.
“There are things I would do different, but experience is the advantage I have over my opponents,” he said.

If elected, Stumbaugh said traffic would be a priority.

Williams, who is running for the state Senate, said he would improve traffic but Stumbaugh said it is worse now than before.

“You can’t get through Cabot in the morning and afternoon. I talked to three people last week who moved out because of traffic,” he said.

He also will get rid of the automated phone system at city hall. Elected officials should be available to all residents, he said. “When you call city hall, you have to push 15 buttons to get a warm body.”

Stumbaugh is in his third two-year term as chairman of the Lonoke County Republican Committee.

He says even though he’ll have to file as an independent since Cabot’s city elections are nonpartisan, he will run as a Republican.

“All my literature will say I’m Republican,” he said. “I’m proud to be a conservative Republican who feels like less government is better government.”

If there are some things Stumbaugh would change, his buzz words aren’t on the list. Through a year of campaigning and four years in office, he talked about being progressive and proactive. And he’s still talking about those concepts.

“We’re looking at moving Cabot ahead in a forward direction in a progressive and proactive manner,” he said.