Alex Selkirk was born in Fort Smith and moved to Greenwood when he was six months old. Throughout school, he was active in 4H, Boy Scouts and the First Baptist Church. He is an Eagle Scout and has been part of many community projects, including the installation of the flag pole at the Boys & Girls Club along with the design and construction of the sidewalk leading to it.
Selkirk decided he wanted to be the Mayor of Greenwood at an early age, long before his mother, Judy Selkirk was in office. He has long held an interest in politics and government and believes it is the best way to give back to the community.
While a junior in high school, Selkirk attended Westark College with plans to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science followed by a law degree from the University of Arkansas. Two years later, he transferred to Fayetteville to finish his political science degree.
Before beginning law school, Selkirk took a job for a logistics company in the field of transportation safety and was soon made a manager. His success changed his plans and he decided not to pursue a law degree. His job eventually took him to Dallas where he formed his own company, specializing in human resources and business recruiting.
Selkirk brought his wife, Rebecca and two sons, Weston and Easton back to Greenwood because he believes it is the best school system around.
Each candidate was asked the same five questions. Here are their answers.
Q: How do you envision Greenwood’s future?
A: "To get to how I envision Greenwood’s future, I have to go back to the past. Greenwood has always been and, I think, will continue to be, a bedroom community to Fort Smith. There’s never been a lot of industry here."
"I think we do have a chance to bring some industry here, some jobs. I don’t think it’s going to be huge, we’re always going to have a tough time competing with Fort Smith just based on the infrastructure they have for industrial types of jobs. We are growing. Greenwood’s not the same type of place it was when I was a kid and it’s not going to be the same kind of place it is now."
"We’re going to have to grow to the interstate, to I-49. If we don’t, Fort Smith will. I think we need to do it sooner than later."
"We are going to have to take in Shadow Lake. I think it should have been done a long time ago. I can see where someone who lives in the county would have a problem with coming into the city, but I’m not running to be mayor of the county. I’m running to be mayor of Greenwood. I think it’s in Greenwood’s best interest that if we are going to grow, then we are going to have to expand. I think Greenwood needs a plan. We need a 5 year and a 10 year plan. We need to set goals and try to work toward those goals. I think in the past, the recent past, we didn’t have a clear direction."
Q: If you were Mayor, how would you approach Greenwood’s plans for annexation?
A: "I think you have to talk to the homeowners. Now Shadow Lake is kind of a touchy one because, it is my understanding that it is not as popular out there as it has been in the past. Years ago, when my mother was mayor, they wanted to come into Greenwood. That’s not the case anymore, I think. We are already providing fire protection, police protection, water and sewer. It’s in the best interest of the citizens of Greenwood to take in Shadow Lake. It’s a huge windfall of turn back money that we are not getting today, that is going to the county. I think the case needs to be presented to the citizens of the area, but ultimately it is in the best interest of the citizens of Greenwood."
Q: What is the best way to develop a positive working relationship between City Council and Mayor?
A: "I think the best way is not to insult someone and avoid personal attacks. The first thing I would do, week one, is hold a study session and ask the city council to attend. Hopefully, they will come in. I think what we need to do with the way the city government is now, an effective mayor needs to work with the city council."
"The best way to do that is to sit down and one by one ask each person, ‘What do you think the city should do in the next one year, three years, five years and ten years?’ Then we make a plan."
"Granted, there may be things on that list that I don’t think the city should do and there may be things I submit to that list that the City Council doesn’t think we should do. But then we will have established, this is what we want to do, this is where we want to go. And I think it is the Mayor’s responsibility, after you have at least identified the goals and objectives of what the city council wants to do, then let’s do it."
"The council is the elected representatives of the city. The direction that the City Council wants to go is the direction, hopefully, that the citizens want to go. I think in the past, we have not had a set plan."
"A mayor and a city council not getting along is nothing new to Greenwood, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Anyone who has ever held a job or gone to school or been in any organization has been around people that they didn’t particularly agree with or care for, but somehow they are able to get along."
"The problem in Greenwood with past mayors is that they are afraid to lose a fight. I’m not going to be right 100% of the time. It’s not ‘My way or the Highway.’ You have to be able to identify common ground and work toward the goals established."
Q: What can you do as Mayor to help build Greenwood’s economy?
A: "There is not a whole lot the mayor can do, but the mayor can be a good spokesperson for Greenwood. The mayor can lobby, we have had past mayors that were active in Little Rock. The reasons most people come to Greenwood is because they want their children in the Greenwood School District. I feel that city government doesn’t have a bearing on why those people come to Greenwood.
"One of the things I think Greenwood needs to focus on is the infrastructure. We have a lot of aging infrastructure, there are a lot of things that have been patched and band-aided that we need some attention."
Q: What are the top three items on your agenda if you become Mayor?
A: "First, there is no way I could be an effective mayor without working with the City Council. That has been tried and that fails. The mayor against the city council never works. That doesn’t mean we need a mayor that rubber stamps anything the city council does. Next, we need to develop a five and ten year plan. The planning commission has already outlined where they want to go, but we need a plan to make it happen. Lastly, we need to look at our infrastructure. Water, sewer and fire have gotten much better. Streets need some work and water does still have some areas to work on. Progress in these areas needs to be worked into a plan for future growth."