Friday, June 29, 2007

Floating Bobby Ferrell

A couple of comments posted here have suggested that Ward 3 Alderman Bobby Ferrell might be considering a race for Mayor in 2008. I’ve asked around City Hall and various civic groups for opinions from people who know a lot more about politics than I do, and there are three theories about this in play. I use the term play in more than one sense, because all perspectives seem to be just guesses or imagined possibilities.

Script One. Bobby Ferrell is really running for Mayor, because he and his financial backers have no faith in the administrative ability or the political priorities of the current administration. They think the city should be run like a business and primarily for businesses, and they think they could do a better job. Those of this view cite the multi-million dollar cost overruns on city projects and the decision to purchase the Brooks-Hummel property as examples.

Script Two. Bobby Ferrell is not really running for Mayor, but he and his financial backers think the threat of a serious political challenge will make the current administration compromise more readily and roll over more frequently to meet the demands of the developers and the business community. Those of this view cite the way the Mayor and his administration backed off supporting the road impact fees and led the charge to replace Planning Commission members who raised questions about projects proposed by developers.

Script Three. Bobby Ferrell is not really running for Mayor, but he and Coody are working together and want people to think that they are preparing for a big race against each other. This will discourage other challengers from considering the race and limit their ability to raise funds, then Ferrell will not file, leaving Coody with a clear shot at reelection. Those of this view cite the fact that Ferrell has always voted with Coody in a crunch to sustain the Mayor’s veto of ordinances or appointments and the way they worked closely together with the Fayetteville Economic Development Council in the campaign against impact fees.

Any of these are believable, but none of them may be true.

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