Shawn Gorham, a lifelong Rose Bud resident, member of the Rose Bud School Board, as well as a City Council alderman has announced he will be running for Mayor of the City of Rose Bud. Gorham feels that by serving on both the School Board and City Council for six years he brings the ability to communicate on both sides because we are not just a “school” and not just a “city”. We are a community. He hopes to be able to improve the communication between the school, the city and the community. “Not that it is a bad relationship, but we can take it to the next level.” Gorham said.
What he is most proud of and has been the most aggravating at times as well, is the Coaching of the Baseball/Softball program. He has worked hard to get the fields lighted at no cost to the city. From about the last week of January until the end of June it is “my life”.
“I feel that the face that is the Mayor should be someone who has been in the community and is in the community. I don’t consider myself a career politician. I am not looking as Mayor being a stepping stone to something bigger. My family is here, my church is here, I’ve raised my kids here, looking to raise grandkids here. My grandparents are from here, my mom and her siblings went to school here, I went to school here and my kids attend here.” Gorham said. He has worked at the Heber Springs dealership for 15 years as well.
He wants to improve the quality of life in Rose Bud. This is why the sewer system is such a big priority for him. Until the town gets that fixed Gorham doesn’t feel they are going to be able to get businesses in here. There is a sewer board but due to his schedule he can’t meet when they meet so he hasn’t been able to help with that issue.
Gorham feels his number one quality is his ability, because of everything he is involved in school board, city council and even his job as Sales Manager at Cowboy Chevrolet in Heber Springs, to deal with the public. He has the experience and maturity to rationalize the needs of the community and when a citizen is upset about something, he listens. That is a promise he makes to the community, he will listen. Even when it upsets his family because they are waiting in the car to go home.
In the six years he has been on the school board and city council he has only missed one city council meeting because he was in a district tournament. Although he tried to get the meeting moved up an hour so he could attend his request was not granted. He has never missed a school board meeting.
A town can go stale without a leader who is willing to do whatever it takes for the success of the town. In 2008 they passed a tax to get the sewer system, they are still working to get this in. The construction company filed for bankruptcy which is part of the problems they have had.
Gorham’s number one priority is the sewer system completion, his next is to install sidewalks especially on the main highway, the third priority is to strengthen the relationship between the city, the school and the community.
He has received the voter rolls and knows almost all of the 308 registered voters personally. Because both Gorham and Nick Cartwright, the other candidate running for Mayor, are both on City Council there are going to be two vacancies on the council. There is a rumor that another council member is not going to run, but that is just a rumor at this time.
When asked about his relationship with city employees Gorham said, “We have a mutual respect for each other.” He also has a strong relationship with several businesses in town. He also has a strong relationship with the police department. “I’ve worked with the department over the years including helping to obtain security cameras at the concession stand at no cost,” he said.
“I’m not in this to gain anything. I am running because I love this town.”
Gorham and his wife, Shannon, have been married 16 years and together they have five children, Devin, Brooke, Bailey and twins Logan and Dalton who are in the 9th grade at Rose Bud High School.
He is involved in four events over the next few months where he will be striving to personally touch each and every person there. One is event is the alumni basketball game on March 2, where both he and Cartwright will be in attendance. Gorham said he and Cartwright have vowed to run a clean campaign without mud slinging.