Bentonville To Hold Special Election To Fill Empty City Council Seat

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- Bentonville residents will vote Tuesday (March 13) to fill an empty seat on the city council.

Aubrey Patterson and Michelle Malashock are the two candidates vying for the open seat.

Both candidates are Bentonville residents and work with the city in some capacity.

If elected, Patterson said she wants to make sure Bentonville holds on to its family values.

“We’re growing a lot and that’s great," she said. "There’s a lot of wonderful things that come with the growth, but we also have to make sure the growth fits with what’s best for the residents and best for the residents that are in Bentonville."

Malashock discussed the recent master plan that will be implemented in the coming years. She said she wants to be involved with some of the decisions on behalf of the residents.

“In addition, we all know in Bentonville there is a lot of traffic and so in the next few years we will definitely be looking at ways to address that with infrastructure improvements and we need to make some tough decisions about that,” Malashock said.

These are the issues both candidates said they want to address in the long term. In the short term, Patterson said that the master plan needs some changes.

“They had a lot of input from the residents as they put together this plan and I don’t believe the plan completely reflects all the input they got. Residents said they wanted protecting the culture and transportation, traffic were the two most important issues,” Patterson said.

One thing Malashock wants to address if elected is what should happen with the Lake Bella Vista Dam.

“That’s a really important landmark in our parks and recreation department and we’ll need to make that decision in the next couple of months. So, that’s something I’m eager to see the feasibility study and talk to residents and see what the best use of that space is in the north part of our city,” Malashock said.

Patterson said she wants to be a voice for families and the average person in Bentonville.

Malashock said she is excited to serve the people of Bentonville, which she called the most important asset of the city.

Early voting is taking place at the the County Clerks Office in Bentonville on Monday (Mar. 12) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Voting on the day of the special election will be held on Tuesday at the Bentonville Church of Christ on Walton Blvd. and the First Landmark Baptist Church on 28th St., also in Bentonville.