Steele issues letter to Ward 1 residents, reflecting on time as Alderman, endorsing Curtis, Permenter

EDITOR'S NOTE: welcomes all political candidacy announcements and releases. We will attempt to post announcements with a minimum of editing. We encourage voters to be discerning. does not endorse candidates.

October 15, 2012

Dear Ward 1 Residents:

I want to express my appreciation to the residents of our ward, Ward 1, for the opportunity to[more] serve as your alderman for 20 years total. It has been my honor to serve you, get to know you and your concerns and to act as your voice on the City Council.

My wife and I are both strong believers in serving others. I served as an educator for 32 years. I still hear from many, many of my former students which span over three generations. Many former students now live in Bryant and some in Ward 1. My wife, Linda, also believes in service to others through her 39 year career in working with blind and visually impaired persons and through her many years as a member of the Lions Club. It’s with a heavy heart that I watch as the political climate in our country has gotten away from serving the people, and more to serving a political party, whichever party that might be.

When I began my years of service as your alderman I had two honest, decent and fair role models. One was Roy Bishop who lived across the street from us and who had served as your mayor for several terms. The other was Joe Russell who also lived across the street and who served the community of Bryant in many ways. Both of these men were what I call “old fashioned gentlemen”, men who may not agree with someone else, but they always agreed to disagree and respected others.

I mention these two role models and mentors because I see these same qualities in two of the candidates in our ward, Ward 1. In today’s climate of divisiveness and disrespect for others, I see two men who genuinely want to serve their community without an agenda except to represent the citizens; who are family oriented Christians with a strong sense of community and right and wrong; who are independent minded and will keep the concerns and needs of the ward residents at the forefront of their deliberations within city government; and who treat others with a high degree of respect.

I do not usually give out endorsements, but at this time when I will shortly be stepping down from public service into continued private service as a citizen, I do want to endorse two candidates: Scott Curtis, your current alderman in Ward 1, Position 1, and Wade Permenter who is wanting to serve as alderman in Ward 1, Position 2, the position from which I am retiring.

When I look back at my two mentors, Roy Bishop and Joe Russell, who were the ultimate gentlemen who treated others with dignity and simply “agreed to disagree” I am reminded of Scott Curtis and Wade Permenter. Issues in the city will come and go, but a person’s character and integrity will endure. Both of these gentlemen are men of high character and integrity.

Scott Curtis is the Assistant Principal at the Bryant High School where he is very highly respected and his wife is the Assistant Principal at Bethel Middle School. Wade Permenter is a life-long resident of Bryant and comes from a family with strong ties of service to the community, both from his father who has previously served as an alderman, and his mother who worked for many years at Central Arkansas Development Council (CADC). Both Scott Curtis and Wade Permenter are gentlemen, with a strong sense of family, service, and respect for others. I believe both would do their homework, study the issues, ask the tough questions and represent the citizens in a way they would want to be represented. As they visit with you, the ward citizens, I know they will be glad to answer your questions, listen to your concerns and be mindful of whom they serve. You will have the opportunity to meet these two men at a casual Meet-and-Greet, October 22, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Luigi’s, with finger food and soft drinks.

I also want to thank many of you who expressed your concerns and said you would pray for my mother, me and my family during this term of service. My mother had been very ill for the last 1 ½ years and just recently passed away. At the same time that I was spending every day with my mother, my family endured a smear campaign against myself and other aldermen. I appreciate so much your calls and e-mails to express your disgust at that type of negative campaign. I have remained silent and do not wish to go into detail, except to say that the signs you all saw (and which angered many of you) was because I (and others) were simply doing our jobs as aldermen, which is to expect fiscal responsibility and accountability and to expect that the laws of our great city be followed by all….and not just by some. I hope and pray that if elected, these two gentlemen who simply want to serve with integrity do not have to endure the same negative smear campaign. As I said earlier, my role models simply “agreed to disagree” and acted honorably.

In closing, I want to share this with you. It is no secret that my friend and our former mayor Roy Bishop had been in declining health for the last years of his life. Even after his memory lapsed he remained a true gentleman. When my wife and I would visit him, he often said “I don’t remember you folks, but I’m mighty glad to see you.” All his life he was “mighty glad to see you” and lived his life accordingly. I know that both Scott Curtis and Wade Permenter will be “mighty glad to see you”, so please drop by the Meet and Greet on October 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Luigi’s here in Bryant.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your alderman in Ward 1. I look forward to a continued relationship with you as I retire from elected office and move to the equally important position of private citizen who stays informed and involved with our city government. God bless you and your family.

Danny Steele
Ward 1 Alderman

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