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story.lead_photo.caption Submitted Photo Dale Ayres is a candidate for mayor of Gravette.

GRAVETTE -- Dale Ayres of Gravette has announced he is a candidate for Gravette mayor, challenging incumbent Kurt Maddox. Ayres says he and his wife Diana enjoy spending time in the Gravette community and sharing both community and family traditions with their children and grandchildren. He hopes to continue the progress Gravette has made and make improvements where possible.

Ayres says that, if elected, there are a few key areas he would focus on immediately after taking office. These include strategic planning, zoning and development of current infrastructure such as water, sewer, street, fire and police departments; maintaining transparency with all parties involved, whether individual, community group or business owner, throughout planning and implementation of projects; and prioritizing the needs and safety of city police, fire and EMS personnel while reviewing the operation, spending, employee retention and experience of their departments.

Ayres was born in Sodus Point, N.Y., where his father was a lighthouse keeper, and lived in a lighthouse the first five years of his life. His father joined the military and the family lived in several states and in Guam during his growing up years. He graduated from high school in Brunswick, Mo., in 1972 and joined the Army later that year.

Dale was in the Army from 1972 until 1975. While in the military, he was a helicopter mechanic and received his airframe and power plant certification. He stayed in Alaska for about a year after leaving the military and then moved to northwest Arkansas near the end of 1976. Utilizing his background in aviation mechanics, he became a member of the Bentonville airport commission and served as president of the board while there. While leading the group, he applied for and received several grants to improve the safety standards of the landing process.

Ayres built a log house east of Hiwasse in 1977 and lived there until 1987. They moved into Bentonville and lived there until 1993 when he and Diana purchased land west of Gravette to settle down and raise a family in the same small town where his wife, the former Diana Buffer, spent her childhood.

Dale began working for Walmart in 1985, where he started out in maintenance. He spent almost 33 years at Walmart and rose through the ranks to earn the title of senior manager of two of the four data center locations in the United States. While in Walmart management, he had to stay current on security preparedness and have a plan in place should a disaster strike. He also handled large-scale budgeting for multiple teams and locations, project management and mentoring, as well as strategic planning for future needs. He says that, as mayor, he would utilize his career training and experience with managing large, complex systems to help him run the various departments of the city.

Ayres retired from Walmart two years ago, in 2017, and decided he wanted to give back to the community, so he and Diana moved into town. They have three children, Anastasia, Dale Ayres II and Marie. They have nine grandchildren, four of whom are enrolled in Gravette public schools. Two have already graduated.

Dale is a volunteer fireman, with his wildlands certification, with the Maysville Fire Department and a member of the John E. Tracy American Legion Post in Gravette.

Community on 10/10/2018

Print Headline: Ayres is candidate for Gravette mayor

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