While many Arkansans can recite their elected officials – especially the “household names,” which usually includes the governor, senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress – positions frequently forgotten, but so often responsible for our day-to-day well-being, are our city mayors.
There are two types of mayoralty systems in the United States, council-manager and mayor-council.
In a council-manager system of local government, a mayor sits on the city council, often holding the chairperson position on that body. As with most city council members, mayors in this scenario usually only serve part-time and usually set the legislative agenda for the city they represent. Most of the full-time, day-to-day administration is left to the city manager.
Mayor-council systems feature separate branches for the mayor and city council, with the mayoralty holding executive privileges while the city council operates with legislative powers.
In an effort to shed some light on the work of several localized elected officials, AMP is profiling seven mayors from around the Natural State to watch.
Doug Sprouse – Springdale
Mayor Doug Sprouse is another city leader in his third term in office, having first been elected mayor in 2008.
Sprouse has been a native of Springdale for most of his life, ever since his move to the city from Fort Smith at the age of eight. Sprouse graduated from Springdale High School and attended college at the University of Arkansas. Northwest Arkansas is in his blood, and Springdale is his life.
Sprouse and his father, Gene, were homegrown entrepreneurs prior to his time as a politician. The pair started Sprouse Upholstery, Inc. in 1983, and the business has operated in Springdale ever since.
In 1999, Sprouse experienced one of his first tastes of serving on the Springdale School Board and would serve as the president of the board from 2005 to 2007.
Sprouse has also previously served on the Regional Mobility Authority board, and he currently represents the city of Springdale on the Arkansas Municipal League’s Past Presidents Advisory Council. He was the president of the league from 2017-2018.
Under Sprouse’s leadership, Springdale has gained national recognition. In 2016, Wallethub ranked Springdale as the eighth fastest growing small city in the United States and 35th most diverse city in the country. In 2017, Moneymagazine listed Springdale as the 58th best place to live in America.