Gary D. Baxter, who has been Mulberry’s mayor since Jan. 1, 2011, has filed to be re-elected on Nov. 6 for another term.
He is a retired United States Air Force lieutenant colonel with vast experience in leading, managing and serving his fellow citizens.
Baxter said he is a visionary leader. He said he sees Mulberry through eyes of what it can be with his positive leadership.
“Leaders throughout the state of Arkansas know about Mulberry because I am always promoting Mulberry and what Mulberry has to offer in location, education, recreation and small town country living,” Baxter said.
As mayor of Mulberry, Baxter said he has been instrumental in bringing in industry, improving city streets, constructing sidewalks, improving water and sewer systems, building a senior center, repurposing an old senior center into a Community Center, securing funding for one of the nicest city parks in the area, library expansion, securing recycling center, negotiating contracts for cell towers, saving Bluff Hole Park and Vine Prairie Park from being closed by the Corps of Engineers and partnering with Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Morrell Manufacturing to construct an archery range which will open this year.
“I have worked to improve Mulberry with securing grants and donations for many projects enjoyed by the entire community,” he said.
Baxter grew up in Crawford County, graduated from Arkansas Tech and received his masters degree in management from Webster University. He is a graduate of the Community Development Institute Central and University of Central Arkansas where he received the coveted Ernest L. Whitelaw award as the top graduate.
He is currently president of the board of directors for Western Arkansas Planning and Development District. He has served as vice president for the board of directors for the Crawford County Senior Citizens Council and is an executive committee board member and served in 2016-17 as vice president of District 4 for the Arkansas Municipal League.
He is executive board member and first vice president of the Fort Smith Regional Alliance, director of Crawford County Conservation District board, board member of Mulberry/Pleasant View Education Foundation, served on the board of directors for the Crawford/Sebastian Community Development Council, volunteer with the Crawford County Fair Board and recently appointed to the board of trustees of the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System (LOPFI) by Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Baxter is a lifetime endowment member of the National Rifle Association, life member of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, life member of the Military Officers Association of America, life member Disabled American Veterans, member of American Legion Post 149 in Mulberry, member of Mulberry Lions Club, member of Western Arkansas Military Community Council and has served as a member of the Community Outreach Committee for Arkansas Tech University - Ozark Campus.
He said his qualifications for re-election as mayor also include being certified by Arkansas Municipal League as a certified municipal official after receiving training in city government, municipal finance and budgeting, human resource and personnel matters and planning commission training, maintains certification through attending annual training sessions, completion of the Mid-South Basic Economic Development Course at the Institute For Economic Advancement at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and he received the Adrian White Municipal Leadership Award for six years of dedicated service to the city officials of the Arkansas Municipal League at the 84th annual convention of the Arkansas Municipal League this year.
Baxter has been married to his wife, Kay, for 53 years. They have a son, Gary Richard Baxter; a daughter, Dayna Kay Lewis; and seven grandchildren. He has three sisters who live in Van Buren, Eva Underwood, Dottie Perrier and husband Paul and Judy Crawford and husband Gary; and a brother, Phillip Baxter and his wife Shirley who live in Alma.