Retired Alma businessman Keith Greene, has announced he will be a candidate for mayor of Alma in the November general election.

Greene retired in 2008 after working 43 years in the sales of fresh poultry. During the first 20 years, he worked for three major companies - Wilson Meat Co. in Kansas City, Kan., as a department head, Peterson Industries in Decatur, Ark., as the director of four distribution centers in the Midwest and O.K. Foods in Fort Smith as a member of the board of directors and fresh poultry sales manager.

"I had 12 years as an independent sales contractor and corporate pilot for Bingham Poultry Co. of Springfield, Mo.," Greene said. "The last 11 years I spent at the helm of my own company, EMA Foods Co. Inc., with offices in Atlanta, Ga., Enterprise, Ala., Tupelo, Miss., Turlock, Calif., and Alma."

Greene said Crawford and Sebastian counties for many years were considered part of Northwest Arkansas when it was convenient.

"When the John-Paul Hammershmidt highway was completed that ended any dispute," Greene said. "It placed Alma in a most unique position. It ascertained that growth would come. Few cities of Alma’s size enjoy that benefit. As the next mayor, my challenge will be to harness that growth and prepare the city to handle the demands as needed."

Greene said he will monitor the completion of the Interstate 49 bridge across the Arkansas River.

"Keep in mind that the bridge will be the last section built and only when the money is available," he said. "The road south from Alma to Louisiana will be finished first. A 15-minute detour over the Highway 59 bridge will be manageable to allow steady growth for Alma."

Greene said Alma has a major asset that will always be a factor in attracting and retaining new citizens and businesses.

"That asset is the Alma School District," he said. "It is staffed with dedicated, talented, and hardworking educators. The school administration is committed to excellence. Those facts will inspire parents to choose to be a part of our community."

Greene has been married to Edna Greene for 51 years. They have two sons, Michael (Navy-retired) and William (Army veteran). Greene’s background includes 30 years in civil aviation, service in the Army and 42 years as a member and current commander of American Legion Post No. 31 in Fort Smith.

He has been a substitute teacher at Alma High School for six years, volunteers regularly for youth organizations and has been a board member of the Alma Performing Arts Center for two years. He and his wife attend the First Baptist Church in Alma.

Alma has been Greene’s home for more than 30 years and he said he is proud to be a citizen of the city.

"As mayor, I will work to continue the positive course set by the current administration to keep Alma a great place to live," Greene said. "My focus each day will be to promote the growth and prosperity of our city with the assets we now have and the possibilities to come and make Alma a marketable city. I cannot claim to have held any former political office, but I can claim to have over 40 years of seeking opportunities and solving problems successfully."