SPRINGDALE -- City Council member Kathy Jaycox said Tuesday she plans to complete her term on the council because she isn't moving out of her ward until January.
Her term ends Dec. 31.
Jaycox told fellow council members Monday night she's closing her campaign for reelection to the Ward 4 seat. The ward covers downtown Springdale and the northeastern quadrant of the city.
"I will finish the work I promised the community I'd do," Jaycox said. "I'll listen to every single one of them and try to go with the majority opinion."
And she didn't close the door to trying for a seat in her new ward in 2022.
Jaycox has served on the council for 22 years.
Mayor Doug Sprouse said Tuesday he was surprised by Jaycox's announcement.
"The one thing that stands out to me about Kathy is how hard she works at hearing our constituents," he said. He said Jaycox would plan special meetings with residents over any concern they had.
Councilman Mike Overton has logged only two years less than Jaycox on the council.
"And I'm very sad for Springdale," he said. "She always did her homework and was prepared for the meetings."
He said Jaycox often would take a position opposite of his.
"She would share what I assume was her best argument. And when it was over -- win, lose or draw -- she was very professional about it. The issue was over. Not all council members are like that."
Councilwoman Amelia Williams, who's serving in her first term from Ward 3, said Jaycox has mentored her as she learns to navigate the politics of serving as a woman.
"I thought I was alone," Williams said. "We've had lots of discussions about women in politics in the city and all the adversity she has faced."
Jaycox said she plans to move to a senior-living neighborhood in Ward 1, covering the northwest part of Springdale. She said she had been hoping for a home in the community for about nine months. She said she voted to approve the development when it came before City Council.
"I thought that was such a neat idea," she said. "There are not a lot of places like that in Springdale."
Jaycox must file paperwork for closing her current campaign with county election officials, but her name will remain on the ballot for Springdale voters in the Nov. 3 general election. Jennifer Price, executive director of the Washington County Election, said the ballots have been certified.
Once the ballots are set, only a judge can remove a name, said Chris Madison, legal counsel for the state Election Commission. The state has an early August deadline for a name to be removed, he said.
Mark Fougerousse and Derek Van Voast also are vying for the Ward 4 seat.
With Jaycox's name still on the ballot, it will remain a three-way race, Madison said. If Jaycox gets the most votes, she won't be able to serve because she will be moving out of the ward. The council in January would fill the seat as a vacancy.
State law says the council can fill a seat, but they don't have to, said City Attorney Ernest Cate. If the time between the vacancy and the next general election is longer than one year, the council would have to appoint a new member or call for a special election.
Laurinda Joenks can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @NWALaurinda.