Sammy Joe Hartwick, 53, is a soft spoken, easy-going native Arkansan who loves to golf and says he cannot wait for election time to become our next Mayor of Greenbrier. When you know his background, it is apparent he has been groomed for the Mayor spot his whole life. He comes from a family who raised dairy cattle in this area. He grew up in Greenbrier and is a Greenbrier High School graduate.
He is presently the Maintenance Supervisor of the Greenbrier School District. When he started with them in 1987—27 years ago, it was only one campus with 34 acres. "Now we have five campuses and over 200 acres and growing, plus we all drive a school bus every day." He said, "My people know I would never ask anybody to do anything I wouldn’t do myself." His staff is known for their positive attitude in going about their job of "Whatever it takes" — a motto of the school district that they all subscribe to.
Hartwick first worked for the City Water Department in the early 80s. He then was elected an Alderman on the City Council in 1990 by going door to door and speaking to every resident in town. Mayor Cotton appointed him Recorder/Treasurer in 1996. He was the first Executive Director of the Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce and served as President for three years. He was voted Citizen of the Year in 1994. He also spent 20 years as a Volunteer Fireman, finally leaving them in 2000.
After a few years working for the city, "I thought I could make a difference," he said. "Mayor Cotton and the City Council have been really progressive on city growth and I’d like to see that continue. We already have an aggressive street upgrade plan, but I’d like to see more sidewalks. Our Waste Management contract has been signed for another five years; but I would love to get funding for more re-cycling. Being involved with Wooster that is already a green school, we now have re-cyclable trailers at Eastside, Westside and Wooster schools that people use and I’d like to see some at City Hall."
"In light of the experience two mayors have with tornadoes, I will certainly try to meet with Mayor Randy Holland and Mayor James Firestone to implement a disaster plan for Greenbrier. We also need new industry in Greenbrier and new buildings need to be made available to lure them so the City and the business can make money together."
Hartwick’s wife of 30 years, Cheryl, surprised him and their only son, Rusty, with a trip to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta to celebrate their anniversary. When Sammy Joe registers on July 22 to run for Mayor, he said, "I will be eager to speak at events about city needs. I will be happy to knock on doors again because I’m really looking forward to being Greenbrier’s new Mayor."