Herzfeld seeks Benton council seat
Lifetime Benton resident James Herzfeld says he wants to serve on the Benton City Council.
Herzfeld plans to seek the Ward 4, Position 2, seat currently held by Alderman David Sparks.
All council positions, along with other municipal posts, are nonpartisan. Filing for the positions opens in July.
Herzfeld, 71, is no stranger to community service.
Beginning in 1977, he served 10 years on the Benton School Board and then served 13 years on the board of directors of the Saline County Board of Education. He currently serves on the Pulaski Tech board of directors, service he began in 2003.
He initially was appointed to that board by former Gov. Mike Huckabee, then reappointed by Gov. Mike Beebe.
During the 1970s, he served on the board of directors for the Benton Chamber of Commerce and served for 10 years on the board of directors for Regions Bank.
He has been active with the Saline County Industrial Development Corp. for nearly a quarter of a century. He is a charter member of that organization and served 1 1/2 years as board president.
He is a longtime member of First Baptist Church, where he is a deacon and a Sunday School teacher. For around 23 years, he has taught what he described as "the oldest men's class."
"I started teaching the class when my dad was a member," he said.
Herzfeld is the son of the late Leo and Myrtle Herzfeld.
"I've always been involved in local politics," he said. "I helped with (the late) Mayor George Wagner's campaign. During his tenure, we were successful with several projects. We approved a new sewer system and several street projects in the 1980s and 1990s.
"I feel like we've got a rally great mayor now," he said. "If we can get good people to work with him, we can do some really great stuff."
James Herzfeld has been semi-retired from the family business, Herzfeld Insurance since 2006, but still goes into the office every day, he said.
He was active in the insurance business for 40 years. Before entering that profession, he worked for Reynolds Metals for three years.
Following gradation from Ouachita Baptist College (now Ouachita Baptist University), where he was active in the ROTC program, he served two years in the Army.
Herzfeld's family includes wife Margaret, a retired teacher for the Benton School District; a son, Andy Herzfeld of Benton; a daughter, Holly Dixon of Conway; and three grandchildren.
Politics and public service have been closely aligned with the Herzfeld family, James Herzfeld said. His brother, the late Bob Herzfeld, served on the Benton School Board, the Saline County Quorum Court and the Saline County Library Board, which named. Herzfeld Library in his memory.
Leo Herzfeld served as county clerk and later as circuit clerk of Saline County.