Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mayor-elect Lioneld Jordan chairs Tuesday's agenda-setting session preparing for his first meeting as mayor on January 6, 2009

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Lioneld Jordan chairing meeting of the city council to set agenda for its January 6 meeting. Jordan has served as vice-mayor and chaired many meetings the past few years. Next Tuesday will be his first as mayor. Jordan is to be sworn in Friday morning at the Washington County Courthouse.
Please see Jeff Erf's Web log for the tentative agenda for the Jan. 6 meeting at Tentative agenda for Jan. 6, 2009, city council meeting

For the final agenda, check the same link Friday or Monday or go to Final agenda for Jan. 6, 2009, city council meeting for the agenda and link for live web streaming on Tuesday.
Below the photo, please find final report on campaign spending including the runoff from The Morning News edition for Wednesday, December 31, 2008.

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Coody Outspends Jordan In Mayoral Race

By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody raised more money for his re-election bid than his opponent Lioneld Jordan. The incumbent mayor raised $87,375 -- and $12,464 was his own money that he lent the campaign.

But it was not enough. Coody lost his bid for a third term to Jordan, a two-term city councilman who raised $49,615. Final campaign finance reports were due Tuesday.

Jordan won the 2008 mayoral race in a runoff, capturing 57 percent of the vote to Coody's 43 percent.

"It's got to make you feel good when you raise $50,000 and your opponent raises nearly $90,000 and you win by about 14 percentage points," Jordan said Tuesday.

All told, the 2008 mayoral race picked up $200,857 in contributions. Steve Clark, a former state attorney general and the new president of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, picked up $46,214 in contributions. More than $11,000 was a loan to his campaign made by Clark and his wife.

In Coody's final report, which spans Nov. 14 to Dec. 6, he accumulated $14,205 in contributions, much of it from developer interests. For example, Ruskin Heights LLC gave $1,200. Nock Investments contributed $1,000.

"The business community was supportive of my campaign. They recognize that I recognize the importance of a strong business base," Coody said Tuesday.

Jordan's final report, which spans Nov. 16 through Dec. 26, shows $8,000 of his final $10,131 in contributions came from union organizations such as the American Federation of State and Municipal Employees or the International Association of Fire Fighters. All told, union organizations contributed $12,099 to Jordan's mayoral campaign. But unions notwithstanding, the bulk of Jordan's contributions came from local residents.

"It was just a huge diverse group and it was an amazing campaign," Jordan said.

And ultimately, the challenger rallies the troops, Coody said.

"Unhappy people always go vote," he said. "And Lioneld had a broad base of support. And my supporters were happy."

With sizable amounts of money being spent in the last leg of the election --$19,169 going toward television, newspaper and radio advertising -- and other expenses, Coody's campaign ended in the red, owing $11,416.

Jordan closed his campaign with $2,951 still in the bank.

Three-hour public-listening session fills Chamber of Commerce meeting room early with small groups toward noon

Transition team committee Dec. 29, 2008, NWAT

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Linda Ralston (from left), Michelle Halsell and James Phillips facing the camera, with Cindy Cope at right and Julie McQuade facing the table. Not pictured were Jeff Erf and Walt Eilers (chairman of the Jordan mayoral transition teams' communition subcommittee).

Mayoral Transition Task Force communication subcommittee holds final public hearing January 13

Please announce:

The Transition Task Force Communication Subcommittee holds its concluding open public
hearing Tuesday, January 13 from 6:30 to 8 PM.

This 90 minute open hearing will be held in the Council Chamber (City Hall 219). The
hearing will be broadcast live on the Government Channel (Channel 16).

It will feature live public input for those attending and both a call in or an email
option for those viewing from home.

The contact information for the live call-in open hearing is:

Live Call-In 575-8299


For more information please contact Transition Team Chair – Don Marr 479-236-1739 or the
Communications Sub-Committee Chair Walt Eilers at 479-582-0784

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Transition team meets with mayor-elect to plan long-term goals

If you want to do the homework along with Lioneld Jordan's mayoral transition team, please see Documents being studied by Lioneld Jordan's mayoral transition team
Please click on images to ENLARGE view of second mayoral transition meeting.

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of second meeting of Lioneld Jordan's transition team on December 18, 2008.

NWAT report on second transition meeting

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Southpass, budget pass, Hoskins freeway subsidy delayed

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

SouthPass, Budget Move Forward
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody cast the deciding vote Tuesday night to extend a sewer line to the SouthPass regional park. The council tied 4-4, with Nancy Allen, Shirley Lucas, Bobby Ferrell and mayor-elect Lioneld Jordan voting against.
Please click on images to ENLARGE view of Fayetteville, Arkansas, city council on December 2, 2008

Because of many issues, such as cost and concern about developing on Mount Kessler, the SouthPass project has been controversial. The move Tuesday night was just another step in its slow march forward. Should the city kill the project -- a large mixed-use residential and park project in southeast Fayetteville -- it has been suggested by the city attorney that Fayetteville could be sued for not following through on contact obligations.
"I don't have any choice but to vote 'yes,' because I don't want to see the city end up in a lawsuit," Coody said.
The cost-share approved Tuesday night means the city will pay roughly $745,000 as its half of the cost of bringing sewer service to the project. The money will come from water and sewer impact fees.
The council also unanimously approved its $119.5 million 2009 city budget.
Jordan, who will be Fayetteville's next mayor and campaigned for cost-of-living raises, said the city could revisit raises in the first quarter of next year when officials know exactly how much surplus money the city finished 2008 with.
A 2 percent cost-of-living raise would cost roughly $800,000, said Paul Becker, Fayetteville's finance director.
Chickens can now legally cluck, scratch and lay eggs in Fayetteville backyards.
By a vote of 7-1 the council approved an ordinance to allow up to four hens per home. Robert Rhoads voted against, saying the ordinance seemed vague. It allows for both the slaughter of chickens, and prevents cruel treatment or killing of the birds.
"What is our business is passing legislation that may be confusing," Rhoads said.
"When it comes to the issue of slaughter, you know, we really haven't addressed it," said Jill Hatfield, superintendent of Fayetteville Animal Services.
A plan to require the chickens be registered with the Arkansas Livestock and Poultry Commission did not receive support.
"It would become a permitting process," said Brenda Thiel, a council member. "And I don't think we're really going to have enough chickens to justify that."
By a vote of 5-3, the council voted down an appeal by developers for Amberwood Place, a 40-acre development with 177 dwelling units, some of them slated as attainable housing. Lucas, Jordan and Ferrell supported the project, primarily because it provided homes in the $110,000 to $135,000 range, a house type many say Fayetteville is lacking.
"If we want some (affordable) places -- and we've asked our developers to do this -- we've got a situation right here, and I'm all for it," Ferrell said.
"I really think we need some more homes that people can afford," Lucas added.
Other council members agreed with the city's planning staff and Planning Commission, saying Amberwood Place is contrary to Fayetteville's City Plan 2025. And also, some council members were not in favor of grouping affordable housing as a bloc.
"I have a lot of concern about it being bunched together," Allen said. "I have concerns that today's affordable housing may be tomorrow's slums."
And a move to enter into a $2.16 million cost-share with developer Park West LLC to extend Arkansas 112 into an open field to both encourage and access new development was sent back to the Fayetteville Street Committee for further study.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fran Alexander's Monday column in the Northwest Arkansas Times offers a bit of history of interest

CROSS CURRENTS: Magnolia girl goes home
Fran Alexander frana@nwarktimes.com
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008
URL: http://www.nwanews.com/nwat/Editorial/71644/
Maybe it’s our Southernness that makes us cling to home and land, or maybe it’s just that we are like salmon and are drawn to our places of origin. Maybe it is because we want to be with our families again, or maybe we need to be in a place that we have known all of our lives. Maybe we have to claim a tiny patch of ground as our own on this big round Earth to hold us, just us, for as long as a human can dream eternity to be. Or maybe, sorrowfully, we pick our last places in spite of knowing sacred ground is only sacred for as long as anyone cares to hold it in reverence.
When I go to Magnolia, it is a pilgrimage. There, and in the countryside near the town, lie the roots of what family heritage I know the most about. We are now seven generations in time past old Sam Alexander, who settled in the woods of south Arkansas, built his home and bought himself some slaves. All but one slave left him after the Civil War, and family legend assumes they departed because Sam was not a loved master.
Sam’s daughter, Frances Alexander, whose first name later became my mother’s second name and then mine (and later, ironically, my married name as well) would tell her children and grandchildren that after the slaves left, she and her sisters had to do all the cooking and farm work. The kitchens were outside in the back yards in those days, a circumstance that led her to a lifetime of fearing and hating dogs. Her father’s hounds would leap, bite and claw at the young girl for the cooked food she held high over her head as she rushed to carry it into the house. She grew up and married Robert S. Warnock, and they moved into town. He was successful in many businesses and built a large Victorian-style home on Main Street in Magnolia, where they raised a son and a daughter, my grandmother, Ora Warnock.
Ora grew up in Magnolia, went off to Virginia to college and then returned home. One evening she attended an introduction party for a young man from Iowa, Louis Kemmerer, who happened to be in town selling buggies. Something sparked, and eventually they married and left to travel the country as he promoted the buggy trade. After a few years, they came back to Arkansas and settled in the large home on Main Street, where they lived with Ora’s parents.
Two daughters were born to Ora and Louie, and my mother, Lois Frances Kemmerer, was the eldest. She too grew up in Magnolia, then attended the University of Arkansas, where she met Ernie Deane. They were married for five years before I showed up.
CROSS CURRENTS : A 94-year perspective, part 1

CROSS CURRENTS : A 94-year perspective, part 2

CROSS CURRENTS : A 94-year perspective, part 3

CROSS CURRENTS : A 94-year perspective, part 4
It has always been my intent to write this opinion column primarily on environmental issues, but I allow myself to stray from time to time. Last year when Lois turned 94, I figured she was long overdue seeing some of her life in print, and so I did a four part series about her (starting at www.nwanews.com/nwat/Editorial/54195 ). All my noble goals for raising enviro awareness over the years were shaken a bit after that series was published. I’ve never had more good feedback on anything I’ve written as those four articles on my mom.
My grandmother, Ora, used to say she had lived from the time of riding a wagon to town to watching men walk in space. Her daughter, Lois, was 7 years old when women got the right to vote. She witnessed two world wars, endured racial strife in Little Rock and lived almost long enough to see a black man elected president. Lois made it through 2007, so she got to meet her first two great-grandchildren, and she celebrated her 95th birthday in May 2008. She did not like the frailty and weakness she felt from all the years, advising me frequently, “Don’t live this long.” But, she kept playing bridge, writing letters and doing whatever she could as long as possible. She called me one day in April to report that her back hurt and was later diagnosed with a compression fracture.
My mom was a woman who drew much of her identity from my father and his professional life, usually introducing herself as “Ernie’s wife.” She, however, was the backbone of our family, and my dad readily admitted that while he could do the words, she had to handle the numbers. He always said he would have to die first (and he did), since he’d never figure out how to do his taxes and would rather go to jail than try. Although I realize she was a woman of her time and saw herself in only a supporting role, my greatest wish was that she could have realized that she actually played the lead. Ever vigilant about numbers, when she knew we had all finally mailed in this year’s taxes by the extension deadline, I think she could finally rest. Lois died on Oct. 16, and we took her home to Magnolia one last time.
I thought some of you might want to know. Fran Alexander is a local resident and an active environmentalist.
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