For Lioneld Jordan
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition
Posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008
LIONELD JORDAN has a reputation for working hard. He’s the city alderman in Fayetteville who’s never missed a city council meeting in his nearly eight years in office. Alderman Jordan has brought the same dedication to the monthly meetings he’s held in his ward.
He’s also known for his thorough knowledge of city government, for his ability to understand complicated city business, and his just plain love of his hometown.
One of the candidates Lioneld Jordan is running against is the incumbent, Dan Coody. Mayor Coody is winding up his eighth year as mayor with a mixed record. He’s certainly done some good things for Fayetteville. Like establishing the current system of trails in the city. And he talks up environmental issues, even if he hasn’t always lived up to his own standards.
But the Coody administration has had some notable shortcomings, too. There’s the $ 60-million-plus cost overrun for the expansion of the city’s wastewater system. The project came in three years late and had to be bailed out with an increase in the city sales tax. Then there’s the stalled development the mayor backed on the site of the old Mountain Inn. Instead of a big hotel, the city got a big hole, which is now to become a big parking lot. That’ll be an improvement, but not much of one.
The mayor’s also presided over a takeover of the city’s Government Channel. The biggest result has been an end to its forums, where issues were discussed openly and fairly. A fear of fair and open discussion is not a good sign in a mayor, especially a mayor of a town as freespirited and open to argument as Fayetteville. What a shame.
Mayor Coody, maybe reflecting what he learned in the military, says a city’s chief executive is responsible for what happens during his administration. We agree. The wastewater project, the downtown hole in the ground, the canceling of issue forums... he must take responsibility for all of them along with the city’s accomplishments during his tenure.
As an alderman, Lioneld Jordan hasn’t always been right. But he’s consistently shown a willingness to dig into issues and take every side into account. As his supporters have noticed, when he disagrees with anybody, he tells them why. And his explanations tend to be well thought-out. (It’s hard to imagine him shutting down any public forums. )
His long service on important committees, such as the Street, Water-and-Sewer, and Equipment committees have given him a thorough understanding of how the city works. He does his homework. And he’s served as vice mayor, which would be good experience for the top job.
If it’s time for a change in Fayetteville, and it is, its name is Lioneld Jordan. That’s why we’re endorsing him today.
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