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.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE.

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.