Fayetteville’s Future: Get to Know Your Re-elected Local Officials

Fayetteville’s Future: Get to Know Your Re-elected Local Officials
Courtesy of Fayetteville-ar.gov The above image shows a detailed layout of each of the four wards that each Fayetteville City Council member represents.

Courtesy of Fayetteville-ar.gov
The above image shows a detailed layout of each of the four wards that each Fayetteville City Council member represents.

While Fayetteville may be a top five city in the U.S., there’s still plenty of work to be done to ensure its continued success, officials said.

More than 80,000 ballots were cast in Washington County in this year’s presidential election, and that included an all-time high of about 48,000 early votes. Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Sarah Marsh, Matthew Petty and Alan Long all won re-election for their city positions.

As for Sarah Bunch and Tracy Hoskins, who competed for the City Council Ward 3, Position 2 spot, Bunch received 4,183 votes (48 percent) and Hoskins received 3,119 votes (36 percent) and Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison had 1,350 votes (15 percent). In Arkansas, if a single candidate does not win a majority of the votes, the two people with the most votes will square off in a runoff election unless the leading candidate receives more than 40 percent of the votes and is ahead of the runner-up by 20 percent. The run-off election will take place Nov. 29.

We decided it would be a good idea to ask our elected city officials what their plans, visions and hopes for the future of Fayetteville was with a questionnaire.

Alderman Matthew Petty, who won re-election for Ward 2, Position 2, responded, but said he was unable to answer the questionnaire before our publication deadline due to being preoccupied with project deadlines.


1. What are some project currently underway or in development you hope to see through in your upcoming term?

2. What is a part of your vision for Fayetteville?

3. What is something you think Fayetteville could improve on? What concerns you currently?

4. If you had a magic wand that could change anything about Fayetteville instantly, what would you do with it?

5. What do you hope will be your legacy from the time you leave or retire from office in Fayetteville?


mayorjordanFayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan

Re-elected to his third term as mayor

Lifelong resident of Northwest Arkansas, 44-year resident of Fayetteville

1. With the fastest growing population in Arkansas, the Mayor has to constantly be thinking ahead for improving the city’s infrastructure and enhancing those quality of life issues that have made us the third best place to live and the number one in the top ten most affordable places to live. I have been working on building this city’s infrastructure from my time on City Council on the Street Committee through my two terms as Mayor and I’m going to continue to add to that infrastructure in my third term.

Specific areas of interest will be:

  • Complete the “Mayor’s Box,” the arterial ring around this city that we made great strides in with the completion of Van Asche Drive and the first phase of Rupple Road., one of our City’s main corridors that represents the single LARGEST transportation project in the bond program voted upon by our citizens in 2006. Next year, we will install the stop light at Martin Luther King and Rupple we will straighten out Rupple, from Starry Night View to Mount Comfort, lining it with trails and sidewalks. This project will also align the intersection at Mt. Comfort and install a stop light to make that entire intersection safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.
  • Complete the City of Fayetteville Master Transportation Plan and bring a new list of projects forward, including ones to enhance our east-west connectivity, that will impact mobility and alternative transportation and will grow our multimodal network system of roads trails and sidewalks that impact driving, walking, biking, public transit, and parking in Fayetteville.
  • Aggressively move forward with the next phases of the Kessler Mountain Regional Park. The opening of this park signifies why building infrastructure and preserving green space has been our priority in this city, in this period of enormous growth and prosperity.
  • Continue the improvements to College Avenue that were built on the East side this year by completing the West side of the street from Maple Street to North Street, and further northbound, with new sidewalks, drainage, lighting and trees.
  • Develop the City’s digital infrastructure as critical infrastructure to support citizens’ demand for more electronic interaction with the city.
  • Continue to work as advocates for affordable and accessible broadband and attainable housing for all citizens.

2. My vision for this city is to remain a top tier city across the country, a city that has a vibrant business economy that welcomes millennials and next generation workers and provides an environment where existing citizens and everyone can thrive. We will continue to maintain our quality of life through smart growth and focus our efforts in making Fayetteville a progressive city for economic development, with the Fayetteville First Economic Development Plan that focuses on entrepreneurial services, job growth, business retention and expansion, and workforce development to create this city as the “Startup City of the South.” We will also continue to expand the City’s Innovation and Arts Districts.

3. I have set two major goals for improvement in the coming year. We will evaluate the development process in order to balance our city’s smart growth code requirements and the permitting process. We will also continue to work hard on citizen engagement and improve our communications efforts.

4. My magic wand would instantly remove any budget limitations so we could allow our citizens’ dreams to continue to be fulfilled.

5. I would hope that my legacy will be that my personal philosophy of an open heart, and open mind, and open door shines through this city. I would expect that our partnership-based government, one in which we are all part owners together, no matter the color of our skin, our religion, or who we love continues to set the tone for our welcoming community. I would hope that when all is said and done, I will have provided a canvas for painting the future of our city.


sarah-marshSarah Marsh, Ward 1, Position 2

Occupation: Self-employed designer in homes and apparel

Fayetteville resident for more than 15 years

1. I ran on three tenants: Responsible Growth, Robust Economy, and Resilient Community. My next four years will be focused on achieving improvements in these areas.

In our 2030 City Plan, our citizens told us that they want us to make appropriate infill and revitalization our highest priorities, to discourage suburban sprawl, make traditional town form the standard, grow a livable transportation network, assemble an enduring green network, and create opportunities for attainable housing. I plan to support initiatives that further these goals and fight those that are contrary to the people’s plan.

We must build a more robust economy that better serves all our citizens. In my last term we created and passed the Fayetteville First Economic Development Plan to improve our economy. I am committed to seeing this plan to fruition. Highlights of the plan include investing in arts and culture and focusing on improving our overall quality of life to attract and retain the best and brightest workforce and the companies that seek top talent. We’ve identified target sectors that are good fits for our community, are developing better ways to take care of our existing businesses and manufacturers, and are expanding support for entrepreneurs and startups to help us grow more unique local businesses. The plan focuses on growing living wage jobs in clean industries that share our values of environmental and social responsibility.

We must also work to make our community more resilient. I’ll be championing our new Waste Reduction, Diversion, & Recycling Master Plan, supporting efforts to improve food security, looking for resources to accelerate build-out of our Active Transportation Plan to put every household within half a mile of a multi-use trail and improve our Bicycle Friendly Community rating, and leverage our Energy Improvement District to save energy and money.

2. I would love to see Fayetteville evolve into a walkable community of complete neighborhoods connected by trails and transit. I’d like to see a good mix of denser neighborhood centers well balanced with natural areas and outdoor amenities. I want us to be a healthy, safe, and welcoming city that is enriched by a diversity of people working together as a community. We must preserve our unique character as we grow

3. Economic hardship is the one of the biggest issues facing Ward 1 where we have lots of hard working people making poverty wages and many skilled and talented people that are underemployed due to lack of good economic opportunities. Wages have stagnated while the cost of living has risen. We must strengthen our economy so that it better serves all our residents and we can reduce poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity.

4. If I had a magic wand I would build a regional light rail either along the existing rail corridor or 71B, connect it to a Bus Rapid Transit line that rings the Mayor’s Box around the city, and build out all the sidewalks and trails on our Active Transportation Plan so that every home and business has access to reliable and affordable transportation. I would rezone the major transit nodes for form-based, mixed-use buildings to create small neighborhood centers with spaces for independent businesses to grow. Inclusionary zoning would insure that enough affordable housing was included in the mix. This would give Fayettevillians easy access to jobs throughout the region, make our city more age-friendly for those that are too young or too old to drive, and reduce our transportation costs which are currently exceeding housing costs in our region. A light rail spur to the airport would certainly make us more business and tourism friendly. This would take a lot of stress off our roadways and enable us to focus on building a city for people instead of cars.

5. I want Fayetteville to be a great place to live, a healthy community, a resilient community. I want our city to be a great place to grow a business or career, be inspired by arts and culture, get an education or learn a trade, commune with nature, raise a family, or enjoy the golden years. I want to make Fayetteville a world-class community that we can all be proud to call home. I’d like to revitalize our main streets (the South School Business District in particular), enable better infill development, optimize our energy and resource efficiency, improve mobility throughout the city, leave a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations, and keep Fayetteville funky!


14883476_314552372264883_9080755802311526617_oSarah Bunch, running for Ward 3, Position 2 in run-off election Nov. 29

Occupation: Real Estate Agent

Fayetteville resident for more than 30 years

What was your inspiration and motivation to run for city council?

I was inspired to run for City Council because I have a genuine desire to serve my community and running for office is one way to do that. I feel my background on Planning Commission and my work experience will be beneficial on Council.

2. My vision for Fayetteville is for our city to be a thriving community with a healthy economy. I want our city to be a place where people can work, build careers, and start businesses, in addition to a community where the citizens can buy homes and put down roots. I would also like to see Fayetteville continue to have a great parks, extended trails, and a growing arts and entertainment scene.

3. In Ward 3 we definitely have some traffic issues I would like to see addressed. There are a limited number of East/West connections and an growing number of automobiles trying to use those streets. This increases the number of accidents and causes traffic to bottleneck. I would like to explore different possibilities to alleviate some of the traffic congestion. I’d also like to see better connections for pedestrians trying to walk, or cycle, to shopping, the parks, or school. Some streets around Gulley Park and Rolling Hills, in particular don’t offer safe options for children and adults wanting to walk to school or wanting to cross the street to get to the park.

4. If I had a magic wand and could change one thing in Ward 3 it would be North College Avenue. I would like to see old dilapidated buildings removed or remodeled into income producing businesses. I’d love to see North College filled with fresh retail and other businesses that will bring people to our area. More Wholefoods type development and less ugly, empty parking lots. This can be done without a magic wand, but it will take time and dedication on the part of city.


tkhTracy Hoskins, running for Ward 3, Position 2 in run-off election Nov. 29

Occupation: Owner and CEO of Paradigm Companies

Fayetteville resident for 31 years

What inspired you to run for City Council?

I am very familiar with how our city government works – from both sides of the podium. As a 3-time appointee, I am now serving my 7th year on the Fayetteville Planning Commission. Upon expiration of my current term, I will no longer be eligible to serve on the Commission. So, I have chosen to run for City Council as I wish to continue to serve.

My experience in our community, as both commissioner and as a businessman, allows me to bring important and unique perspectives to the table. Those of you who know me or those who have watched commission meetings know that I am present, I am engaged, and that I am passionate about Fayetteville. I was deeply involved in the crafting of our CityPlan 2020 – which has evolved into CityPlan 2030, our Downtown Master Plan, and the Wedington Corridor Plan. I know what is working, and I know what we need to look at changing to ensure we continue to enhance Fayetteville for our children and for our children’s children. I am knowledgeable, thoughtful and reasonable.

3. A city is like a living organism. If it’s not growing – it’s dying. I want to help Fayetteville grow – but grow in a smart and responsible fashion. We must have a vision for the future and embrace the opportunity to build that future. We need to attract new businesses while nurturing our existing businesses – many of which are right here in Ward 3. We need to broaden our tax base in effort to increase our sales tax and property tax revenues as opposed to piling more taxes on our citizens.

Adding new businesses and services not only improves our quality of life, but increases sales tax revenues from sources beyond our city limits; and commercial property typically yields some of the highest property tax revenues. And, I fear that if we don’t become more proactive in attracting new businesses, we may be destined to become a bedroom community where few can actually afford those bedrooms.

4. Fix antiquated codes and policies which currently frustrate and drive investors away from Fayetteville. Make Fayetteville a jobs magnet.


alanlongAlan Long, Ward 4, Position 1

Occupation: Buyer for Newlyweds Foods, Inc.

Fayetteville resident since 2002

1. Ensuring that Rupple Road at the intersection of Mt Comfort is complete (construction should begin in 2017).

Worked with members of city government to ensure that Rupple Road from Wedington to Martin Lither King Dr would be constructed. Additionally, I coordinated public input into the planning of Rupple Road to incorporate trails, sidewalks and trees.

I have worked with the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to encourage the Wedington/I49 overpass being done as quickly as possible, while ensuring that the design will move traffic the best way possible and incorporate pedestrian and bicycle uses.

I worked with the Transportation committee to bring sidewalk connections to ward 4, including the 46th street sidewalk where children were standing in the ditch each morning while waiting on the school bus. I also pushed for the completion of Clabber Creek trail which will eventually connect to the city wide trail network. There will be even more connection potential after the Wedington/I49 overpass and pedestrian bridge are complete.

2. Ward 4 has many opportunities for growth. Ward 4 has unique access to I49, and has great potential for future business growth along this corridor. Further west from I49, we have wonderful residential housing growth potential. While planning for growth, it is important to plan for infrastructure that will service future business and residential needs. This infrastructure should focus on complete streets. Complete streets facilitate vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. We have a large residential population in west Fayetteville. The residents deserve access to services, including a variety of businesses and other community services.

3. The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department has the final say when designing the overpass. However, as an alderman, I feel that I should represent my constituents’ desires when working with the AHTD. That is why we funded a pedestrian element to the new Wedington interchange. I do my best to advocate for my constituents during this process and communicate the information to as many people as possible.

5. I have built wonderful, proactive relationships in Ward 4 and all of Fayetteville. I hope to continue developing the relationships that enable me to keep making progress in Fayetteville, one of the best places to live in America. Ward 4 has not had an alderman run for a second term in many years. The institutional knowledge of how the council works is only something that you gain through experience. I have worked hard to develop that experience, and I hope that the citizens of Ward 4 give me the opportunity to continue my service to the community.



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