Sunday, November 30, 2008

Richard Drake's Street Jazz column on substandard housing quotes Lioneld Jordan and Nancy Allen

Street Jazz is Richard Drake's blog on the Arkansas Times blog list.
Commentary from Northwest Arkansas

Sunday, November 30, 2008 - 18:31:17

Hell by the Week

I (Richard Drake) wrote this article earlier this year, about a situation that has been a festering sore in Fayetteville - and other communities in Northwest Arkansas - for a long time now. Lioneld Jordan, who is quoted in the article, may have a chance to have some influence in the matter, now that he has been elected mayor.

Hell by the Week

In Fayetteville, the "affordable housing" no one wants to talk about

Written by Richard S. Drake

It is a blow to reform and the political hopes of the poor that the middle-class no longer understands that poverty exists. But, perhaps more important, the poor are losing their links with the great world . . .They are not seen and because of that they themselves cannot see. Their horizon has become more and more restricted; They see one another, and that means they see little reason to hope. - Michael Harrington, "The Other America"

In an ever-uncertain economy, more and more families find themselves unable to provide even a shadow of the lives that their parents provided for them.

Some find themselves lost in a crippling cycle of poverty, unable to thrive in a community which seems either unaware or uncaring of their problems. Many in this Northwest Arkansas community find themselves living in conditions that can only be best described as sub-standard.
For the rest of the story, please visit:
Richard Drake reminds us of poverty in Fayettenam

Corps of Engineers ignores needs of migrating waterfowl

Please click on image to ENLARGE
 Once again, the U.S. Corps of Engineers is planning to open the gates to allow water to drain from Beaver Lake just as the migration of waterfowl from the north occurs.
The conflict among the official purposes of the reservoir and the needs of fish and wildlife often becomes obvious. I wrote about this problem as far back as the early 1970s. The cold front spitting snow on northwest Arkansas today reminds us that duck season is here and that only a few days of good hunting on Beaver Lake are likely before the habitat becomes unattractive for waterfowl to pause to feed. Not many people actually hunt ducks on Beaver, of course, but a lot of waterfowl use the lake when conditions are right and it can be helpful to the birds in their migration.
Spawning fish need high water up in the brush and grass along the shoreline in spring and early fall. Waterfowl need high water up in the brush and grass and live trees along the shoreline in fall and winter. Rain, of course, is unpredictable. The power companies need plenty of water during times when the need for electricity is high. Recreational boaters and such probably want a stable water level that allows them never to have to slow down for logs or hilltops in the White River valley to be too near the surface for safety.
Flood-control problems would require having the lake maintained at as low a level as possible at all times.
Boat-dock owners want the lake perfectly stable.
For fish and wildlife, the water level needs to be lowered during the growing season to keep vegetation alive. Shoreline trees and brush survive winter, spring flooding but die during years when high-water lasts through the growing season.
These and some related problems exist everywhere a dam stands across a river.
And cities continue to grow and demand that more rivers and creeks be dammed to provide water.
Arkansas is fortunate that a few streams such as the Buffalo River have been protected from dams. If population growth doesn't stop, the push to destroy the most productive farm land and wildlife acreage will continue.

Corps ready at last to pull the plug on bulging Beaver Lake
Posted on Sunday, November 30, 2008

GARFIELD — Over the next two weeks, the water level of Beaver Lake is projected to drop 5 feet, and Wayne Launderville will spend those days easing 40 boat docks out farther into the lake to make sure they don’t become grounded.
Launderville normally checks the docks weekly, but the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to lower the lake to 1, 120 feet by Dec. 13. Such a rapid drop could leave docks on dry ground if they aren’t monitored daily and moved often.
“You have to watch it every day, sometimes twice a day,” said Don Andreasen, owner of Beaver Fever Striper Guide Service in Garfield. “If your dock’s on dry ground, it’s a lot of work to get it back in the water. You’d have to wait until the water comes back up. They ain’t light.”
Boats moored to the docks also can become grounded when the lake level drops.
On Monday, the Corps of Engineers will begin releasing additional water through the turbines at Beaver Dam. The lake has been higher than usual since it was swollen by spring rains. The Corps said conditions at Table Rock and Bull Shoals lakes, which are downstream from Beaver Lake on the White River water system, now can allow the floodwaters being stored in Beaver Lake to be released.
At this time last year, the water level at Beaver Lake was 1, 113 feet — 12 feet lower than its current level of about 1, 125. On April 1, the lake crested at 1, 130 feet.
Water will be released 18 hours a day beginning Monday, according to the Corps. If heavy rains fall during the next two weeks, the release of water could be extended. From about Dec. 10-13, the release will be cut back to 12 hours a day until the lake reaches the top of the conservation pool, which is 1, 120. 4 feet.
Bob and Joyce Bauer, owners of Lost Bridge Marina, said it takes eight hours to push the eight docks at the marina out farther into the lake, where they’ll be safe when the lake level drops. During a prolonged drop in the lake level, like the one scheduled for early December, Bob Bauer said he will move each dock a few feet every other day.
“We just have to keep moving them out,” Joyce Bauer said. “It can be an all-day job. You have to continuously do a little bit at a time.”
The large commercial docks at Lost Bridge Marina have eight to 16 winches per dock so they can be cranked out farther into the lake, then retrieved when the lake level rises. The marina has five docks that are 300 feet long each. About 200 boats can be stored at Lost Bridge Marina. Commercial-dock owners are used to the routine of moving them in and out.
“Private-dock owners need to make sure they’re out as far as they can go so they don’t end up on the ground,” Bob Bauer said.
Launderville said he’s one of several people who works moving docks along Beaver Lake.
“This is my main job,” he said. “I take care of docks.”
Originally from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Launderville moved to Rogers in 1999. His services allow dock owners to rest without having to worry about fluctuations in the level of Beaver Lake. Because the Ozark hills allow much rainwater to drain into the lake, a 1-inch rain can raise the level by a foot, Launderville said.
Launderville said a few of his clients live in Northwest Arkansas and just don’t want the hassle of constantly moving their docks, but 95 percent of them live outside the area, including one in Alaska. In his spare time, Launderville also helped Lost Bridge Village launch a recycling business.
“I’ve never advertised,” he said. “I’ve got too many [docks to maintain ]. I can’t advertise.”
Launderville said he tries to move the docks a small distance at a time — about 3 feet — to avoid big problems later on. Some private docks have cranks and winches, but many require him to pry them out of the mud with a board and physically push them farther into the lake. Launderville makes his rounds by boat to check on the docks.
“You’ve got to go on calm days,” he said while checking a double-slip dock at Horn Cove. “You’ve got to pick your time. You can’t go out when there are whitecaps out here.”
Andreasen said that the lake level began dropping slightly a few days before Thanksgiving and that he’s been pushing his dock out about a foot a day since about Tuesday.
“Always make sure your electrical line has enough slack when you push your dock out,” he said.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What about fishing? The water district didn't ask

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Survey Tests Watershed Knowledge
By Caleb Fort
The Morning News
Elected officials, developers, farmers and others took a survey last year to determine how much they knew about the Beaver Lake watershed.
They did well in general knowledge and in the areas asking about recreation, inflows and outflows, but not so well on the topics of hydropower, nutrients and sedimentation.
The survey, called a knowledge gap assessment, was created by the Beaver Water District and The Forrester Group, an environmental consulting firm.
The goal was to find out how knowledgeable community leaders were about the watershed, said Robert Morgan, the water district’s manager of environmental quality.
“The objective was to find out if our stakeholders have the knowledge to make informed decisions about the watershed,” Morgan said.
A consultant from Forrester interviewed 20 people the district had identified as stakeholders.
The questions were open-ended. The surveyor judged the respondents’ answers based on whether they included key concepts that were identified during a daylong meeting of local experts, Morgan said.
The first question was: “What can you tell me about Beaver Lake?” Key phrases in the response included “artificial lake” or “reservoir,” “dam,” “White River” and “constructed in the 1960s.”
The surveyor then graded the response on a scale of 0 to 5.
The survey was not the typical statistics-based, multiple-choice question model, Morgan said. The results will be useful for preparing educational materials about the watershed, he said.
David Short, chairman of the district’s board, said he had not read the report. He said he was not surprised by the results based on a presentation by Morgan.
Short said he would like to do a similar survey to determine knowledge gaps on the board.
“I think that would be of real value to help run the district,” he said.
According to the report, one of the biggest areas of misconception was about the role of the Army Corps of Engineers.
“A large majority of interviewees vastly overstated the ‘power’ of the Corps and their jurisdictions in many authorized uses of the Lake,” the report states. “Correspondingly, the Corps was also criticized for too much action, too little action, and being unresponsive to concerns that often weren’t in their jurisdiction.”
P.J. Spaul, a corps spokesman, had not seen the report, but said there is some public confusion about the corps.
“There are people that think we underregulate, people that think we overregulate,” he said. “There are people that think we have a lot more authority in some areas than we do.”

Assessment Results Of Beaver Lake Knowledge Survey

Median knowledge gap assessment results on a scale of 0 to 5. (Rounded to nearest quarter).
• General: 4.25
• Inflows and outflows: 4
• Flood control: 4
• Hydropower: 3
• Water supply: 3.5
• Water quality: 4
• Sedimentation: 4
• Nutrients: 3.5
• Aquatic life: 4
• Recreation: 4.5
Source: Beaver Water District

Overview Of Survey Areas

• General: The lake was created on the White River in the 1960s. It is used for flood control, hydropower, drinking water and recreation.
• Inflows and outflows: Water enters the lake through streams, precipitation and runoff, and leaves the lake through the dam, drinking water suppliers and evaporation. Urban and suburban development increase runoff in the watershed.
• Flood control: The lake stores water from flooding events to be released later at a controlled rate. The purpose of flood control is to protect property downstream from the dam.
• Hydropower: The dam creates hydropower by using the pressure of the lake to turn turbines. Hydropower creation, the biggest water use during normal years, is managed by the Southwestern Power Administration.
• Water supply: Congress authorized the use of Beaver Lake as a water supply. Regional public utilities, such as Beaver Water District and the Benton-Washington Regional Public Water Authority, are responsible for producing drinking water.
• Water quality: Water quality is defined by the “physical, chemical and biological condition of a body of water.” Problems can include bacteria, viruses, algae and lack of dissolved oxygen.
• Sedimentation: Sediment is carried to the lake through tributaries. It can cause loss of habitat and murky water and can transport pollutants.
• Nutrients: Nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorous, stimulate algae and other aquatic life. Algae can deplete the lake’s dissolved oxygen and cause taste and odor problems. Nutrients come from many sources, including the atmosphere, runoff and wastewater.
• Aquatic life: Aquatic life is not a use of the lake authorized by Congress. It is designated as a use by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. The diversity of aquatic life is determined by water quality, habitat and invasive species.
• Recreation includes boating, swimming and water skiing. Good access and water clarity enhance recreation. Waterborne pathogens and high or low lake levels can impair recreation.
Source: Beaver Lake Knowledge Gap Assessment

And no one has explained what happened here. More important, who is going to put up the safety sign and when?

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of big yellow arrow sign at intersection of South Duncan Avenue and Eleventh St.

Still haven't heard an explanation for this crossing of the Town Branch by Hill Place contractors

Please click on image to ENLARGE view north from Don Hoodenpyle's yard.

Birds galore pile into the bushes at dusk

Wherever they were feeding during the cold day, hundreds of birds filled the trees at dusk. Many robins, bunch of blackbirds and more cardinals than I have seen in a couple of weeks. Sparrows, possibly some cedar wax wings and the usual housefinches and such were crowding in.
Let's hope we have a chance now to reduce the amount of nesting and roosting habitat being lost in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Where have all the robins gone? Cold front passes

The past few days since the the mayoral runoff, thousands of robins were still roosting in the bushes and tree around World Peace Wetland Prairie. This afternoon, all is quiet and no bird songs can be heard.
Tonight, a whole fresh flight may be roosting here and competing for the remaining berries. If snow comes, the berries will all be gone by Monday.

Frosty morning on Ozark stream

Please click on image to ENLARGE creek view west of Arkansas 112 in Benton County.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Doug Thompson pinpoints reason that Lioneld Jordan was elected mayor of Fayetteville

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

New Mayor For Your Consideration

By Doug Thompson

So what's this new mayor-elect of Fayetteville like anyway, a friend from Little Rock asked Wednesday.
There's this party every August in Hogeye, I said. A lot of folks including local media people go to it. Therefore, politicians started coming. Several mayor's candidates came this year.
Lioneld Jordan was the only mayor's candidate to bring any food. He was also the only one to send a thank you note afterward.
Jordan won't speak perfect BBC broadcaster English when you meet him, but he's a gentleman in deeper ways, I said.
Why did I tell my friend about that trivial incident from August? Because that little incident's characteristic of Jordan. He's considerate, which is something similar to but not the same as being polite or responsive.
I was writing this column Wednesday night. A couple of guys from the paper came back in the office that evening. They told me that Jordon was down at the Yvonne Richardson Center. He was helping dish out free dinners. There was no media announcement that he'd be there.
Jordan didn't win this race because just because he's a nice guy. He won because he convinces people they matter to him. If he's faking it, he's a better actor than Robert De Niro.
Mayor Dan Coody shouldn't feel bad about this race. If the economy turns as sour as it could, he'll look like the guy who got out just in time. I have no idea whether he or Steve Clark -- or either -- will replace the retiring Bill Ramsey as president of the chamber, by the way.

New Administration
Speaking of performing their duty, I'm not surprised President-elect Barack Obama would nominate Sen. Hillary Clinton for secretary of state. I'm a little surprised she'd take it. You couldn't get me out of the U.S. Senate with blasting powder if I was one of the 100.
For the rest of the story, please see:"
Doug Thompson explains Lioneld Jordan

The Morning News' Skip Descant reports that Fayetteville Council ready to work with new mayor

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Council Ready to Move Forward With New Mayor
By Skip Descant

FAYETTEVILLE -- With the big night still not completely worn off, celebrants and supporters of Fayetteville Mayor-elect Lioneld Jordan are pausing to take it all in. But they're also thinking about the future.
"We have new leadership, and regardless of who it is, everybody should get behind the new mayor and work to move Fayetteville forward," said Bobby Ferrell, a Ward 3 alderman.
"I would hope that everybody would have a good attitude and work to make Fayetteville a better place to live," Ferrell added on Wednesday.
Jordan won a decisive victory with 53 percent Tuesday night against incumbent Dan Coody.
Speculation about staffing changes in top posts at City Hall always makes for popular chatter when a new administration is elected. Jordan campaign officials maintain that no definite names have been put forward.
"He has not made any staffing decisions," said Don Marr, Jordan's campaign manager.
Jordan's new office on West Mountain Street comes with a postcard -perfect view of his former workplace at the University of Arkansas. And that office also comes with a salary more than twice what he earns at the university. Jordan, a "skilled trades supervisor," is paid $51,581 a year by the university, said Steve Voorhies, manager of Media Relations at UA.
Mayor Dan Coody earns about $107,000 a year.
Adella Gray, the other council member from Ward 1, and a Coody supporter, said "It'll be real interesting to see how it (the transition) transpires."
Gray and Jordan have often been on opposing sides of big issues such raising the property tax. Last year she supported an increase, while Jordan opposed.
Gray said she's unsure how Jordan will perform when it comes to consensus-building and bringing together a council to move forward his policy ideas.
"I have never seen him perform that way as a councilman," Gray said. But Gray said she's moving into the transition with the right attitude.
"And I'm going to try very, very hard to have an open mind about what transpires," Gray said.
Other city council members weighed in with good wishes for the next administration and pledged to work with Jordan to move Fayetteville forward.
"I've known and worked with Lioneld as long as I have Dan, and I can certainly work as well with Lioneld as well as Dan," said Brenda Thiel, a council member from Ward 1.
"I don't think it will change the way I do business," she added. "I'll continue to listen to my constituents and work with them, just as I always have."
"I think Lioneld -- the people elected him -- and he'll do a good job," she remarked.
"He's probably got his work cut out for him," said Robert Rhoads, a council member from Ward 3. Rhoads went on to note the many issues coming before the city in the next few weeks and new year. But added, Jordan is "very good at building consensus, so I'm OK there."
Some of the issues the mayor and council must tackle in the coming year include how to move forward with the SouthPass regional park or growing the Green Valley economic development strategy.
"I supported Mayor Coody in the election, but not because I had any problems with Lioneld," noted Rhoads. "I just kind of wanted to see what Mayor Coody started move forward."
"I'm happy for Lioneld and looking forward to working with him," said Sarah Lewis, the new council member who will be taking Jordan's place in Ward 4.
"I feel like my ideas and the things I want to bring forward will be welcomed by him," Lewis added.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 at Salvation Army in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click on images to enlarge.

Northwest Arkansas Times reports good eats Wednesday at Yvonne Richardson Center

Good eats : Early Thanksgiving dinner attracts crowd at Richardson Center
BY BRETT BENNETT Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Thursday, November 27, 2008
Thanksgiving arrived early Wednesday evening at the Yvonne Richardson Center, which hosted a special Night of Food and Fellowship by providing visitors and guests with a free meal.

“ It’s good food and good company on the day before Thanksgiving, ” Karen Clark, a visitor to the center, said.

Director Erma Rainey was outside around 5: 30 p. m. to greet neighborhood residents walking to the door.

“ Come on in, you all. We’ve got a nice community dinner, ” she said, then proceeded to list off some of the food items for the meal.

The menu included Cornish hens donated by Tyson Foods, mashed potatoes and gravy donated by the A. Q. Chicken House and ribs from Herman’s Ribhouse.

Located at 240 E. Rock St., most of the center’s patrons are from the surrounding neighborhoods and south Fayetteville, but the center is open to anyone from the community.

“ It’s something to bring the community together, ” volunteer Nicee Hill said.

“ I think that’s what’s good about it is one, there will be some people who’ll get a Thanksgiving dinner that otherwise wouldn’t have had the opportunity, ” Nancy Allen, departing Fayetteville Ward 2 alderman, said.

Allen said she hopes to devote more time to volunteering at the center when she leaves the City Council next year. Its location makes it convenient to walk to for children and residents in the nearby neighborhoods.

“ I just think it’s worthwhile, and I’m hoping people will see the possibilities of what could be at that center, ” Allen said. “ The center is only working at about 40-percent capacity because they’re understaffed. ”

More than a dozen volunteers showed up to help out and serve food, including Mayor-elect Lioneld Jordan, who was stationed at the front of the food line.

In addition to those who walked, many people who attended drove to the center. Both of the center’s paved parking lots along Rock Street were filled with cars.

Inside the center, every table set up for guests had some people sitting down to eat at 6 p. m.

“ I think it’s great. It’s great for our community, ” Clark’s son, Skylar, said.

Some of the other programs the center conducts during the year include a summer movie program where youth can see movies at the theater, Rainey said.

Currently, they offer free men’s basketball on Mondays and Wednesdays and Judo on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the gym, she added.

A calendar of events for the month is posted on the wall near the entrance, and the center includes a computer room for guests.

“ We’re trying to develop a niche where most of the things are free, ” Rainey said.

The center has been located on Rock Street for 12 years, she said.

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mark Paul's daughter hugs up on dad for photo after the Thanksgiving dinner at the Yvonne Richardson Center in Fayetteville

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Mark Paul and his daughter on November 26, 2008, at the Yvonne Richardson Center in south Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Lioneld Jordan's first night as mayor elect he serves food for three hours at Yvonne Richardson Center Thanksgiving dinner

Please click image to ENLARGE view of Mark Paul and Lioneld Jordan serving food at Yvonne Richardson Center's Thanksgiving dinner

Lioneld Jordan elected mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas, by 14-percent advantage

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Megan Jordan celebrating her father's victory in the race for mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
Megan was a big part of the crew of Lioneld Jordan supporters holding signs on intersections in Fayetteville in recent weeks. Jordan's campaign was all about people, family and friends and people who need friends.

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Jordan Wins Mayor Position
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Lioneld Jordan, a city councilman who pledged to put trust back into city hall, was elected as Fayetteville's next mayor Tuesday.
Jordan faced incumbent Mayor Dan Coody, a two-term mayor, in a runoff election.
With all precincts counted, Jordan received 5,796 votes (57 percent). Coody trailed with 4,319 votes (43 percent).
"We've come so far," an excited Jordan said from his campaign party at Uncle Gaylord's Mountain Cafe, as more than 100 supporters wearing Jordan campaign Mardi Gras beads cheered in the background.
"We've been on this campaign trail for nearly a year, working every day. This was an election about being face to face with the voters and learning about their issues and concerns and now moving Fayetteville forward," Jordan said.
Coody praised the many hours of hard work accomplished by Jordan and his supporters.
"Lioneld and his crew did a good job, and my congratulations goes out to all of them," Coody said before joining a small group of supporters at Tim's Pizza on the downtown square.
"I was expecting this," he added.
But the outgoing mayor had nothing but praise and admiration for the job he's held the past eight years.
"Being mayor of Fayetteville was the second highest job in my life," Coody said. His first is his marriage, he added.
Coody noted he has no definite plans when he leaves City Hall in January, but may do some traveling and work on his home.
Jordan, 55, who has served on the council since 2001, campaigned on his history in Fayetteville and a populist mantra to "put people first" and work to grow the area's job creation and earning potential.
Jordan picked up multiple endorsements from fire and police union associations as well as the four other mayoral candidates in the general election.
Coody, 56, campaigned on calls for clean-tech economic development while continuing to grow city amenities such as biking trails, a regional park and other perks like a more robust arts and entertainment community.
Coody won his re-election for a second term hands-down in the 2004 general election with 12,683 votes (52 percent) to Doug Kuntz's 9,717 votes (40 percent). Cyrus Young earned 2,122 votes (9 percent).
In November 2000, Coody won his first term as mayor in a runoff election against incumbent Mayor Fred Hanna. He received 7,194 votes (60 percent) to Hanna's 4,855 votes (40 percent).
Jordan's campaign pulled in issues such as the need for a balanced budget, while still searching for cost-of-living raises for most city employees. He pledged to freeze the salaries of city workers earning $80,000 a year or more, which would include the mayor's $107,000 salary. Tuesday night Jordan noted he had no immediate plans to change staffing at City Hall, but added changes may be considered.
"A new administration wants the staff to reflect that administration," Jordan said.
Other issues pulled into the political orbit were the much talked about SouthPass regional park plan and the now-complete Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant, which finally was finished, albeit years behind schedule and $60 million above its original cost.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. Vote for Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Please click on image to Enlarge photo of Mary Dunham with her grandson, Brandon Odom, holding signs at South School and Martin Luther King Boulevard, formerly Sixth Street.
Time is short to vote. Don't miss the chance to help elect an honest, steadfast mayor with a heart big enough to value everyone.

Last day to vote for Lioneld Jordan for mayor

Please click on images to enlarge photos of Cyrus Young supporting Lioneld Jordan and alternative transportation and happy Jennifer Creel after voting early for Lioneld Jordan.

Voting for mayor at regular polling places ends at 7:30 p.m.

Please vote for Lioneld Jordan for mayor today at your regular polling place.

Northwest Arkansas Times reports that incumbent mayor's policy adviser resigns

On eve of runoff, Coody adviser takes Texas job
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One day before the runoff election, Susan Thomas, public information and policy adviser in the Fayetteville mayor’s office, submitted her letter of resignation effective Dec. 12.
She will become the executive director for the Texoma Council of Governments in Sherman, Texas, at the beginning of 2009. Thomas has served the city of Fayetteville since March of 2005.
In a statement Thomas released to the Northwest Arkansas Times, she said that her family lives in Anna, Texas, near Sherman and that was one of the primary reasons for the move.
“I have been contemplating a move to be closer to my family for some time,” Thomas said. “The opportunity with (Texoma Council of Governments ) came along and offered the potential for career advancement while also allowing me to be closer to my family.”
In her letter of resignation to Mayor Dan Coody, Thomas wrote it was a pleasure to serve the citizens and the “wonderful community” of Fayetteville.
Coody said in a phone interview with the Times that the move was a very good one, careerwise, for Thomas and that he wished her luck. He said that there had not been talk on what would happen to the position Thomas would leave open. The city is currently under a hiring freeze.
“We’ve got other issues on our plate right now, and this is not on our front burner,” Coody said.
While working for the city, Thomas was in charge of things like streamlining information and helping the City Council and administration clarify certain policies or issues. Thomas has also acted as a liaison to several local watershed groups.
In her new role, Thomas will oversee multiple departments as well as act as a liaison between people like county judges, mayors and school districts.
According to its Web site, the Texoma Council of Governments consists of representatives from the counties, cities and school districts in Texas ’ Cooke, Fannin and Grayson counties. It also has representatives from citizens, minority, and small and medium cities collectively.
Council President Bill Lindsay said the multijurisdictional entity is a regional planning facilitator. He said Thomas was chosen from 33 applicants.
“She stood out very well in almost every way,” he said. “She was sharp, forthright, farseeing.”
Thomas earned her undergraduate degree in 1996 and graduate degrees in 1998 and 2006 from the University of Arkansas.
“Collectively, I’ve lived in Fayetteville longer than I have any other place, and it has been a wonderful place to call home over the years,” she said in her statement. “You always hate to leave such a wonderful, beautiful place, but it is the right decision at the right time for me. (Texoma Council of Governments ) is an exciting, ambitious organization and presents an incredible opportunity for me both personally and professionally.”
Thomas is not the first member of the city’s administration to seek other employment. Gary Dumas, director of operations for the city, was among the top six candidates for a city business manager position in Janesville, Wis. In late April, Dumas applied for the open city administrator job in Fort Smith, where he was interviewed but not named as one of the top three finalists for the job.
At the end of May, Tim Conklin left his job as planning and development management director for Fayetteville and took a position in Springfield, Mo. Conklin said at the time that after 15 years in Fayetteville, he was ready for a new challenge. He is working in transportation planning for Ozarks Transportation Organization, the federally designated regional transportation planning organization that works with two counties and seven cities in Missouri.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lioneld Jordan video advertisement on local cable television

Aubrey Shepherd's fourth video supporting Lioneld Jordan

The video works on this version. Click on the play arrow to view and hear the fourth video short take on Cable Access Television Cox channel 18 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Another video supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor by Aubrey Shepherd

Video supporting Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click on control below each video to play.

Lioneld Jordan endorsed for mayor of Fayetteville by Steve Clark on Google video

Please click the "play" arrow to view video of Steve Clark endorsing Lioneld Jordan.

Trucks line up to haul dirt from Hill Place/Aspen Ridge site on November 24, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Robins plentiful on World Peace Wetland Prairie on cold, clear November 22, 2008. Robins and other migrating birds thick and frenzied on November 23

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of robins as sun sets on November 22. Their numbers increased on November 23 under an overcast sky with approaching precipitation. Many other species of birds such as cedar waxwings and blackbirds were also migrating through the area. Trees and understory vegetation filled with roosting birds at dusk. They were checking the hackberry trees for remaining berries and began sampling the berries of the China honeysuckle and other edibles. The first ground-covering snowfall with force remaining robins to clean off the remaining berries.

Early voting ends at 4:30 p.m. today at the Washington County Courthouse

City, County polling places for Tuesday runoff elections published in The Morning News

The Morning News

Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Washington County Precincts And Polling Places

By The Morning News
The following are precincts and polling locations for Tuesday’s runoff election in Washington County. Voters will be asked for photo identification at the polls. Voters unsure of their precincts should call the Washington County Clerk’s office, 444-1711. Polls will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

FAYETTEVILLE Runoff for mayor between Lioneld Jordan and Dan Coody

1, 15, 26, 35 — Clarion Inn

2, 20 — Covenant Church

3 — Sang Avenue Baptist Church

4, 5, 33, 36 — Central United Methodist Church

6, 30 — Trinity Fellowship Assembly of God

7, 29 — First United Presbyterian Church

8, 25 — Yvonne Richardson Center

9, 10, 16, 24 — Wiggins Memorial United Methodist Church

11, 42 — Baldwin Church of Christ

12 — Buckner Baptist Church

13, 34 — Trinity United Methodist Church

14, 22, 38, 41 — Dwelling Place

17, 18, 32 — Sequoyah United Methodist Church

19 — St. John’s Lutheran Church

21 — First Assembly of God Church

23, 27, 31, 37, 40, 43 — Mount Comfort Church of Christ

28, 39 — Northeast Southern Baptist Church


Greenland City — Community building


1, 9, 20 — First United Methodist Church

2 — John Powell Senior Center

3, 15, 23, 25 — Rodeo Community Center

4 — First Baptist Church

5, 16 — Youth Center at Murphy Park

6, 18 — Elmdale Baptist Church

7, 14 — Smith Elementary

8 — Bethel Heights Community Center in Benton County

10, 19 — Temple Baptist Church

11, 21, 22 — St. Joseph’s Catholic Church

12, 24 — First Church of the Nazarene

13, 17 — Turner Street Baptist Church

David Orr says vote for Lioneld Jordan

Jordan listens, learns
Lioneld Jordan has earned the respect of thousands of Fayetteville citizens over the years by listening to, learning from and working with people at the neighborhood level to get things done. He’s made some mistakes, as everyone has, but Lioneld has impressed me greatly that he’s been willing to admit to and accept responsibility for those errors. But more importantly, he’s been right most of the time ! I was disappointed to see the recent report that our incumbent mayor accused Lioneld of planning to unionize city workers. Dan [Coody ] should know that the mayor cannot do this — under federal law. That process (and right ) is vested in the rank-and-file city staff. The mayor is management and can neither organize nor vote for or against unionization. I’m surprised our current mayor has such a fundamental misunderstanding of our nation’s labor laws. Lioneld Jordan knows that the city staff, our police and firefighters need our support; they certainly shouldn’t be used as political footballs to be kicked around in the heat of this important election. Please join me in supporting and voting for Lioneld Jordan. Lioneld understands better the needs and concerns of average, working people in our town. He will make an effective mayor for Fayetteville.

David Orr


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Louise Mann says support Lioneld Jordan to support our police and firefighters

Please click on images to ENLARGE photos of Louise Mann supporting Lioneld Jordan.

I'm sure we all want to show support for our fire and police, the people who risk their lives for us, daily.

They have now stood up against the current mayor. The Fire and Police have come together and endorsed Lioneld Jordan for mayor.

Why would they do that, if they did not feel very strongly there was a need for change? This is an endorsement that comes from the guys in the trenches. They have worked with both candidates.

Please think about this next question? Would you have the courage to come out and openly endorse against your boss? Have you ever taken such a courageous stand? It's not a small thing to do. Imagine the consequences.

Both Walt Eilers and Steve Clark have endorsed Lioneld. The Green groups have endorsed Lioneld. And the Unions have endorsed Lioneld.
These people/groups did not make their endorsements lightly. People are speaking out because they know, from firsthand experience, what kind of leadership would be good for Fayetteville.

I think most of us would agree that our fire and police have been darn good to us over the years.

Let's support our Fire and Police Depts. and give them the leader they have requested, Lioneld Jordan!

Verbesina virginica attracts pollinators in summer, offers ice display in winter

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Verbesina virginica on November 22, 2008.

Verbesina virginica attracts pollinators in summer, offers ice display in winter

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Verbesina virginica at World Peace Wetland Prairie on November 22, 2008. The ice forms around the base of the plant on every clear, night when the temperature is well below the freezing mark.

Marsha Melnichak remembered in The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Reporter remembered for her dedication
Posted on Saturday, November 22, 2008
FAYETTEVILLE — Northwest Arkansas Times reporter Marsha Melnichak was hardworking, diligent, accurate and fair, those that knew her said Friday.

Melnichak, 57, died Thursday night at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville from complications from pancreatic cancer. She was diagnosed Oct. 13.
Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of Marsha Melnichak (right) and friends visiting the Fayetteville Farmer's Market on October 25, 2008.

In April 2005, Melnichak moved to Fayetteville to become a city government reporter for the Times. During her time in Fayetteville, she earned the respect of those she covered.

“Marsha set a new standard for journalism in Fayetteville,” said Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody. “She was thorough, accurate and fair.”

Coody made his respect for Melnichak’s work public with a proclamation he made before the Nov. 6 City Council meeting, declaring the day as “Marsha Melnichak Day.”

At that same meeting, the City Council passed a resolution honoring Melnichak’s work.

“She worked long, long hours and made every effort to be fair. I have received calls from her to make sure she got it right,” Alderman Nancy Allen said. “It seems to me that ‘being fair’ is about the highest compliment you can give a reporter.”

Melnichak’s son, Michael Melnichak, described his mother as “uncorruptable.” She had a lot of respect for the position she held, he said.

“It wasn’t just a job to her. She saw it as a responsibility,” he said. “She also knew the importance of being a good observer.”

All these qualities helped her flourish, partner Sue Morris said.

“The Times was the pinnacle of her career,” Morris said. “She really thrived in Fayetteville.”

Morris said that even in Melnichak’s last days at the hospital, she was talking about having to get the election tally.

“She thought something was wrong with the ballots,” Morris said.

Melnichak was dedicated in all her reporting, up to the end, her editor said.

“I will remember Marsha for her strong work ethic, for her devotion to doing everything she could to deepen her understanding of what she was writing about, and for her deeply held love for reporting,” said Greg Harton, executive editor of the Times. “We’re proud of her work here, proud she was a part of our newsroom, and so sad to lose her as a friend and colleague.”

Fayetteville was just the last stop in Melnichak’s 34-year journalism career.

Friend and colleague Joanne Fox went to high school with Melnichak in Sioux City, Iowa.

“It was Marsha who encouraged me to pursue journalism as a career,” said Fox, a Sioux City Journal reporter. “When I had to declare a major in college, I decided to take her advice. It proved to be the most gratifying choice I could have made, because it not only enhanced our friendship, it enabled us to share our professional lives.”

Melnichak’s first job as a reporter was for the Atlantic (Iowa ) News Telegraph in 1974. She held that position until 1979, when she was named editor at the Belle Plaine (Iowa ) Union.

From 1986-92, she worked for Teikyo-Westmar University in Le Mars, Iowa, as the director of communications. In 1994, she was named editor at the North Sioux City (S. D. ) Times and held that position until 1996.

From 1999 to 2005, she worked at the Le Mars Daily Sentinel as editor, news editor, reporter and photographer.

Publisher Tom Stangl said he remembers the day he hired Marsha.

“She came in and said, ‘Your headlines are wrong, your leads are bad, and your layout is terrible.’ I asked her if she could help us fix this, and she said yes,” he said. “She was very passionate about her work, very idealistic.”

Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Nancy Allen says Lioneld Jordan is Fayetteville's best bet

Hope you don't mind an endorsement and plug from me for the runoff mayoral race.
I have never done this before, but I have never been on the City Council before and will not be again. So, I feel I have a "one time" unique perspective.
My Council seat is beside Dan Coody's. Lioneld Jordan is the vice mayor. So when the Mayor is out of town, I sit beside Lioneld.
The first time that occurred, Lioneld pulled a crinkled dollar bill out of his pocket and said to me, "The buck stops here."
Mayor Coody has never done the same, literally or symbolically.
I have heard Lioneld say, "I made a mistake."
I have never heard that from the Mayor. If there is a problem, Dan Coody blames the Council.
I have never heard Lioneld be rude to others on the Council.
Our mayor has been condescending and patronizing when an alderman asks a question which a constituent wanted answered.
For example, the $60 million plus sewer overrun or the hotel that became a hole in the ground.
Lioneld has never missed a Council meeting and has monthly Ward meetings to keep in touch with people in his Ward.
The Mayor was in France last year during budget time.
Lioneld conducted the budget meetings. Working together with the Council, Lioneld produced a balanced budget.
Lioneld Jordan cares about ALL the people of our city. I have never known a more pure public servant. Lioneld is a good listener. He will work from daylight to dark for us. He will work to create a better economic base so that our people have decent paying jobs. Lioneld is a fine and ethical man with a pure heart. I hope you will join me in voting for my friend, Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville on November 25th. He has experience you can trust.
Best regards,

Friday, November 21, 2008

Aubrey Shepherd supports Lioneld Jordan in the Nov. 20, 2008, Fayetteville Free Weekly

Lioneld Jordan offers fair and open government
In the general election, Lioneld Jordan got votes from people from all political parties. Independence of thought and freedom from prejudice are two important qualities people admire about Lioneld Jordan.
Some said they follow city-government meetings on Government Channel and respect Lioneld for his work in eight years of City Council, committee and ward meetings.
Several said his work for neighborhoods made them trust him more than any other official.
Others said they met Lioneld years ago and respected his integrity in private life. Some said they had worked with him and recognized his consistently good judgment and kindness as he rose to a supervisory management position.
Some city workers have said privately that after years of interaction with Lioneld they felt more comfortable working with him than with any other elected official.
People who care about the fertile soil, clean air and water, trees, tall-grass prairie, wildlife, streams and all things living in Fayetteville said they voted for Lionel because of his consistent support of trails and parks and especially his voting to protect Wilson Spring and to create World Peace Wetland Prairie.
Some people said they voted for Jordan because of his support of well-planned developments and because he invites developers to his Ward Four meetings to interact with constituents BEFORE developers commit to projects with flaws easily recognized by people who live near the projects.
Most important is that many long-time Fayetteville residents recognize that Lioneld is dedicated to improving life for everyone in our city, regardless of economic status. He is a working man who reads constantly, listens to everyone and learns every day.
Early voting begins November 18 at the Washington County Courthouse. The county Website lists polling places for runoff election day, November 25.
Please vote to elect Lioneld Jordan mayor of Fayetteville.
For more letters supporting Lioneld Jordan, please see the November 20, 2008, Fayetteville Free Weekly.
Aubrey James Shepherd

Fayetteville, Arkansas

UA student TV group produces debate between Jordan and Coody. Replay tonight on Channel 14

UA TV to rebroadcast its mayoral debate at 10 p.m. or maybe later. If you want to see the "bloodbath debate" please turn to Cox Cable 14 and hang on.

Marsha Melnichak's passing leaves an empty spot in the hearts of Fayetteville residents

Marsha Melnichak died in her sleep Thursday night November 20, 2008, or early this morning, at Washington Regional Hospital in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I was told.
Having visited her Wednesday night at the hospital, I knew her time was short. During the meeting of the Telecommunication Board on Tuesday night, several people spoke off camera of their sadness that she would likely never again attend such meetings and report on them with her clear sense of reality and highly developed ability to sort through the chaff and find the significant points of such city meetings. She earned universal respect from city workers, public officials and area residents who read her news stories.
Few people reach Marsha's high level of competence and integrity in reporting the news.
She covered the beginning of the mayoral campaign well, and it was clear in brief conversations in the weeks since she found herself unable to work that one of her concerns was not being able to continue her work and be on hand next Tuesday to report on the final chapter.
Maybe she realized that she would not be with us by this time. Most of us did not.
Her absence should be a reminder that, whatever goals we set, pursuing them with honesty, good humor and grace is as important as the result.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Northwest Arkansas Times on Clark, other candidates' endorsement of Lioneld Jordan

I suppose Sami must have an "official" news conference for Lioneld. She has been wearing Lioneld buttons since the general election and supporting him. 
Clark urges voters to support Jordan
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008

One more of the former Fayetteville mayoral candidates has endorsed Ward 4 Alderman Lioneld Jordan.
Steve Clark announced at a press conference at the Fayetteville Town Center that after a few weeks of listening to candidates and attending mayoral forums, he felt Jordan would be the best leader for the city.
Clark said after Nov. 4, when Jordan and incumbent Mayor Dan Coody were headed to a runoff election, he considered the event a whole new election, different from the one he participated in for several months. Clark said after reading news articles and watching debates, he believed any negative talk of Jordan being against trails, the arts, sustainability or wanting to unionize the city “just wasn’t true.
“Lioneld Jordan should be our next mayor,” Clark said. “He’s forthright, honorable and his word is always his bond. I’m voting for him, and I hope the voters will support me and do the same.”
Jordan said he was happy to receive Clark’s support and he felt while campaigning for the general election he became friends with a lot of the other candidates.
“At the end of the day we finished up as friends,” Jordan said. “That’s what makes getting an endorsement from a man like (Clark) so important. ”
Furthermore, Jordan said that during his campaign Clark introduced some pretty good ideas for the city, ideas Jordan said he planned to steal.
In an interview with the Northwest Arkansas Times after the press conference, Coody stated that he was not surprised at all with Clark’s endorsement of Jordan. He said it would not change anything about his campaign to hold on to his seat.
“First, I think that (Clark’s) supporters are pretty intelligent folks, and I think they’ll think for themselves,” Coody said. "The only surprise was that it took this long. Had any (of the former mayoral candidates) endorsed me, I’d be very surprised.”
Coody added that in the end, he felt like voters would be choosing which direction they wanted Fayetteville to go. He said that he and Jordan have two very different views on how to run the city and that voters will have a chance Tuesday to declare which way they prefer.
On Nov. 8 Jordan formally received the support of Walt Eilers and Adam Fire Cat, two former candidates.
Eilers listed Jordan’s people skills and experience as reasons why voters should choose him for Fayetteville mayor. He added that Jordan’s support for dog parks, economic development and recycling are in line with his own goals for the city.
Fire Cat said that Jordan’s pledge to work toward a balanced city budget was the main reason he urged his supporters to choose the alderman over the incumbent.
Former candidate Sami Sutton has yet to make an official endorsement of either Coody or Jordan.
Early voting for the runoff began Monday at the Washington County Courthouse, and election day for the runoff is Tuesday.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Lioneld Jordan offers fair and open government

Lioneld Jordan offers fair and open government
In the general election, Lioneld Jordan got votes from people from all political parties. Independence of thought and freedom from prejudice are two important qualities people admire about Lioneld Jordan.
Some said they follow city-government meetings on Government Channel and respect Lioneld for his work in eight years of City Council, committee and ward meetings.
Several said his work for neighborhoods made them trust him more than any other official.
Others said they met Lioneld years ago and respected his integrity in private life. Some said they had worked with him and recognized his consistently good judgment and kindness as he rose to a supervisory management position.
Some city workers have said privately that after years of interaction with Lioneld they felt more comfortable working with him than with any other elected official.
People who care about the fertile soil, clean air and water, trees, tall-grass prairie, wildlife, streams and all things living in Fayetteville said they voted for Lionel because of his consistent support of trails and parks and especially his voting to protect Wilson Spring and to create World Peace Wetland Prairie.
Some people said they voted for Jordan because of his support of well-planned developments and because he invites developers to his Ward Four meetings to interact with constituents BEFORE developers commit to projects with flaws easily recognized by people who live near the projects.
Most important is that many long-time Fayetteville residents recognize that Lioneld is dedicated to improving life for everyone in our city, regardless of economic status. He is a working man who reads constantly, listens to everyone and learns every day.
Early voting began November 18 at the Washington County Courthouse. The county Web site is supposed to list polling places for runoff election day, November 25.
Please vote to elect Lioneld Jordan mayor of Fayetteville.
Aubrey James Shepherd
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Please see page 6 of today's Fayetteville Free Weekly for more letters about Lioneld Jordan.

Chamber mayoral debate on CAT 18 of Cox Cable today and Friday

Today-12:45pm, 2:45pm, 6pm, 8pm

Tomorrow-2:30p, 3:45pm

Steve Clark's endorsement of Lioneld Jordan on Google video

Please click the "play" arrow to view video of Steve Clark endorsing Lioneld Jordan.

The Morning News' Skip Descant reports on Steve Clark's endorsement of Lioneld Jordan

Please click on image to ENLARGE photo of current vice mayor Lioneld Jordan, one-time mayor Marion Orton and one-time mayoral candidate Paula Marinoni.

Please click on images to enlarge photos of real men (and real women) who support Lioneld Jordan for mayor.

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Clark Endorses Jordan
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- Steve Clark, who was part of the six-person contest to be Fayetteville's next mayor, endorsed Lioneld Jordan for the position Wednesday.
Jordan, a city councilman, placed second in the Fayetteville mayor's race. He is facing incumbent Mayor Dan Coody in Tuesday's runoff.
"I took the time to look at all those issues, examine each one of them individually," said Clark who came in third and received 21 percent of the vote. He spoke before a cheering crowd of Jordan supporters at the Fayetteville Town Center.
"I listened to my friend, Lioneld Jordan, the councilman, listened to my friend, Dan Coody, the mayor -- heard what they said, heard what they believe ... Lioneld Jordan believes in having a city where everyone voices their thoughts," Clark said.
He went on to list the many issues that have cropped up in this lengthy campaign. Clark said he'd heard comments Jordan was not dedicated to key concerns such as job growth, parks, protecting the environment and other areas.
"I've heard, well, Lioneld Jordan -- Councilman Jordan -- will create a negative atmosphere. That's just not true," Clark told the crowd, which included members of the fire and police departments' associations. Those groups also endorsed Jordan.
"To get an endorsement from someone like Mr. Clark is very important," Jordan said, who went on to praise Clark's thoughts around growing Fayetteville's role in a global economy.
"I remember he used to say -- over and over again -- 'Fayetteville is not a sleepy little town in Northwest Arkansas anymore, it has global presence,' and he's right," Jordan told the crowd.
Three other candidates from the mayor's race -- Adam Fire Cat, Walt Eilers and Sami Sutton -- have also thrown their support behind Jordan.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Steve Clark endorses Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas

Please click image to enlarge view of Steve Clark as he announces his support for Lioneld Jordan and Alderman Jordan applauding.
Former Arkansas Attorney General Clark finished third in the race for mayor in a six-person field of candidates during the general election. Jordan is in a runoff with the incumbent mayor for the highest office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Early voting has begun at the Washington County Courthouse and is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays. Monday will be the final day to vote early at the courthouse and runoff election day is Tuesday, November 25 at regular polling places in Fayetteville.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette endorses Lioneld Jordan in the runoff for mayor of Fayetteville, Arkansas

EDITORIALS : Still for Lioneld Jordan
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Northwest Edition
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

conscientious alderman, is in a run-off for
mayor of Fayetteville. He’s trying to unseat Dan Coody, the two-term incumbent who’s seeking a third term. Mr. Jordan was our choice in the general election earlier this month. He remains our choice in Tuesday’s run-off.
Lioneld Jordan has much to recommend him. In his eight years as alderman, he’s never missed a city council meeting. He’s held monthly meetings in his ward to stay in touch with those who elected him to the city council. Known for his open approach, he listens to all. Even when he disagrees, he’s straightforward enough to explain why. He takes the time to master the difficult issues that come before a city council, and he’s been willing to admit he was wrong when he’s decided to change his mind.
He’s in a tough runoff. His opponent, Mayor Coody, has been a fixture in Fayetteville politics for many years, long predating his first election as mayor in 2000. And the mayor has got lots of supporters to show for it. But his opponent in this runoff has put together a notable coalition in his campaign to become Fayetteville’s next mayor. Mr. Jordan has won the endorsements of Fayetteville’s police officers and firefighters, as well as that of the Sierra Club and the local Green Party. In addition, three other candidates for mayor in the general election have now offered their support to him.
Mayor Coody has had his share of difficulties over the years. He bears ultimate responsibility for 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 rescued with an increase in the city sales tax. He pushed hard for putting up a big hotelplus-condo at the site of the old Mountain Inn. But it has yet to materialize. Instead, the city has gotten a parking lot on the site.
The mayor has also disappointed with his heavy-handed take-over of the city’s Government Channel, which resulted in the cancellation of its public opinion forums. Those forums had been a popular way to provide non-partisan information about issues of interest to anyone who lives in Fayetteville.
Nobody expects Lioneld Jordan to do everything right if he’s elected mayor. But the city can be confident he’ll approach city government with a willingness to hear all sides and take all opinions into account before making the decision he believes is best for Fayetteville. He’s shown commendable openness in his years as an alderman. Based on his record, voters can expect the same from him as mayor. Which is why we’re endorsing him—again.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Six fire departments put out fire started by neighbor's brush burning

Assistant fire marshal says fire legal because it was set to burn only brush. Was it still legal when it crossed a property line and started destroying vehicles and buildings?
Our state, county and local governments need to set some stronger rules on open burning and educate the public about the danger. Obviously, the wind was blowing or the fire would not have spread.
If a neighbor started firing a gun toward your property the danger might be less. Or least you could shoot back. This kind of carelessness happens far too often.

Brush fire rages out of control, burns buildings
BY KATE WARD Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Firefighters from six area agencies battled a brush fire that consumed multiple buildings in Fayetteville on Tuesday evening.
The blaze was reported at 14088 Highland Church Road, located off Goose Creek Road in western Fayetteville, at about 5: 30 p. m.
“ An older gentleman was burning brush and the fire got out of control, ” said Laurie Roy, assistant fire marshal for the Washington County Fire Marshal’s Office. “ He tried to put it out with a shovel, but the fire spread right up the hill and right into the neighbor’s yard. ”
Roy said the blaze spread uphill and affected two outbuildings. One of the structures was a total loss, she said, while the other sustained radiant heat damage. Also damaged during the fire were two vehicles — a pickup truck and a motor home. Both sustained heat damage. No injuries were reported during the fire.
Roy said the person who started the fire, Frankie Andrews, wasn’t cited.
“ It wasn’t illegal because he was just burning brush, ” she said. “ As far as restitution, I’m not sure what he’ll be responsible for. I know the property owner had insurance. ”
The owner of the damaged property was listed as Donnie Morgan.
Firefighters reportedly had the blaze under control at about 6: 30 p. m. and cleared the scene by about 7: 30 p. m.
Copyright © 2001-2008 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CAT 18 showing Monday night debate at this moment. Was not on schedule, of course

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of laptop view of video being recorded during the November 17, 2008, debate between Dan Coody and Lioneld Jordan sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce at the UA Continuing Education Center.ñ

No matter how you spin Coody's catch phrases, they aren't true

Please click on images to ENLARGE.
Coody's idea of smart growth is to encourage massive tree removal and urban sprawl.

Coody's idea of proven results = Hotel Hole on College Avenue and Aspen Ridge on Sixth Street/Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Please click on image to ENLARGE.
Coody's Idea of proven leadership is down the primrose path of wasteful spending.

Vote for Lioneld Jordan TODAY at the courthouse!

Coody doesn't want residents to mention problems developments will cause or bring up problems later

 The differences between Lioneld Jordan and Dan Coody are obvious when the subject of proposed developments comes up in debate.
Coody lets developers speak for hours about the "good things" about their projects but tries to cut off discussion of potential problems.
Coody wants the council and the public to accept all the developers' claims and tolerate whatever goes wrong.
Lioneld Jordan listens to both sides and tries to work out the problems before site-grading begins. Even with all the bare ground allowing mud to flow to our streams already and flooding problems increasing annually as poorly planned developments remove trees and other vegetation from steep hills and the moist-soil prairie land is dredged and filled, Coody wants to push through another big project southwest of Fayettevville although the city doesn't have enough inspectors to check the progress of ongoing projects.
Coody calls people who want the work done right and the state and federal water-quality rules followed extremists. What is extreme about trying to do the right thing?

Back and forth : Jordan denies claims he is a ‘union man first’
BY DUSTIN TRACY Northwest Arkansas Times
Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

At a mayoral debate Monday, Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody claimed that his rival, Alderman Lioneld Jordan, said at a City Council meeting that if Jordan had the chance he’d “ unionize this city so fast your head would spin. ” Coody added that he once asked Jordan to support him on an issue Coody planned to veto and Jordan said he planned to check with the union before voting on the issue, stating he was a “ union man first. ”
Jordan adamantly denied both allegations, stating that if either statement was said by him, it was done as a joke. He added that he had no plans to unionize any city department.
“ If I did want to (unionize the city ) it would have to pass the City Council, ” Jordan said. He added that any rumors that he was offering cost-of-living adjustments in return for the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Fayetteville Fire Fighters Association are just not true. He said if elected he’d fight for costof-living adjustments for all employees.
Coody also gave his view on cost-of-living adjustments for uniformed personnel. He said that Fayetteville’s police officers were among the top paid in the region and also received solid benefits packages. He added that officers would receive raises this year, just like all city employees, just not cost-of-living adjustments.
“ There’s no reason to lay off divisions of people to give (cost-of-living adjustments ), ” he said.
This exchange was one of only a few punches pulled at the debate, when the Fayetteville mayoral candidates met for the second time in seven days to debate the issues they would face if elected.
The event, sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, gave the candidates a different way to discuss the issues than they’ve experienced in past forums. Coody and Jordan got to make their statements and then face criticism and rebuttals from each other.
Both candidates spoke to how they would encourage economic development in the city. The issue of streamlining the planning process for developers was brought up. Coody stated that he planned on working with the Planning Division to create a simplified process for developers that want to bring unique, cuttingedge projects to Fayetteville. He feels that with the city’s current setup, developers are discouraged to simply build the “ same old stuff” because they’re afraid to bring a creative project in front of the City Council.
“ It goes to council, and a couple people complain, then the council throws a monkey wrench into the works, ” Coody said.
He added that planning staff tell developers that if they have a project going into Ward 4, Jordan’s ward for the past eight years, they should be prepared to add a couple months to their project because that’s how long it will get dragged out by Jordan trying to please everyone. He said that’s not the case for the other wards.
Jordan said he just tries to bring developers and the people together on the front end of a project so they can work out a project that’s in everyone’s favor. That’s what he’s done in Ward 4 by having ward meetings with developers over the past eight years.
“ The more you do up front, the less problems you have on the back end (of the project ), ” he said.
A little predictability and uniformity for developers throughout the approval process is what Jordan wants. He said he’d issue pamphlets to developers when they first apply for a project. The pamphlets would explain everything involved in the process and tell the developers the locations of the different city divisions and how long each step could take.
Each of them had a different method for creating an economic strategic development plan within the city. Coody said the city brought in economic consultants Eva Klein & Associates a month ago to help city officials and concerned citizens develop such a plan. The city partnered with the University of Arkansas on that workshop.
“ If we adopt it and stick to it, we will achieve the goal of a vibrant economy, ” Coody said.
Jordan introduced his 90-day plan. He gave himself three months, upon election, to bring UA, business, community and city leaders together to create an economic strategic development plan.
Coody said the 90-day plan was unrealistic. Jordan said all it would take was attitude and dedication.
The construction process of the city’s wastewater system improvement project came up at the debate. Jordan stated that the project was mismanaged because the $ 186. 5 million project was about $ 60 million over budget and it took longer than expected to complete. He said the Water and Sewer Committee, which Jordan served on at the time, was never informed that the plant would cost more.
“ The biggest mistake that I made was trusting the people in charge of (the wastewater system improvement project ), ” Jordan said.
Coody defended himself stating that he was lied to by consultants and as soon as he found out about the budget overrun, he told the committee and took responsibility for the situation. He said the city’s changed the way it handles such projects now by not putting outside consultants in charge of major projects. He said the city’s current street bond project is run that way, and all but two of its projects were completed under budget and early.
Jordan said he doesn’t believe that it took very long for Coody to find out about the wastewater system improvement project problems and he doesn’t believe the consultants are completely to blame.
“ Maybe the chief executive officer put in charge of one of the city’s largest projects simply fell asleep at the wheel, ” Jordan said.
Jordan and Coody both said they did not plan on raising city property taxes to pre-empt a request by the Fayetteville School District for a millage increase to pay for a new high school.
In regard to creating a balanced budget, Jordan stated that he would do so not by dipping into the city’s reserve funds like Coody suggested with the 2009 budget, but by managing the taxpayers ’ money.
“ We need to squeeze the dollar as tight as we can before we levy anymore taxes on people, ” Jordan said.
Coody said the council balanced the budget by cutting out four miles from the road overlay funds, which he felt was a bad decision. He said the city can’t afford to lose funding for its streets while it looks to pay for aesthetic things.
“ We say we want a balanced budget but then we open up the checkbook and expend for things we say we don’t want, ” Coody said.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Fraternal Order of Police officials explain why the police officers support Lioneld Jordan for mayor of Fayetteville

The men and women of the Fraternal Order of Police are asking for your support of Lioneld Jordan for Mayor of Fayetteville. Lioneld is a man of true integrity and has gained the full trust and respect of the FOP and Fire Fighters Association.

This has been a long hard-fought campaign and we are asking that you cast one more vote for Lioneld Jordan.

Early Voting starts Tuesday 11-18-08 from 8am - 430pm at the Courthouse and goes through next Monday (no Saturday early voting). The final day to vote will be Tuesday 11-25-08 from 730-730 at your local polling place.
If any of you or your members have any questions please call us at 225-2367.
Thanks !

Open Letter from the Fayetteville Fraternal Order of Police asking for your
Support of Lioneld Jordan for Mayor of Fayetteville
After hosting interviews of each mayoral candidate the FOP has endorsed 8 year council member Lioneld Jordan for Mayor. The Fayetteville Fire Fighter’s Association, Sierra Club, Green Party of Washington County, AFSCME, and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette have also endorsed him. Mayoral candidates Walt Eilers, Adam Fire Cat, and Sami Sutton have also endorsed him.
There are three main reasons why we support Lioneld Jordan:
He is Fiscally Responsible

• In 2007 Jordan opposed property tax increase while current Mayor endorsed it.
• In 2007 Jordan, as Vice Mayor, led the city through the Budget Process and the city council passed a balanced budget while our current Mayor was out of town.
• In 2008, Jordan along with others requested the current Mayor present a balanced budget and the Mayor suggested going into the reserve fund.
• Current Mayor has never presented a budget without factoring in reserves or raising taxes.
• For 2009, the current Mayor has suggested he would ask for a property tax increase.
• Jordan supported the TIF District (Mountain Inn Project) but has since apologized for making this mistake and stated the city officials and developers sold them a bill of goods, whereas the Mayor still believes it was a great idea. Jordan is someone who is not afraid to say he screwed up.
• Jordan has also opposed the South Pass Development - $26 million dollar project involving a regional park at Cato Springs and 540.

He believes in Citizen Participation in Local Government

• Has hosted over 100 Ward meetings for city residents.
• Will hold Town Hall meetings in each Ward when elected.
• Has never missed a City Council meeting in 8 years on the Council.
• Has never missed a Vote on the Council.
• Fought for Equal Pay for Women Faculty at U of A.
• Fought for observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.
• Fought for a Polling Booth for U of A Students.
• Led the effort to rename city street, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
• Elected by his Peers on the Council to position of Vice-Mayor
• Supporter of Cultural Arts and Downtown Fayetteville
• 100% Voting Record for Trails and Natural Areas
• Supports a Diversity Office Position within City Hall
• Long-time supervisor at U of A – knows the campus and the people.
• 30+ year resident of Fayetteville and knows the history of our city.

He is Business Minded:
• Believes in Sustainability and the Green Initiative (Endorsed by Sierra Club and Green Party).
• Will focus on recruitment of Green businesses and develop incentives for local and new businesses and will encourage partnerships between the two.
• Believes the Arts need to be a huge factor because a healthy economic community always has strong Arts.
• Supports to continue recruiting global companies as well as national ones.
• Will develop an economic policy for the city of Fayetteville.
• Jordan is open minded and willing to sit down and look at any opportunity with an unbiased view.

The Fraternal Order of Police believes Lioneld Jordan is a man that the city can trust. We have known him for his eight years on the council and have always found him to be a man of integrity and honest as the day is long. He has gained our support and we ask for your support.

Early Voting starts Tuesday November 18th from 8am-430pm at the Washington County Courthouse and goes through Monday November 24th. Last day to vote is Tuesday November 25th at your local polling location.

If you have any question please give us a call at 225-2FOP (225-2367).

Who is the FOP:

The Fayetteville Fraternal Order of Police is a fraternal organization of off duty police officers who work to assist the community and its officers. Our organization consists of active law enforcement officers.

The largest program we are involved in is our annual “Shop with a Cop” program. Last year we took over 125, K-5 students on a shopping trip at Wal-Mart. We provided each child with $100 and they chose approximately $80 worth of clothes and the remaining money is spent on a toy or two. We raise money through several fundraisers throughout the year. This is just one example of our involvement in the community. In case you were not aware the names of the children are provided to us by school counselors.


The Men and Women of the Fayetteville Fraternal Order of Police

Jordan, Coody debate on November 17, 2008

Please click on image to ENLARGE view of laptop view of video being recorded during the November 17, 2008, debate between Dan Coody and Lioneld Jordan sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce at the UA Continuing Education Center.ñ

The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas

Mayoral Candidates Trade Quips
By Skip Descant
FAYETTEVILLE -- If elected, Lioneld Jordan aims to have an economic development plan within 90 days of taking office as Fayetteville's next mayor.
"After eight years we still do not have an economic development plan for this city. And that needs to change," Jordan told a nearly packed auditorium Monday night during a mayoral debate between Jordan -- a council member -- and incumbent Mayor Dan Coody. The debate was sponsored by the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.
The discussion followed eight topics as diverse as growing collegiality on the council to how to mange building impact fees to how to "Keep Fayetteville Funky."
Coody, in his own calm style, spent much of his time explaining various aspects of the last eight years and the vision he holds for the future.
"We've worked to rebuild infrastructure. We're rebuilding the very basics on what you can build economic development," Coody said.
Jordan, who at times sliced the air with his hand to get his point across, reiterated many past segments of his stump speech, such as growing job training and being a better manager of the public's money.
"I don't plan on bringing a millage increase in 2009," Jordan said. "If I'm elected mayor of this city, we will have a balanced budget."
Coody also did not propose a millage increase, but his proposed budget dips into the city's reserve funds.
But when the evening's final question came up -- how to fund cost of living raises for city staff -- Jordan, a union member, reiterated that he does not plan to unionize the city work force.
"If I wanted to unionize this city, I've had eight years, and I never did it," he told the room flatly.
The issue was raised at the last debate and Coody stoked that fire a little further when he recalled a prior conversation he says he'd had with Jordan.
"He (Jordan) did say that if he had the chance, that he would unionize this city so fast it would make my head spin," Coody said.
Jordan denied the accusation, adding that if he did say something to that effect, it was an off-the-cuff joke.
"Let me tell you, I didn't come to unionize this city," Jordan said, and added, any such move would require City Council approval.
But the two men also quipped back and forth around economic development, even though both want to grow green-tech jobs. But Jordan wants to see less dragging of feet and fewer "outside consultants" brought in.
"I'm ready to hear from the business community of this city," Jordan said, subtly hinting at one the main themes of his campaign -- communication.
"And set down and hammer out an economic plan that will protect the businesses that we have and move this city forward," he added. Though Jordan did not offer any specifics to what that plan might include.
"This city needs to move forward economically, and we have not had a plan in eight years," Jordan continued.
"Sounds easy doesn't it?" said Coody, who then went on to call this approach "unrealistic."
"It is not 'unrealistic,'" Jordan said. "It takes attitude."
Coody then embarked on a his own dossier of his work with the Fayetteville Economic Development Council and the recent economic development strategy planning session the city held jointly with the university by bringing in Eve Klein and Associates, an economic development consulting firm.
And it would be almost impossible in this election to not touch on the Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant, which upon completion, was three years behind schedule and ended up costing some $60 million more than planned. Coody has half-heartedly taken the blame for the debacle, but adds that part of the problem was his office not having all the information regarding how wrongly the project was heading.
"If there's going to be a project going out of whack, I'm going to know about it and the people will know about it," Jordan said. "The buck always stops at the mayor's office, and when I'm mayor, the buck will stop with me."
"The reason the buck stops with me, is because everybody gets to pass it," Coody said.