Monday, November 5, 2012

Mayor Lioneld Jordan praised for great leadership: Council members agree

Mayor Lioneld Jordan is the greatest leader Fayetteville has had, at least in my 39 years here. He’s honest, straight-forward, respectful, hard-working, and inclusive. 

Yet the NWA Times editorial board surprisingly chose to endorse Lioneld’s opponent, though their reasoning appears cloudy and conflicted. 

Quoting: "Lioneld Jordan deserves a lot of respect for maintaining city government during crises that included a dramatic economic slump and a crippling ice storm. His affable personality and focus on inclusion of citizens and city staff deserve high praise. When it comes to making people feel good, Jordan gets high marks. Jordan is visible at practically any gathering of any size in town, where he can passionately proclaim “I love this city.” And it’s clear that he means it." 

"Everybody likes Lioneld Jordan, including us." 

In contrast: "We wish Coody had the relationship skills of Jordan. He says he's mellowed a bit, and having had four years to ponder his leadership style, will work differently this time. We hope that's true." "His biggest challenge with some voters is convincing them he can be believed."

I'm befuddled. 

To paraphrase: Lioneld is genuinely nice. He's managed the city well through multiple record-breaking crises. He is inclusive and cares what citizens and city employees feel and think. He makes people feel good about themselves and our city. He’s supportive of causes and concerns important to a wide range of citizens. He’s not posturing --he loves this city!

Coody says he'll be nicer now, but he garnered resentment amongst city employees and citizens in his terms. His relationship with fellow elected officials on the Council was contentious. He's gonna have an uphill climb convincing those who remember that he’s veered more towards honesty and candor and respectfulness than he demonstrated before.

No mention of the stark differences in management of taxpayer dollars. No kudos to Lioneld for getting us through the recession without cutting services or layoffs of city employees and no tax increases. No credit to Lioneld for presenting the first balanced budget in many moons to the Council. 

No reference to Coody’s >$60 million dollar cost overrun on the sewer treatment plant, or the resulting sales tax increase to cover that debacle. No reminders of the hole in the ground with the giant crane or taxpayers in the TIF district who’ll be paying for that spectacular failure for many years. Or failed developments, Ruskin Heights and SouthPass for example, that Mr. Coody championed and from which several of his largest campaign contributors in 2008 would have been enriched greatly.

I support Lioneld Jordan's re-election with certainty he’s the superior choice for Fayetteville's future. Hundreds of citizens had our names published . Our firefighters and police officers who risk their lives every work-day and worked with both are enthusiastically supporting Lioneld. We're joined by an impressive majority of current and former councilpeople who’ve governed with both candidates. The Sierra Club endorsed Lioneld.

Consider what those endorsements say about Lioneld.

Please join us in voting for Lioneld Jordan!

Beth Presley
-----Original Message-----
From: Brenda Thiel

Subject: Re: Undecided about the Mayoral Race? Read this.

I couldn't agree more about Beth's letter. It was EXCELLENT!
Brenda Boudreaux

SOUTHPASS Sign at entry to the proposed regional park that awaits potential surrounding development to kick-start the required flow of money to pay for the list of park amenities. This magnificent wildlife habitat would long ago have been graded down and its vegetation removed if Coody's fantasy had come to fruition. The city remains responsible for the old landfill adjacent to it. The VISION didn't include recognizing the possibility of a recession that would bankrupt over-reaching borrowers and banks alike. Go back in the Government Channel archives or read the minutes of city park, planning and council meetings to see how it all came about, including the warnings from many individuals that it was risky business. Notice which council members voted against the boondoggle.

Please click on individual images to ENLARGE.
View through 36-power zoom from so-called landfill road to downtown Fayetteville. October 2012 foliage hides landfill that may be leaking many dangerous pollutants into the underground water channels and into Cato Springs Branch, the southwest-most tributary of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River, thus the region's main water supply: Beaver Lake.

Water features? A water theme park or something?  Does it say stream preservation or wetland protection or forest or prairie preservation? Mayor Jordan has supported a streamside-protection ordinance, a stronger hillside-protection ordinance and pushed for the city to qualify as an urban habitat community now certified by the National Wildlife Federation. The former administration saw only land that could be turned into a huge project to benefit developers.

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