Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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
LIONELD JORDAN, the
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.
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