Meet the candidates: Mark Kinion

This interview is part of a series of posts designed help us all learn a little bit about who’s running for city council in Fayetteville on November 2.

We sent two rounds of questions to all of the candidates and we’ll post one interview each weekday in the order that we received them beginning with Round 1.

Keep in mind that you’ll only be able to vote for the candidates who are running in your ward and that only two wards (Ward 2 and Ward 4) have contested seats.

In Ward 1, nobody filed to run against Adella Gray. In Ward 3, only Justin Tennant filed for the open seat.

For a ward map and more information on all the candidates, visit our 2010 City Council Election page.

Mark Kinion – Ward 2, Position 1

Opponent: Adam Fire Cat
Round 2: Where they stand: Mark Kinion

Visit: Flyer coverage | Campaign website
Age: 53
Occupation: Home Mortgage Consultant – Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Retired Senior Executive – GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
Experience: Chairman – Fayetteville Housing Authority, Board of Directors – Partners for Better Housing, Past President – Fayetteville Council of Neighborhoods, Past President – Wilson Park Neighborhood Association, Fayetteville Forward Economic Accountability Committee, LBJ Congressional Internship – U.S. Congress
Education: BSA Food Science and Technology – University of Arkansas Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
Community Involvement: Vice-President of Campaigns – United Way of Pulaski County, Past President/Finance Committee Chairman/Lifetime Member – Humane Society of the Ozarks, Board of Directors – American Lung Association of AR, Board of Directors/Financial Development Chairman – Ozark StageWorks, Advisory Board – Planned Parenthood of Arkansas /Eastern Oklahoma, Executive Committee – Sierra Club Ozark Headwaters Group, Lifetime Member – University of Arkansas Alumni Association, Washington County Senior Democrats, Eagle Scout/OA – Boy Scouts of America, NWA Center for Equality, Northside Rotary

Fayetteville Flyer: Are you a music fan? If so, what have you been listening to lately?
Mark Kinion: Yes! I sometimes think I’m just one big collective soundtrack. I’ve been hooked on the local music scene since college… Remember the Mauls(Malls?) with Terry Wright? Blue Footballs… Love Ocie Fisher… This list is endless. My Grandmother Kinion took me to “Singins” at a lot of rural smoke-filled community buildings throughout Washington and Madison Counties in the early 60’s and even up into the early ’70’s where my Great Uncle Jack would play the mandolin. All the other Great Uncles would pick guitars and cousin Travis Joe would be on the drums. Now that was the good old days, very country. She would light up the room with a twinkle in her eyes, tappin’ her toes and chiming in on the great old Gospel tunes. I also was fortunate to take piano lessons as a youngster at the U of A Fine Arts Building from Carol Rapaport (what a great character!) and this exposed me to classical music. No, I don’t play the piano well, but at least I had fun and know the basics. I also enjoy managing the beer ticket sales at the AMP. I see the AMP as the regular town folks’ entertainment venue. It’s more than a tent on a mall parking lot, it’s a destination for fun.

What have I been listening to lately? Very collective. Here are the first twenty artists that played randomly on my iPod (Please don’t judge): Black Crowes, Opal Fly, Regina Spektor (fell in love with her a couple of years ago at Bonnaroo), Randall Shreve, Amy Winehouse, Al Jareau, Lucinda Williams, 3 Penny Acre, Janis Joplin, Sarah Vaughn, Big Bad Gina, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Eurhythmics, Glen Gould (Bach Inventions), James Taylor, Pat Metheny, Nora Jones, Kitty Wells, Benjamin Del Shreve and a couple of showtunes. I need to put in a plug for Shulertown. I enjoy them and Charlie Platt is my boss.

FF: How long have you lived in Fayetteville?
MK: I was raised 15 miles west of Fayetteville on a farm in the Rhea’s Mill Community, so I feel like Fayetteville has been a part of me for over fifty years. I lived at 404 S. College Ave in Fayetteville from 1975 through 1982 attending undergraduate and graduate school at U of A. It’s at the bottom of the hill. I still get sentimental when I drive past that little ramshackle house. I moved away for a few years to start my career path. Moved back in October of 1991 and have lived here ever since. This totals to about 26 years actually living “in” Fayetteville.

FF: We know you’re a lifetime member of the UA Alumni Association, but are you a Razorback fan?
MK: Yes. I was at the U of A when basketball boomed under Sutton. I have a Mike Nail Bobblehead on my desk that plays Scotty Thurman’s 3-point shot winning the National Championship. It makes me very happy to play that often. Razorback football is almost religion. I was ASG President when Broyles went to full-time AD and brought in Lou Holtz. Good times!

FF: Where would you take a newcomer to get a bite to eat around here? Got a favorite local dish?
MK: Hugo’s, Art’s Place, 36 Club, Theo’s, Bordino’s, Mong Dynasty, Rollin’ Pin, Hjem… just depends on who and what meal. Favorite dish? ROTC: Veggie Special on sourdough with Swiss and a big batch of fries. Dark Beer.

FF: We’ve heard people say Fayetteville is the best city on Earth. Agree or disagree?
MK: It’s the best place for me to call home. Earth is a pretty big planet and I have visited a lot of other cities that are pretty darned fine. When I hear folks say Fayetteville is the best city on Earth I certainly agree.

FF: I noticed that you’re an Eagle Scout. What was your least favorite merit badge? Mine was Personal Management.
MK: Personal Management? What the heck kind of merit badge is that? I don’t think that was around back when I was a Scout. Was it required? I had a hard time with the Morse Code part of the Signaling Merit Badge but I enjoyed the Semaphore part. I know it was discontinued in 1992 but is now once again available as an historical merit badge. I got a good deal of my merit badges at Camp Orr on the Buffalo River in the summers. Can’t beat that for summer fun.

* Look for Mark’s answers to the Round 2 questions next week.