Mark Kinion seeks re-election in Ward 2

Mark Kinion


Mark Kinion is the first alderman to announce his intent to run for re-election this fall.

Kinion, 57, who has filled the Ward 2, Position 1 seat for nearly four years, said this week he will seek a second Fayetteville City Council term in the Nov. 4 general election.

Kinion, a mortgage loan originator with the Bank of Arkansas, was elected vice mayor in January, and is chairman of the council’s Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Committee where he said he has worked to help keep utility rates low. He is also a member of the Nominating Committee and serves as the council’s representative on the Town and Gown Advisory Committee.

Ward 2, which is typically associated with the downtown and Dickson Street areas, includes portions of the University of Arkansas campus and stretches west past Garland Avenue to Asbell Elementary School, and north to the Washington County Fairgrounds. The ward also includes the businesses along College Avenue in midtown, and many historic districts such as Kinion’s neighborhood near Wilson Park.

If re-elected, Kinion said he’ll continue working to protect the historical nature of neighborhoods in the downtown area “while advancing the notion that wise infill is necessary for smart growth.”

Kinion was one of five aldermen to support a controversial height and setback ordinance that regulates how close and how tall some structures can be built next to single-family homes in Fayetteville’s downtown and entertainment areas.

“We have a unique heritage in Fayetteville that is irreplaceable and must be protected,” he said.

Kinion served as chair of the Council of Neighborhoods before he was elected to the City Council in 2010.

He won that race against Adam Fire Cat after taking about 75 percent of the votes needed to replace outgoing Alderman Kyle Cook. He also ran for City Council in 2008, but lost a close race to Matthew Petty, who was re-elected in 2012.

As of Wednesday, no one had announced they would run against Kinion.

There are three other Position 1 seats up for grabs on Nov. 4, including positions held by Adella Gray (Ward 1), Justin Tennant (Ward 3) and Rhonda Adams (Ward 4). The city attorney position, held by Kit Williams, is also up for election.

The filing period for City Council candidates begins July 25.

Profile: Mark Kinion

Position sought: Ward 2, Position 1 (re-election)
Age: 57
Residency: Lived in Fayetteville for 23 years
Employment: Alderman, City of Fayetteville; Mortgage loan originator, Bank of Arkansas; Retired Senior Executive – GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals
Education: Bachelor of agriculture in food science and technology, University of Arkansas; studied communications at the University of Arkansas
Political Experience: Ward 2 Fayetteville alderman, 2011 to present; current vice mayor

Voting highlights

Voted in favor of:

  • A civil rights ordinance prohibiting business owners and landlords from unjustly firing or evicting someone because of their sexual orientation, gender identity and other characteristics.
  • A streamside protection ordinance
  • A height and setback ordinance limiting the size and shape of apartments and commercial
  • structures that can be built next to single-family homes

  • Authorizing Mayor Lioneld Jordan to issue up to $6.5 million in bonds to finance a downtown parking deck
  • Buying land atop Mount Kessler
  • Naming a three-block alley that runs from Dickson Street to Center Street “Diagon Alley,” after a fictional street from the Harry Potter books
  • Reaffirming the cross section of Rupple Road from Martin Luther King Boulevard to Wedington Drive as a four-lane boulevard
  • Increased pay for city employees
  • Expanding the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market by closing Mountain Street to vehicular traffic during the Saturday market
  • An ordinance regulating door-to-door sales
  • A set of “urban agriculture” measures, allowing goats, bees and more chickens and ducks in residential areas
  • Committing the city to up to $150,000 for a traffic signal at College Avenue and Masonic Drive where a Whole Foods Market is planned
  • Reaffirming the city’s commitment to back-in parking on Block Avenue
  • Regulations that should make it easier for mobile vendors to operate around town

Voted against:

  • New occupancy limits that allow five unrelated people to live together under one roof
  • A failed measure to expand Fayetteville’s smoking ban to include all bars

3 Questions for Mark

We send each candidate three questions after receiving their announcement. We post their answers here once they respond.

What made you originally decide to seek election to the council in 2010?
I think community service is something I value. After serving as president of the Wilson Park Neighborhood Association, chairman of the Council of Neighborhoods and serving on numerous non-profit boards and commissions I was encouraged to run for City Council.

Is there anything in particular that drove you to reside in Ward 2? How would you describe that part of town?
I was lucky, I guess, to have found a home I love, and I do have the best neighbors a person could ask for here in Ward 2, around the Wilson Park neighborhood and particularly on Ila Street. Really, Fayetteville in general is my kind of town. Ward 2 does have a diverse character that I embrace. It extends from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard through downtown, Dickson Street, Washington/Willow, Wilson Park, Asbell, Hendrix/Maxwell, Woodland, Hillcrest, VA Hill, Midtown up to Van Ash along Gregg. That’s diversity!

Are there any recent citywide or Ward 2 council decisions you’re especially proud of or frustrated with?
I am especially proud of the earnest commitment my colleagues on the council and counterparts in the city administration have to work together, even when we are not in total agreement. There is seldom a situation that has not been handled with absolute and mutual respect. Ward 2 is well represented and well balanced. My Ward 2 colleague, Mathew Petty, brings a smart youthful forward-thinking vision to many topics and I am more of a pragmatic thinker that tempers arguments with a business mindset and wisdom that comes with age. This balance is extraordinary. The commitment to transparency and inclusiveness that allows diverse segments a voice and to engage in healthy debate with compassion is remarkable. It can be frustrating for sure, but with patience, kind hearts, tough business management values and open minds we can reach a resolve that ensures accountability to the hardworking individuals that have placed their trust with the elected officials here in Fayetteville.

News release: Mark Kinion

Fayetteville Vice Mayor Mark Kinion announced today that he will seek another term as Alderman for Ward 2 Position 1 Fayetteville City Council. This will be Mr. Kinion’s second term. He was elected Vice Mayor in January of 2014. Additionally Mr. Kinion is the Chairman of the Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Committee, is a member of the Nominating Committee and serves as the City Council representative on the Town and Gown Committee.

Mr. Kinion is a native of Northwest Arkansas and has been active in the community serving on a number of nonprofit and community service boards and commissions. He is employed by the Bank of Arkansas as a Home Mortgage Officer. Mr. Kinion retired from the Pharmaceutical/Biologicals sector after 25 years in the industry most recently serving as President of the Board and Chief Operating Officer of BioTech Pharmacal.

Notable accomplishments on the City Council include actively working with the City Staff and Administration to keep rates from increasing and ensuring that operations meet or exceed Environmental Quality Standards. Recycling has been implemented in more multifamily units as well as the opening of the Marion Orton Recycling Center on North Street. Mr. Kinion is an outspoken advocate in regards to protecting the historical nature of neighborhoods especially in the downtown area while advancing the notion that wise infill is necessary for smart growth economically and enhancing services such as mass transit.

Alderman Kinion stated, “We have a unique heritage in Fayetteville that is irreplaceable and must be protected. We must look forward to more economic growth opportunities in every sector including business, industry, medical, technology and creative economy.” He noted that Ward 2 which encompasses the center of Fayetteville from MLK north including Washington/Willow, Wilson Park, and Hillcrest historic neighborhoods and Midtown along College Avenue has unique challenges due to the aging infrastructure. Street projects such as the widening of Garland Avenue have also brought to light additional storm water runoff issues impacting the Asbell and Woodland neighborhoods.