Lioneld Jordan / Courtesy photo
Lioneld Jordan says he wants to finish what he’s started.
Jordan, 66, hopes to secure a fourth term as mayor of Fayetteville this year.
He was first elected after defeating then-Mayor Dan Coody in 2008. He defeated Coody again in 2012, and ran a third successful campaign in 2016 after taking about 70% of the votes against Tom Terminella’s 27% and Ron Baucom’s 3%. Jordan will face both Terminella and Baucom again this year, along with William Harrison.
Jordan has been present for all 294 council meetings since 2008 for a 100% attendance rate. He was also present for all 238 council meetings during his eight-year run as a Council Member in Ward 4.
Jordan said he intends to see several projects through that are already underway, starting with the 10 measures that voters approved as part of the 2019 bond referendum.
The plan splits the projects into three phases with some of the most noticeable work coming as street improvements. Other areas include parks and trail work, drainage improvements, police and fire infrastructure, economic development and construction of an arts corridor.
Jordan said he’s most proud of the environmental and economic stewardship that’s occurred under his leadership.
“Together, we have preserved and restored hundreds more acres of urban forest, tree canopy, and greenspace with Centennial Park, Markham Hill, the Fay Jones woodlands, and the Westside savanna prairie,” he said, adding that the city installed the first award-winning solar energy project in Arkansas and received national honors for the first large-scale solar panel and battery system in the MidSouth.
He also pointed to the city’s COVID-19 response, which included a mask ordinance that required face coverings a month before the governor agreed to issue a statewide mask mandate. The plan also provided over 176,000 free masks to more than 1,500 area businesses.
Despite those achievements, Jordan said there’s still plenty left to do.
“I am motivated; I am strong; I want to serve; and I intend to finish what we have started!” he said.
The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Profile: Lioneld Jordan
Position sought: Mayor
Residency: Lifelong resident of Northwest Arkansas, 48-year resident of Fayetteville
Employment: Mayor of Fayetteville
Education: Huntsville High School, University of Arkansas
Political Experience: Fayetteville mayor (2009-present), Ward 4 City Council Member (2000-2008)
Meet the Candidates
The following candidates are running for election this year. All candidates were sent a request for more information about their candidacy. Responses are posted in the order they’re received.
You spent eight years on the City Council and 12 years as mayor. Why run for another four-year term?
In short, because as you have heard me say over and over again during my time as mayor, I am running because I love this city with all my heart. I believe in the people of this city and the staff who work so hard every day for her enduring success. I am a product of our heritage and culture and want to do everything I can to give back to this community I love.
We have been on a trajectory of positive momentum, a continuum of progress, and I believe our best days lie ahead. Because of the people’s progressive vision, our glass isn’t simply half full, it is overflowing. I am motivated; I am strong; I want to serve; and I intend to finish what we have started!
Has Fayetteville changed much in the past four years? How would you describe it today?
Yes, Fayetteville has changed considerably over the past four years, adding layers of dimension and depth. Every year, our steady growth adds people from all over the world, expanding our diversity, welcoming more and more people, evolving our culture, yet maintaining our solid roots. We are an extremely resourceful people, and an unstoppable community.
We are a sustainable community, having set bold goals for energy conservation. We are a healthy community, continuing to add active transportation networks throughout our city. We are a creative community, celebrating the performing and visual arts and growing our local pool of talented artists and musicians.
Are there any city government decisions you are especially proud of or that frustrated you during your most recent term?
Let’s talk about the frustrations and challenges first. Prior to early spring of 2020, we were averaging record sales tax and growing at the rate of a new business every day. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But we kept our heads and didn’t panic. During this extremely challenging and frustrating time, we calmly set about the business of dealing with the pandemic and implementing measures to keep our people safe. And so far, we have been blessed.
As to what I am most proud of, I have to say it’s a two-fold message. I am most proud of our environmental and economic stewardship. Together, we have preserved and restored hundreds more acres of urban forest, tree canopy, and greenspace with Centennial Park, Markham Hill, the Fay Jones woodlands, and the Westside savanna prairie. We installed the first award-winning solar energy project in the state and garnered national honors for the first large-scale solar panel and battery system in the MidSouth.
I am proud to have been able to pay off this city’s debt so that the people of our community could vote to implement the 10 questions of the $226 million infrastructure bond of 2019. Staff has ensured that these projects are thoroughly underway, pumping millions of dollars into our struggling economy.
I am proud of our COVID response to “mask up Fayetteville,” helping all our businesses in town by providing face masks for their staff and patrons, handing out over 176,000 face masks to more than 1,577 businesses at no cost to them. Creative and nimble thinking enabled us to assist our hospitality sector during COVID by establishing the largest entertainment district in the state which enables increased sales while allowing patrons to spread out throughout downtown, increasing safer dining options and outdoor refreshment opportunities.
Finally, we maintained significant economic vitality through the pandemic, with over $425 million dollars in private sector investments – in line with Fayetteville’s comprehensive 2040 plan – since March of 2020. Building permit activity and valuations remain high, just as we have seen year after year.
We remain innovative and dynamic, discovery driven, constantly and restlessly moving, promoting continuous improvements and striving to be our better selves. So, as you can see, there is a lot for all of us to be proud of!