FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Four candidates will be vying for the mayor’s position in Fayetteville on November 3.
The current mayor is Lioneld Jordan, who was elected in 2008.
Lioneld Jordan has been in city government for more than 20 years.
Jordan was a two-term city councilman beginning in 2000 before becoming mayor.
Jordan is the first mayor to be elected three times in Fayetteville.
Tom Terminella is a Fayetteville businessman who ran for mayor in 2016.
Terminella has been in Fayetteville since 1970 when his family relocated for his father’s job with Tyson Foods.
Terminella graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1985 and quickly found his passion in real estate.
William Harris grew up in Tonkawa, Oklahoma.
Harris went to the Air Force Academy before going to Oklahoma State and receiving his bachelor’s degree in Economics.
Harris was an Administration Officer in an Avionics Squadron near Columbus, Ohio.
Ron Baucom is running for mayor for a second time. In 2016, he ran against Terminella and Jordan.
Baucom is a lifelong Fayetteville resident that has three kids and six grandchildren.
He went to school at the University of Arkansas and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Administration.
KNWA/FOX24 asked the candidates three generic questions
- In Arkansas, (and Fayetteville) what do you believe is a situation that needs to be dealt with, for example, airport, water system, environment, community safety?
- Overall, what can Fayetteville/Arkansas do to improve its economy?
- Please share your stance on the current discussion surrounding race in America and what you feel the state/city should do to address this?
Lioneld Jordan: Our city is growing rapidly and its growth impacts all areas of our city: infrastructure, water quality, land use and development, public safety. This is why our community passed a bond in 2019 to make sure our infrastructure keeps up with this growth. One measure of the health of a city is the quality of our roads, our sidewalks, and our water management. Over the past 4 years, Transportation Crews have completed over 45 miles of pavement overlays on over 270 streets. They have installed 32,611 feet of new sidewalk focusing on areas in the downtown area, at transit corridors, and around neighborhood schools. Additionally, new road and sidewalk projects as a result of the bond project Fayetteville voters approved will total $73,000,000, new drainage projects will total over $15,000,000, and we are moving forward to build our Police and Fire Departments the facilities they need to keep our community safe!
We must continue to fight the COVID pandemic, keep everyone safe, keep businesses open and safely operating, and work hard to support new business development and entrepreneurial services. We will continue to streamline the development process via the new online permitting processes just put in place this year and we will maintain a positive climate to continue to draw new residential and commercial development, identify workforce training initiatives, and capture new types of jobs sectors for higher wages.
We are a welcoming city and a city sensitive to equity for all people. Our African American Advisory Council recently advanced its resolution on Racism as a Public Health Crisis. We will work with them to advance the goals laid out in that resolution. We are a community that consistently strives to build trust and partnerships and squarely address issues of race, equity, and diversity. We are a compassionate city and I am a Mayor with an open heart, open mind, and an open door. I believe our diversity is our strength.Lioneld Jordan, Fayetteville Mayoral Candidate
Tom Terminella: Prioritizing our infrastructure needs to be addressed first. For instance, it is essential to construct and complete our new law enforcement facility, something that has been pushed aside since 1993. This necessity will protect our men and women in uniform and provide them the tools and resources they need to better execute their job. Furthermore, updating the city’s sixty-year-old water main is another priority that must be addressed. Beyond the police station, water main, and of course, our Nolan Sewer Treatment Facility needs to be updated. As Mayor, I will bring the focus back on what really matters and rebuild a better Fayetteville for all citizens.
I think the city’s approach to businesses needs to change. The city should be asking itself what it can do for businesses, not the other way around. Under Lioneld Jordan’s leadership, Fayetteville has a poor reputation regarding its lengthy and costly zoning/permitting process, as well as an overall environment that is not welcoming to businesses. Since the Covid 19 shutdown, we have lost Bikes Blues and BBQ, Home Football Games, and Lights of the Ozarks, all of which are major revenue generators for the entire city. New businesses are afraid to come to Fayetteville, and established businesses are having to constantly face a new hurdle imposed by the city.
Personally, I have never had to overcome discrimination like many of my minority friends, but I fully understand the issue and hardships many minorities have faced. It’s time for a change, we can do better. As mayor, I believe our high-ranking law enforcement officials and City Leadership need to reach out to community leaders to form a relationship of trust and understanding to better serve them. Whether it’s providing affordable housing, building a local economy that yields opportunities for everyone, or ensuring a safe community, the goal of the mayor should be to unite and support all citizens.Tom Terminella, Fayetteville Mayoral Candidate
William “Bill” Harris: The community facilities are too concentrated in the south end of town. The city needs to offer services to a wider range of people. I favor satellite library annexes in the north end and east side of town, and a full-size public swimming pool for our kids, central to our middle schools.
Our university market has drawn many light service businesses that have been willing to leap the hurdles to get started. But more substantial businesses such as industries, distributors, and headquarters offices have found it easier to go somewhere else. If we want deep employment and high wages of heavy businesses, we will need to streamline our entry barriers.
The Democrats have exploited Black people since before Andrew Jackson called himself a Democrat in the 1830s. Slavery, convict labor, segregation, and addictive drugs following Prohibition have resulted in a welfare state that can purchase their votes cheaply. But most Black people are not criminals, not drug addicts, and some of them are not even Democrats. They have always worked hard, fought for America, suffered and struggled, and Fayetteville is leading the way in offering them the respect that they deserve.William “Bill” Harris, Fayetteville Mayoral Candidate