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December 14, 2017

New Fayetteville council member ready to take on issues, attends first meeting


New Fayetteville council member ready to take on issues, attends first meeting

FAYETTEVILLE — Kyle Smith had some big-picture items to consider during his first meeting as…


FAYETTEVILLE — Kyle Smith had some big-picture items to consider during his first meeting as a City Council member representing Ward 4.

Rezoning College Avenue, accepting nearly $1.8 million from the Walton Family Foundation to design a cultural arts corridor and committing $3.1 million to help build the new TheatreSquared highlighted Tuesday’s council gathering. He supported the three measures.

Smith, 37, said Thursday he’s ready to take on the challenges facing his ward and the city as a whole. Ward 4 includes most of the western and southwestern portions of the city.

Smith moved to the city in 1997 from Fairfield Bay, a resort community. He teaches geometry at Har-Ber High School in Springdale.

Smith chaired the For Fayetteville campaign, which supported the civil rights ordinance in 2015. The ordinance was about equal access to employment and housing, Smith said, and has been challenged in court.

Despite the division caused by the ordinance, Smith said he intends to represent all residents in Ward 4 fairly.

“That doesn’t impact the trash service or the storm water runoff at peoples’ houses,” he said. “I hope no one thinks that a disagreement on that issue is going to be a barrier to getting their needs addressed in other things.”

Council members and Mayor Lioneld Jordan voted 5-2 to appoint Smith to fill Alan Long’s vacant seat. Long resigned last month. The council could have appointed someone or called for a special election.

John La Tour, the other Ward 4 representative, wanted to hold a special election, but said he’s ready to move on for the good of the city. La Tour was among a group of candidates who campaigned against the ordinance.

“Just because I disagree with you doesn’t mean I hate you,” La Tour said. “I don’t hate anybody. I try to get along with everyone. We can have disagreements and still be friends.”

Ward 1 Council Member Sarah Marsh said she tries to push engaged residents such as Smith to run for office and that Smith likely would have won in a special election anyway.

“I had no doubts that he would do the work. I’ve seen him do a lot of research. He makes very thoughtful comments,” she said. “I think Ward 4 couldn’t have asked for a better representative.”

Encouraging development that won’t leave residents driving all over town for services will be among Smith’s priorities during the three years left on his term, he said.

“The long-term planning aspect of that is what I think will make our community stronger, more resilient and keep us on those lists of places everybody wants to be,” Smith said.

NW News on 12/06/2017


Source: New Fayetteville council member ready to take on issues, attends first meeting

New Fayetteville council member ready to take on issues, attends first meeting


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