The Fayetteville Forward Green Economy Group conducted surveys on some of the candidates up for election this voting round. In case you still hadn’t been able to finalize your decision on which progressive candidate you’d like to see as mayor, check out a few responses (what we could fit of them) from Mayor Lioneld Jordan and opponent and prior-Mayor Dan Coody, in their own words.
What efforts would you make to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses in our community?
D.C.: Education is key to homeowners and businesses alike to understand how energy-efficient upgrades can pay for themselves. I will push for HUD funds to concentrate on achieving the high R values and low air infiltration rates for low-income residents. Spread the word about faster ROI when following the 2012 energy code and get builders to use it as a marketing tool. Get at least one code inspector certified as an energy efficiency expert, so he or she can be well versed in EE building options….
L.J.: We have passed the state’s first residential energy efficiency building codes. With some data on experience in its success and benefits, I will ask staff to examine extending to commercial building. We are using Community
Development Block Grant funds to weatherize 150 homes in qualified low-income areas. We have also provided light bulb exchanges in public housing projects.
What policies should we adopt to promote waste reduction and a higher landfill diversion rate in our community?
D.C.: The “Pay As You Throw” program that my administration put in place increased participation [in recycling] dramatically. There are new technologies that allow for co-mingling that may make collection less costly and
increase participation rates by 30 percent or more. We need a “take it or leave it” room for usable building materials and other serviceable items, free to whomever has a use for it. We should learn from successful programs that have adjusted their codes to allow the use of salvaged construction materials. The pilot apartment program needs to be revamped to be more user-friendly if it is going to succeed.
L.J.: We have constructed and opened the state’s first Solar Bio-Solids Drying facility. This reduces landfill costs and provides a beneficial use of organic fertilizer for Fayetteville residents and businesses. We have also
expanded commercial recycling, and we are currently operating successful pilot programs for apartment recycling and for glass recycling by restaurants and bars. This week, we are breaking ground on the Marion Orton Recycling Drop-Off Center, conveniently located in center city and in the heart of the largest concentration of apartments.
What is the number one issue that you think is adversely affecting our community and what actions will you take to address it?
D.C.: The lack of good public transit. It affects our social services, our ability to attract good employers, and even our need for parking downtown. Obviously, step one is public education about the negative social and economic factors of not having it. Next, is building public support for the funding. There are almost always grants for capital, especially for communities that have demonstrated a commitment to good public transit. We will certainly have to work with the Highway Department to accommodate bus shelters on College Avenue and every other state highway that runs through town. Currently, these are not allowed.
L.J.: Jobs for everyone who is looking for work. In partnership with NWACC, the UA, the Fayetteville Chamber, and the NWA Labor Council, we opened the Green Jobs Training Center of Excellence in Fayetteville, and that training has now gone mobile throughout the region. In the last two years, despite a weak economy, we have added more than 1,775 new jobs in Fayetteville, and my goal is to increase that by at least 500 a year.
Would you be more likely to support urban density planning or less regulation of land use development?
D.C.: My record is clear: I initiated the Downtown Master Plan and the same planners were contracted to update our City Plan 2025. Both plans emphasized walkability, infill, transit-oriented development, and avoiding sprawl.
L.J.: Urban density planning and incremental sprawl repair