The Morning News
Local News for Northwest Arkansas
Jordan Administration To Add A 'Chief of Staff'
By Skip Descant
THE MORNING NEWS
FAYETTEVILLE -- As one of his first moves as new Fayetteville mayor, Lioneld Jordan is calling for applications.
Jordan is adding a "chief of staff" position to the administration's upper cadre of directors. "This is someone who will work directly under me," said Jordan on Friday during his meeting with the mayoral transition team. Jordan will accept applications for the new chief of staff position until noon Friday.
A chief of staff is not the only change Jordan plans to make to city hall's organizational chart. Some areas will be clustered with others under similar umbrellas, according to a draft of the new organizational chart released Friday.
"It's really taking the old flow chart that we had and realigning it," said Don Marr, who is leading the Jordan Transition Team. For example, water and sewer departments, as well as solid waste and recycling will be grouped under a "utilities" heading. These departments along with planning and transportation will be led by a "Director of Management Performance and Accountability," a position similar to the operations manager position held by Gary Dumas.
The Director of Management Performance and Accountability will also help to coordinate city projects and evaluate their performance. It's all part of maintaining a close working-knowledge of each project's status, Jordan said.
"I want to keep a hand on these things (projects) and know where they're at," Jordan explained.
In the next couple weeks Jordan is expected to set the date of an "economic summit," which will explore the many issues of economic development. The new mayor has said he'd like a plan in place in the first three months in office. And already, the summit is taking on the broader theme of setting an overall vision for the city.
"This is about what kind of a community do we want to develop to leave for our children," said Michele Halsell, a member of the Jordan Transition Team.
"Is what we're really talking about is a 'future of Fayetteville summit?'" asked Rob Leflar, another member of the transition team.
A central tenet of the new Jordan administration ensuring all voices are heard at the table. His transition team has made public input an essential ingredient as it moves forward with drafting recommendations. But even if getting many voices in the chorus is deemed essential, the new administration wants a few expert singers as well.
"We want to make sure that the right players are there," said Marr, making reference to need for expert opinion at the economic development summit. "But at the same time, we want it to be an open process, where anyone can participate."
"And we want this to be something people want to participate in," added Halsell.
Jordan started his first day on the job Friday at the Washington County Courthouse where he and 26 other elected officials were sworn in by Washington County Circuit Court Judge Mark Lindsay before a standing room-only crowd.