Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority (RITA) – This proactive organization represents all of the transportation sources in and around Fort Smith—interstates, railroads, airports and river barges. Members of RITA are from Fort Smith and surrounding communities who recognize the need to work together in order to form open lines of communication in order to solve transportation and logistics challenges for existing businesses and new industry. Kevin is a staunch supporter of this effort.
Kevin acknowledges that one government body or agency cannot facilitate the entire economic growth effort for a community or region. He will continue to cultivate cooperation between the Mayor, City Directors, Chambers of Commerce, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority and other agencies to create incentives for existing businesses and to attract new development.
I-49 funding and completion are crucial for the future of our region. Kevin has traveled to Washington to talk with elected officials and lobbyists working to secure funding for the interstate. He will continue to pursue every available avenue of support and work with city, county, state and federal officials to establish a time line for completion.
Wet weather improvements are critical problem in the downtown area. Flooding of businesses and homes has become frequent. Solutions are expensive and not simple. Kevin’s engineering background has been a true asset to the Board of Directors because he can “talk the talk” of city planning commissioners and engineers and consulting firms when they present possible solutions for drainage improvements. This is one of Kevin’s priorities for 2010-2011.
Planning for sewer and water capacity expansion is very important for the city to accommodate future growth. Specifically, Kevin will continue to work with City Planners and Directors for ongoing expansion of the capacity of the P Street sewer plant and the water treatment plant at Lake Fort Smith.
Well-planned and efficient infrastructure improvements are the trademark of a city with a plan for the future. Kevin will always be mindful of budget constraints and opportunities for efficiency when voting on projects concerning street, sewer, water, and drainage.
Water and sewer improvements are a long standing issue, particularly in the downtown area. Future growth of the city depends on replacing old utility lines and proper placement of new ones. Kevin’s engineering background helps him understand these needs and guides his decisions in budget planning. He has been a strong advocate for necessary improvements and smart planning for the future.
Zone planning for future development – Commercial and residential zones are established by the City to create a friendly living environment. Buffer zones between residential and commercial or industrial areas are important to control noise and environmental problems. Businesses need easy access to highways and transportation sources. Kevin will continue to establish good zoning for the future, so that the city will always be a great place to live and work.
Neighborhood coalitions and problem solving meetings have proven to be very effective for Fort Smith citizens over the past couple of years. Neighborhood coalitions offer opportunities for people living in the same area to become acquainted and to concerns about essential services and crime. Neighborhood problem solving meetings with police, fire and city utility departments help to get citizens acquainted with the men and women who protect us and keep our city operating. These meetings offer open discussions with those departments so they can make plans to better serve the citizens. Kevin is a strong proponent of these meetings and attends as many as he can. He will continue to encourage open dialogue between citizens and departments heads beyond Board of Director meetings.
Kevin is a Fort Smith native who chose to raise his family in his home town. He appreciates the many parks and recreational facilities the city has to offer citizens, free of charge. When looked from an economic development perspective, existing recreational facilities can be a significant factor in bringing tourism dollars to the city. This creates jobs and revenue for local restaurants, retail and commercial businesses. Kevin will work with citizens and City Directors to provide support, improvements and expansions when they can be shown to be economically sound.
Promotion of the arts and entertainment is a strong attraction for new families moving to the city. Businesses looking to locate in the city often place a great deal of value on communities with thriving arts and entertainment programs. Kevin strongly supports programs such as the Regional Art Museum, the Fort Smith Symphony, Second Street Live and others that make life worth living in Fort Smith.
Riverfront Development has the potential to launch a whole new level of economic for Fort Smith. Kevin will be proactive in working with multiple agencies to pursue ways to develop the property along Clayton Expressway to Fort Smith Park. He has been supportive and will continue to seek ways to turn the riverfront into tax-producing properties similar to other cities with major riverfront areas.
In the past year, unprecedented cooperation took place between the City Directors and the Sebastian County Quorum Court in regard to working together to expand Ben Geren Park recreational fields and add a water park. Kevin is a strong proponent of agencies working together to create improvements and economic developments that will draw people to the city. If completed, this project will have significant economic impact and set a precedent for City and County officials to work together even more in the future.
Kevin has devoted many hours to studying, research and discussion with citizens and City Department Heads in order to gain a broad perspective on city issues. He has publicly committed to "find ways to eliminate waste" in the city budget to free up funds for more personnel and better services.”
Economic conditions are difficult for working families. Kevin will strive to keep water and sewer rate increases from being implemented in order to helping Fort Smith citizens. In August 2010, Kiplinger rated Fort Smith as the lowest cost of living city in America. Kevin is proud to have been a City Director in the three and a half years leading up to this announcement and promises to continue to work with other directors, city department heads and utility providers to control costs and provide efficient, environmentally friendly services for residents and business owners.
Kevin welcomes the opportunity to discuss all issues that concern citizens.
Settle Proven A Proactive Leader - The Times Record has endorsed Kevin for a second term as City Director.