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story.lead_photo.caption Brent Stinespring

• Background

Brent Stinespring came to Northwest Arkansas in 2004, purchased property in town in 2007 and moved to Bella Vista in 2009. He started at Cooper Elementary when it first opened and he's been teaching there ever since.

At the elementary, Stinespring said he formed the Learn Naturally committee to help develop outdoor learning areas. Working to develop a trail system from the school to Blowing Springs led to his involvement with the POA joint advisory committee for recreation, which he chaired three years and helped develop the Blowing Springs trail system as well as a master trail plan draft.

Stinespring said he's taken leadership roles and worked with people and businesses to get the Blowing Springs trails built and worked on designs for what would later become the Back 40 and the under-construction 11 Under trails.

"I'm experienced and effective at working with the agencies needed to achieve a common goal," he said.

He's been a realtor for eight years, he said, and that's given him an understanding of the housing market, and part of his motivation for running was seeing how much less Bella Vista's property values are rising compared to neighboring cities.

• On city council

A council member needs to represent the public, Stinespring said, and not simply vote according to their own interests.

"When I vote as a city council member, I know my vote is obligated to represent those who have elected me," he said.

Fiscal responsibility is also important, he said.

Economic development is something Stinespring said he would like to work on.

"I think we're going the right direction right now," he said.

• The issues

The biggest challenge, Stinespring said, is reaching a consensus on how to achieve goals.

Stinespring said his vision for economic development has two parts. First is getting people interested in coming to Bella Vista, he said, and second is ensuring there are places -- restaurants and retailers -- where they can spend money.

Trails bring people into Bella Vista but the challenge is figuring out where commercial development can be added, he said.

"I think we're just kind of scratching the surface," he said.

Growth, he said, is going to take close work with neighboring communities.

"I think traffic is probably one of the biggest issues," he said.

Uncertainty surrounding the Bella Vista bypass and when it might be complete makes it difficult to consider what should be done with the U.S. Highway 71 corridor running through town, he said.

Another challenge, he said, is ensuring the city's authorities to work together. There needs to be an understanding, he said, that what's good for the city is good for the POA and vice versa.

People moving to Bella Vista, he said, helps the POA make more money and expands the city's tax base.

"I am enthusiastically optimistic about the future of Bella Vista and eager to help it become what I believe it can be and what I believe the people of BV would like to see it become," Stinespring said. "The potential is just bursting."

General News on 10/10/2018

Print Headline: Ward 2 candidate: Brent Stinespring

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