Fayetteville hires Stoll as new development services director
FAYETTEVILLE — Garner Stoll says he learned to love cities despite growing up in the rural country between Harrison and Yellville.
Stoll will hold one of the city’s most prominent positions as development services director.
The city announced Stoll’s hiring Thursday, although he won’t officially start until October. Stoll takes over for Jeremy Pate, who left to take a position with the Walton Family Foundation.
The job entails managing all the development requests, enforcing the city’s ordinances and regulations, and maintaining cohesion and communication between departments and applicants. The planning, engineering, building safety and community resources divisions all fall under the development services umbrella.
Stoll’s 40-year career in planning has taken him to some of the trendiest capitals in the United
States, including Oklahoma
City; Lawrence, Kan.; Lincoln, Neb.; Boulder, Colo.; and Austin,
However, Stoll is no stranger to Fayetteville. He grew up on a farm in Everton, visiting the city frequently, and left for Tulsa, Okla., at age 18 with $20 in his pocket.
Stoll realized his love of cities had become a calling once he and his brother went to Chicago during a layover on a trip to Canada.
“I already liked cities even before I saw Chicago,” Stoll said. “But when you’re from the sticks and there’s nothing else to do other than read, I knew there was a bigger world out there.”
Chief of Staff Don Marr said Stoll’s stellar career in like-minded cities made him stand out among some 100 applicants.
“I certainly think that his background in communities that have a passion for planning and who have debates on how they want their communities built is an experience that will be very beneficial to us,” he said.
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, recently recruited Stoll’s wife to teach nursing, and when Stoll saw the development services job was up for grabs, he seized the opportunity, he said.
“We always talked about moving to Fayetteville,” Stoll said. “We have, seriously, for 30 years.”
Stoll said his goal as development services director will be to sustain the level of livability and affordability the city is known for while protecting the environment and accommodating growth.
Stoll’s salary will be $115,003.