Fayetteville hires Stoll as new de­vel­op­ment ser­vices direc­tor

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - STACY RYBURN Stacy Ryburn can be reached by email at sry­burn@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @sta­cyry­burn.

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.


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