BELLA VISTA — Councilwoman Linda Lloyd said she’s lived in Bella Vista for 11 1/2 years.
“I was just looking for a place with outdoor things to do and that was affordable and had activities,” she said. “I came here and I fell in love with it.”
In particular, Lloyd said she loves that it’s a city with good access to anything one might need but feels more rural and offers a lot of activities.
Lloyd said she has a master’s degree in planning and has been involved in real estate for 48 years. She’s also been a licensed contractor and has worked to build green and healthy homes, in addition to working for nonprofits and performing grant writing duties, she added.
Locally, she’s been involved with the Bella Vista Business Association, the Bella Vista Historical Society and Bella Vista Community Television and has served on the boards for all of these entities.
Lloyd said she served on the Bella Vista Planning Committee and has been attending city and Property Owners Association meetings since moving into town.
Lloyd has served on the City Council the past four years and was previously elected in 2016.
Lloyd stated she’s running again because she wants to follow through on some projects and believes her skill set will be useful to the city.
“With the bond issue, we’re just starting out the construction of some new municipal facilities. I think it’s important that I see that through,” she said, referring to a trio of police and fire projects, to be funded by municipal bonds, that the city has started this year.
With these projects, Lloyd said, someone with real estate and development experience can be helpful.
Further, she said, it’s important to think outside the box in real estate, and that may also be important for running the city.
It’s important for council members to listen carefully and be responsive to residents to address their concerns, she added.
Council members need to exercise fiscal responsibility as well, she said.
Reading meeting packets and fully researching the topics at hand — including going to check out properties in person when they’re likely to be affected by council action — is also essential, she said.
“We need to know exactly what it is we’re talking about,” Lloyd explained.
The city’s biggest challenge is its lack of a strong commercial tax base, she said.
“Providing the services people want without having a big commercial tax base,” Lloyd said. “Everybody wants their road paved but they don’t want to pay more taxes … we have to find a very delicate balance between being responsible and providing all the services.”
Additionally, it’s important that the city seek to improve that tax base without compromising its outdoorsy character, she said.
While the city faces some difficulties, she said, the people who live here are excellent.
“We have a vast supply of quality people and residents who are willing to get involved and I think that’s really important,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said her primary goal for the term, if elected, is to ensure the police and fire projects are built effectively and affordably.
Additionally, Lloyd said she’d like to work with Cooper Communities and the Property Owners Association to help bring in more commercial development without sacrificing the city’s current feel.
“To maintain our character and fill up some of our vacant commercial spots and see that all of our properties are well maintained,” she summarized.
Over the next five to 10 years, Lloyd said she’d like to see a better variety of housing, including co-housing units, cottages and mixed commercial and residential spaces for younger residents as well as seniors.
It’s also important to review the city’s ordinances and ensure they are clear-cut and work for residents, she said.
“I think we need to work at protecting our residents without infringing on their private property rights,” Lloyd said.
Keith Bryant may be reached by email at [email protected] .