FARMINGTON -- The city usually doesn't have people lined up who are interested in serving on the Planning Commission.
This time, though, the city received multiple applications from residents interested in filling a vacancy, so many the commission did short interviews with six applicants, all men, at its June 22 meeting.
Several people who submitted applications didn't show up for an interview.
The new person will fill a spot previously was held by Toni Lindsey, who resigned because she was moving from Farmington.
Each applicant was given about a minute to introduce himself and then answer questions from commission Chairman Robert Mann. At the end of the interviews, commissioners ranked their top three choices and handed those ballots to Melissa McCarville, city business manager, to pass on to Mayor Ernie Penn.
Penn intends to make a recommendation at the July 13 City Council meeting.
Mann thanked everyone for their answers and said it would be a hard job selecting three top candidates.
Commissioner Chad Ball encouraged the ones not selected to become involved in city committees. He said he started as a member of the Economic Development Committee before being appointed to the Planning Commission.
Following is a brief summary of what the applicants said and information from their applications:
Ghan moved to Farmington about a year ago and is a document review specialist with Waco Title Co. Ghan graduated from the University of Arkansas' School of Law and said during law school, he took an interest in land use and zoning.
On his application, he wrote, "I would love the chance to be able to advance the community I now call home with the knowledge I gained. In addition, my work at Waco Title has given me the chance to see how real estate impacts communities, and I believe serving on the commission would allow me to have a small part in that."
Ghan said his vision for Farmington is for it to become more of a close-knit community, to continue the small-town feel and to become more walkable.
Ghan said he's especially interested in zoning in Farmington and understands the Planning Commission's responsibility is to review plans that come in and see how they fit in with the overall development of the community.
Crawford lives in the Valley View area and moved to Farmington about five years ago. He has worked with planning commissions in the past and said he worked with Main Street Rogers. He said he has free time now and would like to spend time serving the community in which he lives. Crawford said Farmington's challenge is to continue with its "Farmington Feels Like Home" atmosphere but to take advantage of growth.
"How do we grow without losing the quality of life?" said Crawford, who works for Arvest Bank.
He said he believes city codes and ordinances should be applied to everyone across the board through a process open to the public.
On his application, Crawford wrote he believes it's important for Farmington to continue to grow without losing quality of life for its citizens.
Gardenhire has lived in Farmington for 22 years and is self-employed in sales and as a consultant.
He said he's interested in becoming a more integral part of the community.
"I have deep commitment in the growth, development of our community," Gardenhire wrote on his application. He said his background would help him to bring an analytical and subjective approach to the Planning Commission.
Gardenhire told commissioners Farmington will continue to grow but one challenge is to bring more employment opportunities to the community.
"How do we start attracting jobs to continue to grow this community?" Gardenhire said.
Macedo worked for the federal government in Kansas and worked for local governments for 18 years in Fort Worth, Texas. He presently is municipal information technology director for Fayetteville. He has a student at the University of Arkansas and one who just graduated from Farmington High School.
Macedo said his family decided to live in Farmington five years ago because "hands down it's the best place to live." He said the challenge for the community is to keep the hometown feel as it grows and as traffic increases through the city.
He said he's worked for three fast-growing communities, noting one community in north Fort Worth grew from a population of 10,000 to 45,000 in 15 years.
In his application, Macedo wrote he believes his skill set and experience would bring a unique perspective to the Planning Commission in shaping Farmington's future.
Yopp has lived in Farmington for 26 years and attended school in Farmington from kindergarten through graduation. He worked for Farmington Public Works Department and for Farmington Public Library and now is supply chain/replenishment manager for Over and Back in Bentonville.
"I really want to be involved with the continued growth of the city," said Yopp.
He said he sees the job of a planning commissioner as listening to residents, considering safety and commerce and how that impacts the community.
Toering lives in Twin Falls subdivision and has been in Farmington for eight years. He was in the hotel business before retirement.
He said he would like to see Farmington grow but in the right way.
"I think we can grow but think about what's the best way to do it," Toering said.
Toering said he's interested in a three-year, five-year and 10-year plan for Farmington.
"We're landlocked so we only can grow so big," Toering said.
Since he's retired, Toering said he has time to be more involved.
Lynn Kutter may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.