Jim McKenzie, Chair for Central Arkansas Water Board of Commissioners, retired at the end of 2016 after serving 28 years as the Executive Director of Metroplan, the council of local governments in central Arkansas. Metroplan is also the designated metropolitan planning organization for the Little Rock-North Little Rock region.
Commissioner McKenzie has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has been active in Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership Greater Little Rock and is an emeritus member of the LGLR Board of Advisors. He was the founding president of the Hillcrest Residents Association and twice served on the Board of the Quapaw Quarter Association. Commissioner McKenzie served a single term on the Pulaski County Quorum Court from 1983-84.
Commissioner McKenzie was elected twice to the Board of Directors of the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) where he also served as vice-president in 2006. In 2000, Metroplan was awarded the AMPO Outstanding Achievement Award for MPO’s over 200,000. In 2016, he received AMPO’s Ronald F. Kirby Memorial National Award for Outstanding Professional Service. He was also presented the Bill Bonner Award for significant contributions to planning in Arkansas by the state chapter of the American Planning Association. Also in 2016, Commissioner McKenzie was presented his second Jack Evans Regional Leadership Award by the Metroplan Board of Directors.
While at Metroplan, Commissioner McKenzie helped form the Mid-Arkansas Water Alliance, a 21-utility, seven-county consortium that has successfully received water reallocations from Greers Ferry Lake and Lake Ouachita from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in order to meet the long-term water needs of the Mid-Arkansas region. He served as MAWA’s ex officio Secretary-Treasurer until his retirement. Commissioner McKenzie is a Little Rock representative on the CAW Board.