Forty Under 40: Blake Pennington

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 2,281 views 

Class of 2022 Forty Under 40 Blake Pennington Assistant City Attorney City of Fayetteville

The second-largest city in the state relies on Blake Pennington to keep its government running smoothly.

“Not everybody is going to be happy with what we do,” he admits. “But at the end of the day, we’re trying to protect taxpayers and citizens and help policymakers make the best decisions to protect city resources.”

Pennington grew up in Bryant and moved to Fayetteville in 2001 to attend the University of Arkansas. He graduated magna cum laude in 2005 with a business administration degree, then graduated from the UA School of Law in 2008.

While working in private practice, Pennington accepted appointments to the city’s Planning Commission in 2012 and Telecommunications Board in 2013. Through that work, he developed an interest in municipal government. When his current job came open, he applied, and the city hired him in January 2014.

“I’ve always loved politics and the law,” he said. “To me, this [job] is a dream combination.”

Pennington handles various responsibilities, including researching and analyzing laws, drafting documents, advising city officials on legal matters and representing the city in court. He works closely with the Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments and is the city’s primary FOIA contact.

Pennington said one of his proudest accomplishments was working in 2020 to create an ordinance for an outdoor entertainment district downtown. The city enacted the law to help businesses struggling because of pandemic restrictions.

Pennington has been a board member since 2017 for Peace at Home Family Shelter and is the nonprofit’s president-elect. He’s also board president of the UA School of Law’s Law Alumni Society and a Rotary Club of Fayetteville member.