Vote “What?” Fayetteville?

Nat Robertson’s Carolina Cabinet podcast recently included guests Jim Arp and Bobby Hurst. The two Republicans are members of the “Vote Yes Fayetteville” movement. The group is pushing a referendum to add “at-large” seats to the Fayetteville City Council:

Arp and Hurst stayed on message. They argued at-large seats would give voters greater choice, increase turnout in municipal elections, and create accountability in city government. They also pointed out that council members would be more likely to make decisions that benefit the city as a whole, not just their particular “ward.”

It sounded a lot like a post I wrote in 2019:

Get Off the Market House!

Most importantly, Arp and Hurst did not make the issue about race, crime, or the Market House riots. This was a refreshing change. Former Mayor Tony Chavonne, also a member of “Vote Yes Fayetteville” keeps bringing up crime and the Market House every time he discusses the issue. While I’m sure this inspires him personally, it is stupid politics. It galvanizes opposition and further divides the city.

In the end, this is an issue that should transcend partisan and racial politics. Remember what we’re voting for. If we keep Fayetteville first, we can’t really go wrong.

Get the Shot, Fayetteville (Part 3)

This is the final post of the “Get the Shot, Fayetteville” Trilogy.

Watch this video:

Local Leadership

Terry Sanford High School principal Tom Hatch recently took to his twitter account to promote masks for the up-coming school year:

Mr. Hatch’s post gained the attention of the Fayetteville Observer. An article followed. The article was posted on the Observer’s facebook page. Lots of comments followed, some good, some bad. They reflect the growing divisions in our community and our nation over the “proper” response to covid.

I wish my kids didn’t have to wear masks in a few weeks. I’d give just about anything for them to have a normal school year. But right now, with the delta variant moving up I-95 to our neck of the woods, into our homes, businesses, and schools, Mr. Hatch’s post makes sense.

Remember, it’s not all about “you” right now. A pandemic affects everyone, and it takes the entire village to defeat the common enemy. In times of crisis, real leaders bring back the sense of community that people need to move forward.

There are no perfect answers to Covid. All we can do is the best we can, together.

Get the school doors open. Mask up and get vaccinated so we can keep them open.

And Go Bulldogs!

Maker Space???

The Fayetteville City Council is apparently looking into spending more than 4 million dollars for a “maker space” at the re-designed intersection of Bragg Blvd. and Murchison Road. Here’s the study that includes some design concepts.

From what I can tell, a “maker space” is exactly what it sounds like: a public space where people can go make things.

My office is a block from this intersection, so I spend a lot of time in the area and know the “neighborhood.” From my experience, there’s one glaring problem with the concept: homelessness. It’s the big elephant in the room.

I won’t take my kids to Linear Park because it’s not safe. I’d be scared if my wife walked it alone. We spend a ton of money every year to keep Linear Park looking nice, cleaning it up after it routinely floods, and few people use it. My fear is that this space will only exacerbate these problems.

My Solution: Turn this land (and the open field across the street) back to what it was before we ruined it: a lowland forest. Tear up the remaining concrete. Plant native plants and trees so it’s low maintenance. Save us some money and make the area look decent in the process. You can put walking paths through it if you want, but you’re going to spend money maintaining something no one uses.

If you’re going to spend 4 million and do the maker space thing, at least give people a place to park, for free.