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.

The Carolina Cabinet with Nat Robertson

Former Mayor, Nat Robertson has started a podcast and radio show called The Carolina Cabinet to discuss political issues in Fayetteville.

The show is unabashedly conservative. Former guests include Pat McCrory and John Hood. However, Nat likes to mix things up, and he invited me on the show.

We talked about downtown development, our local pandemic response, and the lack of political media coverage in Fayetteville.

I started this website to bridge some divides in this community. When someone offers you a bridge, you have to practice what you preach and cross it:



Audits, Lawsuits, and Areas of Concern

On July 20th, 2020, the Fayetteville City Council went into a closed session. When they came out, they spent a lot of tax money. The minutes from the closed session were made public, this week:

A few things happened in that meeting that don’t add up:

  • The City Council decided to buy basement-level retail space in the unfinished parking deck downtown for $550,000.
  • The City Council asked the City Manager to conduct a forensic audit of “areas of concern” in the parking deck project.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? Apparently, we need a forensic audit because we’re not sure where our money’s going. In the meantime, we’re going to spend more money on the same project!?

And why is the City of Fayetteville going into the retail real estate business? That’s not really the purview of city government. Instead, our expert developer partners (Jordan Jones, Mike Lemanski, et al.) are supposed to be doing the developing. That’s their job. That was the point of the entire project.

It doesn’t make sense on its face, and because it’s all done in secret, you’re left guessing why the City of Fayetteville would buy a portion of a parking deck it already paid to build.

Here’s a theory:

A lawsuit was filed a few weeks after the closed meeting. Hay Street Development Pad, LLC (our development “partner”) was sued for $482,518.89, plus interest, by the contractor it hired to build the deck. The lawsuit was quickly and quietly resolved. You didn’t read about it in the Fayetteville Observer.

It’s quite possible that your tax dollars were used to pay off the Plaintiff in this lawsuit. Think about it. The City of Fayetteville can’t pay it because it’s not a party to the suit. And the city can’t just give Hay Street Development Pad cash. That’s probably illegal, actually. Instead, we bought the undesirable basement space in the back of the deck to get Hay Street Development Pad a quick $550,000.

Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

In the meantime, our Mayor and City Council act “concerned” and mention a “forensic audit” because they’re trying to cover their tails.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s a coincidence. You can decide for yourself. The point is we may never know. This deal started behind closed doors and it didn’t stop. Every important decision along the way, millions spent, happened in a closed room under the guise of “economic development” or “attorney client privilege.”

It’s not the way a government of the people is supposed to operate. Just ask this guy:

You reckon that audit will ever happen?

Downtown Parking Deck Poll

Your city leadership in Fayetteville spent 18 Million Tax Dollars to finance a parking deck in downtown Fayetteville. The city’s private development “partners” were supposed to build high-rise offices and a hotel on top of the deck. So far, that hasn’t happened.

From the Fayetteville Observer, yesterday:

“Construction for the facilities on top of the deck is anticipated to start back up again in late summer or early fall, (Jordan) Jones said, though developers are still trying to determine the pandemic’s impact on the project long-term.”

With that said, when do you think we’ll get a return on our investment?

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Time doesn’t stop in a pandemic, although it may feel that way at times.