Up & Coming Weekly

April 02, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 4 of 36

4 UCW APRIL 3-9, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER/ EDITOR Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly. com ASSISTANT EDITOR Leslie Pyo leslie@upandcomingweekly.com SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. EarlUCWSports@gmail.com REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Long art@upandcomingweekly.com SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR Kimberly Herndon kim@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/ SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS D.G. Martin, Pitt Dickey, Margaret Dickson, Karl Merritt, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: (910) 484-6200 FAX: (910) 484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the pub- lisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2019 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. Hope Mills Commissioners struggle with inconvenient truth by BILL BOWMAN and ELIZABETH BLEVINS At a March 25 special meeting, the Hope Mills Board of Commissioners censured Mayor Jackie Warner. e vote was four to one, with Commissioner Pat Edwards dissenting. PUBLISHER'S PEN Who would have thought the integrity and competency levels of the Hope Mills Board of Commis- sioners would fall lower than Hope Mills Lake's levels? Neither is mov- ing the community forward, and residents are not pleased at all. It's an understatement to say that Hope Mills residents are agi- tated over the way the board has treated the town's beloved mayor, Jackie Warner, and at the prospect of having to lower the water level of the lake to finish construction of the bulkhead. In the case of the bulkhead, resi- dents feel this work could have, and should have, been planned, scheduled and finished in the winter months — not during the spring and summer season, when residents anticipate enjoying the lake most. Citizens are pointing the finger at the commissioners' lack of vision and poor planning, their penchant for micromanaging staff and their reluctance to allow town em- ployees to do their job. e board is unable to focus on the issues and priorities of the town because of their obsession with unseating and displacing Warner by stripping her of responsibilities. A well-orchestrated conspiracy to render her ineffective by making her appear careless, unapproachable and defiant is in full swing. However, as the warm weather and sunny summer days approach, Hope Mills resi- dents are realizing it is not the mayor who has delayed progress on construction of the bulkhead, the kayak launch, the handicap ramp and the steps in the swimming area. e consensus is that Commissioners Meg Larson, Mike Mitchell, Jerry Legge and Jessie Bellflowers have needlessly caused these delays because of their ob- session with micromanaging and control- ling every detail of the project. It is the same kind of attention on the wrong things that allowed art sculptures created by students at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to disappear from the Hope Mills landscape. As a result, residents are disappointed, students lose an opportunity, Hope Mills fails to move forward culturally, and future expectations of growth and economic prosperity dis- sipate — along with the lake's water levels. Unfortunately, it gets crazier. e recent situation concerning the town losing its art sculptures because of a failure to renew the agreement is the near-perfect example of the misplaced priorities of most Hope Mills elected officials and their reluc- tance to take responsibility for their actions — or in this case, their inaction. Larson, Mitchell, Legge and Bellflowers called a special meeting of the board for March 25 to discuss and explain the break- down in communications with UNC-P professor Adam Walls that had resulted in the loss of the art sculptures from Mu- nicipal Park. ey also discussed an Up & Coming Weekly article published March 20, written by our writer and Hope Mills correspondent Earl Vaughan Jr., concern- ing the sculptures. While the meeting was scheduled on the pretense of discussing the disappear- ing UNC-P art sculptures, as well as the disparaging media coverage, it was re- vealed to be an excuse to create another event to degrade and embarrass Warner. Additionally, it was an attempt to dis- credit Up & Coming Weekly: both me (Bill Bowman) as the publisher and our writer Earl Vaughan Jr. Four of the board members arrived with a written resolution to cast a public vote of "No Confidence" against War- ner. Mission accomplished — while uninformed Hope Mills citizens are left scratching their heads and wondering what the heck is going on. ose four elected officials got their way; they have the votes. at's the way the system works. Only Commissioner Pat Ed- wards had the determination and intestinal fortitude to speak her mind and call out the entire process for what it was — wrong. Even as the pressure mounts, she remains the lone holdout, refusing to accept the "destroy Warner at all costs" doctrine. No doubt, Edwards finds encourage- ment and strength in the fact that she speaks not for hundreds but thousands of Hope Mills residents who want more and expect more from their town leadership and elected officials. Specifically, the truth. Here is the truth about this situation. By reading on, you can begin to understand what's going on and get the information you need to make intelligent, responsible and informed decisions about the future of the Hope Mills community. LOW 39 HIGH 65 HIGH 67 HIGH 72 LOW 41 LOW 53 APRIL 8 APRIL 7 APRIL 5 APRIL 6 APRIL 9 Mostly Sunny Scattered Thunderstorms Cloudy Showers PM Showers Partly Cloudy APRIL 4 HIGH 67 LOW 42 HIGH 75 LOW 56 HIGH 71 LOW 47

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