Up & Coming Weekly

February 04, 2020

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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4 UCW FEBRUARY 5-11, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Stephanie Crider editor@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR Jenna Shackelford jenna@upandcomingweekly.com HOPE MILLS AND SENIOR SPORTS EDITOR Earl Vaughan Jr. EarlUCWSports@gmail.com REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Baker art@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, Avery Powers, Elizabeth Blevins, Crissy Neville ––––––––––– 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 publisher. 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. © 2020 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. PUBLISHER'S PEN BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COM- MENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. If I were a property owner or downtown Fayetteville business, I would be looking at the members of the Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission with one eye closed saying, "What the hell were they think- ing?" after voting 6-1 to allow Mayor Mitch Colvin several unap- proved changes to his downtown building that violated the com- missioners' Certificate of Appropriateness guidelines. Colvin's building is the old Kress building. He painted the build- ing and added glass and aluminum doors to it. Eight responsible Fayetteville citizens were charged with overseeing policies designed to establish and maintain the dignity and historic integrity of our downtown community. en they spinelessly acquiesced with authoritative objec- tions as meaningless, ineffective and ferocious as a collec- tive pack of paper tigers. e unintended consequence of this action is heard loud and clear by all downtown property owners: Mea culpa is an acceptable strategic tactic to get things accomplished downtown since COA violations have no consequences. No fines, no sanctions, no reprimands or penalties. Out of the eight — only one responsible, policymak- ing, law-abiding, honest, Fayetteville citizen with integrity took their responsibility as a board member seriously and had the backbone to ward off the threats and intimidation of those who perceive themselves above the law. at is downtown busi- nessman Bruce Arnold, owner of Rude Awakening coffee shop. Even with his sense of responsibility, he is that lone voice in the wilderness when it comes to demonstrating a leadership style that reflects doing the right thing for the right reasons. It was Arnold who pointed out that Colvin violated the COA and gamed the system by making unauthorized changes to his building. Sadly, even after acknowledging and condemning the violations, the FHRC board voted to approve the changes 6-1 with Henry Tyson abstaining because of a compromising conflict of interest. Even with this dubious victory tucked securely under his belt, Colvin took to social media to continue his undignified attack on Arnold by doubling-down and playing the race card. No doubt to draw attention away from his misdeed by garner- ing sympathy from his supporters — without any regard to the fact he is dividing our community. is is not leadership. How- ever, it is a near-perfect example of why Fayetteville struggles to project a positive image and gain respect among statewide peers and why it's difficult to attract industry to our commu- nity. But, there is something even more troubling here. Colvin is only one person cashing in on his authority and privilege. Bruce Arnold is only one person trying to do the right thing for the right reasons. Troubling is the fact that seven Fayetteville residents serv- ing in leadership positions on the Fayetteville Historic Re- sources Commission (omas Batson, Jeremy Fiebig, Gordon Johnson, Tiffany Ketchum, George Turner, Henry Tyson, Liz Vernadoe), collectively not only recognized, identi- fied and acknowledged Colvin's violations and wrongdoing, but they refused to take the appro- priate action. eir refusal left one of their own FHRC board members, who fol- lowed the rules, enforced the policies and executed the FHRC's responsi- bilities, out in the cold to absorb the full wrath of the mayor all by himself. at's a significant betrayal of trust and dereliction of responsibility. Sure, we assume we know what the commis- sioners were thinking when the vote was taken: "Too late now. The work is already done." True as that may be, the question remains: Why are they serving on the board in the first place? And, what about the future? How is this commission going to handle the next set of COA violations? Something else is disturbing about this situation. Before Bill Kirby's comments appeared in Saturday's Feb. 1 edition of e Fayetteville Observer's article "You are right, Mr. Turner; vote doesn't look good," many people had already expressed the same sentiments as Kirby. Social media and blogs exploded and were having a field day with the FHRC decision and the resulting 6-1 vote, saying it was shortsighted and ill-conceived. Kirby's observations and analysis were right on point, but after the fact. In the weeks before the vote, e Fayetteville Observer could have and should have assigned a reporter to this story, talked with the mayor about the situation and interviewed downtown residents, businesses and property owners from the downtown historic district as well as individual FHRC commis- sion members. is style of investigative reporting is the purest form of journalism, yet, it didn't happen. Why? I suspect it would have caused a public outcry, resulting in the mayor having to comply with the COA. Or maybe that it would put some of the FHRC members at odds with the mayor or any of the build- ing's "unnamed" partners. Transparency and a little objective reporting just might have stirred up public sentiment, which would have provided the information and confidence that the FHRC board needed to face the violation head-on. Unfortu- nately, it's too late now, and the virtual can has been kicked way down Hay St. Bad decisions always have consequences. You can bet you will see that can again in the near future. In marketing, your brand — whether personal or business — is defined by a combination of who you are, what you are and what you stand for. I'll be surprised if the stigma of this poor decision doesn't cause at least a few, if not all, of the FHRC members' resignations. No one enjoys being used or publicly compromised. is case could be the poster child for both. We'll see. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. Six to one. Mayor wins. Fayetteville loses! by BILL BOWMAN Colvin's building is the old Kress building. He painted the building and added glass and aluminum doors to it.

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