Up & Coming Weekly

February 02, 2021

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 3-9, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR editor@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Keyuri Parab REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Margaret Dickson, Pitt Dickey, D.G. Martin, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor, 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. Nightmare on Hay Street by J. ANTOINE MINER SR. 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU FEB 04 FRI FEB 05 SAT FEB 06 SUN FEB 07 MON FEB 08 TUE FEB 09 60 48 70 51 58 41 58 38 57 37 58 39 Partly Cloudy PM Showers AM Showers AM Showers Cloudy Showers Association of Community Publishers The Jan. 27 special council meeting was a nightmare that seemed to never end. I watched the Fayetteville City Councils' special meeting on the 1832 Market House's status with dismay. Mayor Mitch Colvin chaired it (or did he?). During the nearly 105 minutes, we witnessed pure political theatrics and virtue signaling as one after the other, councilmembers either pointed fingers, shifted blame or introduced what seemed to be an endless list of motions that clearly accomplished nothing more than satisfying their need to be heard. e session initially appeared to be a meeting to discuss the status of the Market House. However, there was no defined consen- sus or understanding of what that would entail, not to mention no clue of how much it would cost taxpayers. Crazy. After borrowing over $4 Million from the Public Works Commission, the council then voted to raise their own salaries and give themselves bonuses at the expense of Fayetteville residents, and now they want to relocate a historical landmark and to an unknown location. e cost will indeed border on obscene. I had to continually ask myself aren't these supposed to be our leaders who are supposed to be looking after the best interest of all Fayetteville residents? Collectively they have little idea of what matters to the residents. Nor do they care. If you watched that confusing and embarrassing circus and felt you abruptly woke up in someone else's nightmare, I have summed up a few of my observations and assessments. District 6 Councilman Chris Davis wants to relocate the Market House while having no knowledge or under- standing of how it can be accomplished or if it can be achieved and how much it would cost the taxpayers. District 3 Councilwoman Tisha Waddell appeared to be testing the mayoral waters as she virtue signaled to certain elements of her constituency, and presented herself as blameless on the issues. Waddell did push the idea of issuing a referendum that would place the destiny of the market house options on the November ballot of this year's municipal elections so all the com- munity's voices could be heard. However, that motion was dead on arrival when it was argued that regardless of the outcome of demolishing, repurpose, or relocat- ing the building, a newly elected council could override the people's will. Her action was virtue signaling. Waddell knew, based on their previous conversations with council members, that was not going to happen. Another example of shameless grandstanding by sitting council members, wasting time pandering to an already frustrated base. District 2 Councilwoman Shakeyla Ingram once again advocates for whatever Black Lives Matter dictates. She is blatantly and shamelessly only concerned with one demographic of her district constituency while ignoring the needs of all Fayetteville residents. District 8 Councilwoman Courtney Banks- McLaughlin also marches to BLM's drumbeat and dictates while ignoring her constituents' needs, opinions, and sentiments. Banks McLaughlin wants to erase and destroy history, heritage as well as Market House. District 9 Councilwoman Yvonne Kinston seemed to be as shocked, confused, and dismayed as I was as to the way the meeting was conducted. District 7 Councilman Larry Wright struggled several times to appear intelligent and articulate by com- menting on several motions; however, all attempts fell short, lacking clarity and command of the issues at hand. District 5 Councilman Johnny Dawkins seemed to agree with the motion to keep the Black Lives Do Matter mural around the market house, but only if it is tempo- rary. Really? Well, in my opinion, this only a band-aid solution that keeps the wound open and unable to heal. I, for one, feel a temporary mural would heighten ten- sions and feed the flames of hate and divisiveness. District 1 Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Keefe Jensen seemed to be just as absent at this meeting as she has been for the past year. Many have wondered where she has been during all the City's turmoil, especially since the May 30 riots and protests. Some of us speculate she is Mayor Colvin's "go-to girl" as she carefully pays homage to Colvin in hopes of being the next Mayor of Fayetteville. We'll see. District 4 Councilman D.J. Haire appeared to press the City Manager Doug Hewitt for information regard- ing repurposing or relocating the markethouse, which he stated was requested months prior. He was quickly corrected by the City Manager that the information was not requested months ago but rather a few weeks ago. is is a clear indication that the council is clueless about what is really going on in the city and even in their own meetings. Last and not least, our Mayor Mitch Colvin. Colvin seemed to be on defense the entire evening. e mayor is a figurehead and a clever one at that, with more backroom deals percolating than a porcupine has quills. However, this market-house situation demonstrates that he has a swallow vision for Fayetteville's future, little apa- thy or empathy for its citizens, and a conspicuous lack of leadership substance. I was very surprised to see several councilmembers say that they were "prepared to vote" on motions that they clearly had no understanding of, which says to me that the members of the council are blindly voting on the people's business, and that is scary and unacceptable. is is not a "hit piece." I love this community. I understand that the Market House is viewed as a symbol of hate, hurt, pain, and anguish for some. And, these residents would prefer to see it gone. I respect that. I also understand that it is a symbol of pride and heritage with valuable historical relevance to many, and I respect that as well. It is the task of our local leadership to provide guidance and vision for the "greater good" of all the residents of Fayetteville. No one, in the end, should feel betrayed and disregarded. We have so many more important issues to address in this pandemic weary community. I say leave the Market House where it is. Re- purpose it if necessary for the community's betterment, but our City Council should focus on the issues everyone can relate to and appreciate — crime, infrastructure (roads/stormwater), poverty, homelessness, economic growth and leadership and youth development. Our City Council has wasted enough taxpayer time, money and resources on this Market House issue. Last week's special meeting accomplished nothing but sent city staff on a financially draining fact-finding mis- sion that will yield nothing more than another series of useless sessions filled with embarrassing motions, emotions, objections, and friendly amendments that are not at all very friendly. I say no more taxpayer-funded conversations that yield no benefit for the taxpayers. Enough already with the empty words, broken promises, virtue signaling and pandering. We all have had enough. Together let us focus on what brings the city together, not what tears it apart. I am looking forward to doing my part in changing the style of leadership in our city. I hope you are too. I am J Antoine Miner, and I love this city. We Can Do better! J. ANTOINE MINER SR. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. POLITICS

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