Up & Coming Weekly

November 16, 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 NOVEMBER 17-23, 2021 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR Emily Sussman editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com PRODUCTION MANAGER/ GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITER Elaina J. Martin REPORTER Jeff Thompson MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS DorMiya Vance, John Hood COVER Deigned by Dylan Hooker. –––––––––––- 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 Army Airfield, 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 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU NOV 18 FRI NOV 19 SAT NOV 20 SUN NOV 21 MON NOV 22 TUE NOV 23 73 42 61 40 62 44 64 42 60 38 55 38 Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy Partly Cloudy AM Showers AM Showers Association of Community Publishers Holy Smoke! e last few weeks have kept us crazy busy regarding news and events explicitly focused on our lo- cal government and city officials. First was the Island Flava incident, Oct. 13, where one man was shot and killed and another injured. A local news blog has alleged the Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins and Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin were at that location socializing and celebrating Fayetteville State University's Homecoming that evening. e blog further accuses Hawkins of misuse of police resources and abuse of power. On Tuesday, Nov. 9, former Councilwoman Tisha Wad - dell resigned abruptly from her District 3 seat, alleging corruption on the part of Colvin and Jonathon Charleston, and accusing the mayor and city council members of self-serving misconduct, mismanagement and conflicts of inter - est. en last week, at a special meeting to appoint citizens to city committees and commissions, Councilmembers Johnny Dawkins and Yvonne Kin - ston engaged in a shouting brouhaha that resulted in an impromptu recess and cooling-off period. ese are indications that a day of reckoning is approaching for our city, which has al - lowed the lives and livelihoods of over 200,000 citizens to be entrusted to in- competent and unqualified leadership. No doubt we can do better. Much better. Out of the ten members that make up our council very few have adequate business, government or political experience. Four are ordained ministers and all of them are being led by a mayor with a dubious and crimi - nal past. One might ask, what possibly could go wrong? e answer, every- thing. After years of turning a blind eye to inept governance, contradictions in policy, corruption and conflicts of interest, it is coming to light that Fayetteville's City Hall is being ravished by scandals and scallywags. As a local news source, we haven't written or commented much about these issues because, in many cases, accusations of criminal misconduct are difficult to substantiate without ample resources. However, what has always proven likely in this community is that where there is smoke, there is fire. Here at Up & Coming Weekly, we tend to believe in what we see and not what we hear. We did not comment on the Island Flava incident because we could not, and have not, substatiated or been able to contact someone who would come forward to substantiate the allegations. We concluded it is likely the story is an embellishment of the facts and is in - tended to target Hawkins, who is highly unpopular within the Fayetteville Po- lice Department. Because it came from a source inside the FPD, the story was afforded credibility, and this fueled the attention it garnered. We immediately requested a comment or clarification directly from the Police Chief and City Hall concerning the incident and were told that a statement from the chief 's office would be forthcoming. It never came. Now, we're told City Attorney Karen McDonald is slow walking an of - ficial request to have the incident inves- tigated. One must ask, why the delay? I admire Waddell's moxie in articu- lating all the unsavory allegations in her recent resignation letter. Anyone on the inside who cares about the welfare of the Fayetteville community knows there is substance to every one of her accusations. Many citizens not privy to the local govenrment's go - ings on do not have access to all of the information. After all, Fayetteville and Cumberland County lack adequate local news media coverage. is al - lows for little or no public oversight regarding what is taking place in our local government. And, like Waddell made clear in her letter, the only body capable of monitoring the conduct of the Fayetteville City Council is the City Council themselves. Yes. e fox is guarding the henhouse. No doubt this has made everyone's tempers short, and their nerves are on edge. is could be why Councilmembers Johnny Dawkins and Yvonne Kinston squared off at an Appointments Committee meeting. Bad behavior has been rewarded for way too long: now it's time to pay the piper. We know there is currently an official complaint filed against Hawkins in the Superior Court. We have also recorded past corrupt, improper and questionable conduct by city staff and City Council members. (i.e. Ted Voor - hees/Tyron Williams.) Now, Waddell has laid out at least a dozen accusations of mismanagement and misconduct directly at the feet of the City Council and all of Fayetteville. It is a bold and courageous move by a local official who refused to "go along to get along." It will be interesting to see how city officials react or if they react at all. I would be remiss if I did not again point out that all of these issues stem from a lack of media or news journal - ism to provide oversight to ask hard questions. ese events and actions evolved without transparency, follow- ing the same corrupt plan the Town of Spring Lake followed for over a decade before being taken over by the state for misuse and mismanagement of over $1.8 million of taxpayer's money. We cannot let that happen in our city. A special thanks to Waddell, regard - less of what her motives were. e Fayetteville City Council has now been confronted with serious allegations. e warning signs of corruption are ob - vious. Let's see how they handle it. Yes. It's time to peel back the onion, take action and hold people accountable. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. City governance: it's time to peel back the onion by BILL BOWMAN BILL BOWMAN, Publisher, UP & COMING WEEKLY. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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