Up & Coming Weekly

September 06, 2022

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 32

4 UCW SEPTEMBER 7 - 13, 2022 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Finally, common sense prevails. Unfortunately, it had to be man- dated by Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons. Ammons ruled on Sept. 1 that the Vote Yes Fayetteville referendum be put on the November ballot for voters to decide whether or not they want to change the structure of the Fayetteville City Council. It's crazy. In my lifetime, I have never seen such aversion and reluc- tance to allow Americans to vote and have a voice in their government. However, I do understand human nature, and when unscrupulous people get into positions of power, the only way they can maintain their foothold is to stifle transparency and derail the democratic process. Unfortunately, Fayetteville's city government is a textbook example of these shenanigans. When council members prioritize personal agendas over what is best for citizens, they are stifling this com- munity and suffocating its growth and quality of life. e Vote Yes referendum is vitally essential to the survival of this com- munity. Citizens must be allowed to vote on whether or not to break this Council's cycle of secrecy, incompetence and corruption. If the Vote Yes Referendum fails after it's presented on the ballot, so be it. en we will ultimately get the type of government we deserve. For those who may have been on Mars for the past year, the Vote Yes Fayetteville initiative changes how our City Council members are elected. Currently, the Mayor is the only elected official that is elected city- wide. Districts elect the other nine members of the Council. Vote Yes, if approved, would give Fayetteville voters six votes (four at-large, one precinct vote and one mayor vote) rather than only two. I've always said, "What's not to like about that?" Six is always better than two, and every citizen gets the same opportunity. Make sense? Fair? Not to those who fear the outcome of a real democracy. Well, the madness continues. After Judge Ammons announced his ruling, the Fayetteville City Council immediately called an emergency meeting the next day to analyze and discuss the litigation. After such a logical ruling, one would think the Council would accept the decision and move on to more pressing issues in our com- munity. Issues like the roving band of downtown vagrants peeing on my office storefront, ravaging my trash dumpster, and turning my parking lot and city sidewalks into a disgusting and embarrassing image of our city. No. Not this group of ne're-do- wells. ey would lose too much power and privilege if the people were allowed to vote for competency and transparency. In a vote of 4 to 3, the Council voted to appeal Judge Ammons' decision against their own attorney's advice, all the while clinging to Mitch Col- vin's false narrative that creating at-large districts would dilute repre- sentation and create hardships finan- cially for minority candidates. Well, the Mayor is wrong on both assumptions. First, at-large members would in- crease representation (six votes over two votes), and second, Fayetteville's Black population is no longer the minority — 50% vs. 35%. In a typical and arrogant motion, with little hope of reversing Am- mons' ruling, Mayor Colvin, Derrick ompson, D.J. Haire and Mario Benavente voted to spend $25-30K of taxpayer money in a final desper- ate attempt to salvage their political futures. Maybe by the time you read this, the courts will have made their final decision. Let's hope so. In the meantime, I want to say "thank you" to the doz- ens of people who worked diligently getting us this far in the process and the thousands (5,009) of Fayetteville citizens that stepped up and signed the Vote Yes petition in the spirit of freedom and democracy. Stay tuned, and thank you for read- ing the Up & Coming Weekly commu- nity newspaper. STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com MANAGING EDITOR April Olsen editor@upandcomingweekly.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Hannah Lee assistanteditor@upandcomingweekly. com ART DIRECTOR Courtney Sapp-Scott art@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Isaiah Jones graphics@upandcomingweekly.com STAFF WRITERS Alyson Hansen Ashley Shirley Kathleen Ramsey Jason Brady R. Elgin Zeiber Chayenne Burns Laura Browne CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Pitt Dickey and Karl Merritt COVER Design by Isaiah Jones Cover photo by Dylan Hooker MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com 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. 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 Association of Community Publishers Vote Yes Fayetteville finally prevails (we hope) by BILL BOWMAN BILL BOWMAN, Publisher. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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