Up & Coming Weekly

April 04, 2023

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 24

4 UCW APRIL 5 - 11, 2023 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 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 Chayenne Burns Katrina Wilson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rep. Richard Hudson, Soni Martin, Ashley Kelsey MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com COVER Design by Isaiah Jones Image courtesy The Visual Conversation: Artists Who Teach 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. For the first time in my 30-year history of being associated with Fayetteville/ Cumberland County youth baseball, I was greatly disappointed that out of 17 combined city and county elected of- ficials, no one representing this commu- nity's residents felt it necessary enough to show up at the Kiwanis Recreation Center's ballfields to participate and cel- ebrate the excitement of Youth Baseball's Opening Day. Hundreds of people gathered to- gether last Saturday morning when the Fayetteville Kiwanis Club welcomed the "children of summer" onto the baseball field. Where were our Cumberland Com- missioners, Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Col- vin, and any member of the Fayetteville City Council? e most glaring absence was that of Councilman Johnny Dawkins since the ballpark and all that Opening Day excitement was taking place in his home District 5. Oops! Or, perhaps we should refer to this as his other home in District 5. His real home, where his wife resides, is in the Raleigh-Garner area, as recently reported by the news media. I doubt living part-time elsewhere would qualify as an "excused absence." However, it does speak volumes to the adage "out of sight, out of mind." Like many others elected, Dawkins likes to get out of Fayetteville as often as he can. A disturbing circumstance for someone elected to represent ALL the residents of Fayetteville full-time. But this editorial is not about Dawkins. is local newspaper believes that elected city and county officials are responsible for representing their constituents and promoting their community's interests. Elected officials cannot do this if they are constantly absent from major public events, meetings and social gatherings. Our present elected officials constantly shield themselves from the public. And, rightfully so. Why? Accountability. ey know all too well that by making them- selves more visible and accessible to their constituents, they would be held account- able and responsible for their actions and decisions. And, since many of them are oblivious to what is happening in the community, they cannot intelligently explain their actions or behavior, which makes this matter even more egregious. We, as responsible citizens, want to get to know our elected officials. We want them to see our support, yet we intend to hold them accountable for their actions. But, there are other reasons they should make themselves accessible. ey should want to build trust and relationships with residents. Getting out in public allows elected officials to connect with constitu- ents personally, which builds confidence, trust and promotes transparency. Elected officials should want to raise awareness of important city and county issues and initiatives and engage the com- munity by asking for their input. Effective elected officials demonstrate leadership by appearing at public events like Opening Days, Dogwood Festivals, Karen Chandler Concerts, and Chamber of Commerce events, etc., taking advan- tage of the opportunity to demonstrate and endorse their commitment to the community while taking an active and genuine role in representing Fayetteville/ Cumberland County constituents to promote positive change and enhance the quality of life. In closing, I feel being out in public and promoting constituents' interests is their overall responsibility. Attending public events and mingling with the people is integral to an elected official's role in serving the Fayetteville and Cumberland County community. ey need to stop trying to communi- cate with us through ineffective websites, social media and Constant Contact email blasts. Nothing works better than trans- parency and face-to-face interaction. ank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly. BILL BOWMAN, Publisher. COMMENTS? BILL@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. PUBLISHER'S PEN City and county officials 'strike out' on Opening Day by BILL BOWMAN Letters to the Editor Do YOU have something to say? We want YOU to be heard! We want EVERYONE to be able to voice their opinions on current community events. Let us be a place to start much needed conversations. ALL VOICES WELCOMED! EMAIL: editor@upandcomingweekly.com CALL: 910-484-6200

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