05NewsDigestFayetteville Competes With the Biggest and Ranks Among the Best

Governing magazine has announced the top-ranking cities of its first-ever national survey framework of seven essential elements that define high-performance government and empower innovation. The survey found Fayetteville ranks among the biggest and best. 

The periodical is a division of e.Republic, the nation’s only media and research company focused exclusively on state and local government and education. Based on the results of its inaugural survey and analysis, the city of Phoenix, Arizona, was named the Top Performing City Overall. 

Cities across the country participated in the survey, which assessed capacity and competence in seven key areas. In recognition of their innovative and effective practices in city management and citizen service delivery, the top 10 performers overall aside from Phoenix are: El Paso, Texas; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Las Vegas, Nevada; Louisville, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Riverside, California; San Diego, California; San Jose, California and San Antonio, Texas. “People are increasingly looking to local government for solutions that address the nation’s biggest challenges,” said Steven Bosacker, an official with a subsidiary of Governing

“City leaders across the country are proving how dedicated they are to establishing high-performing administrations that respond to the needs of their communities,” he concluded.

Blackwell Responds to Tucker’s Decision Not to Seek Re-election

Since former Chief Assistant Court Clerk Cindy Blackwell announced her candidacy for Cumberland County Clerk of Superior Court, incumbent Clerk Kimberly Tucker has said she would not seek re-election. Judge Jim Ammons passed over Blackwell four years ago when he appointed Tucker to the top post. 

Announcing her candidacy last month, Blackwell said, “The clerk is not just an elected office. It’s a job with real work to be done, and the people deserve a clerk that wants to work. I will show up for work and make sure the citizens have an advocate for them in the courthouse.” The clerk was accused in a WRAL-TV Investigation of spending a lot of time at home and not going into the office regularly, an allegation Tucker denied. 

Another Accused Pedophile Jailed

Joe Caldwell Jr. will likely spend the next few months in jail as he awaits trial on numerous charges of sexually abusing children. 

His bond is set at $2.3 million. Caldwell, 34, was arrested by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Warrant Squad at an apartment in the Topeka Heights complex. “He is charged with 23 counts of sexual offenses against children,” said Captain Bobby Reyes, assistant chief of detectives with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s office. Reyes would not comment on how many children may have been involved. He said no further information could be disclosed because the investigation is on-going. 

All Gave Some; Some Gave All

Former Fayetteville City Councilman and longtime civic leader Don Talbot admonished the hundreds in attendance at this year’s Memorial Day ceremony to remember those who “wrote a blank check to the United States with a value up to and including
their life.”

Talbot almost single-handedly founded Fayetteville’s Freedom Memorial Park on Bragg Boulevard to honor veterans who gave their all in wars past and present. 

“This remains a day of appreciation for the men and women who have sacrificed for us,” Talbot said. Freedom Memorial Park is an anchor for what has become a local focal point of Fayetteville’s living association with the military. 

The Army’s Airborne and Special Operations Museum across the street and the North Carolina State Veterans Park also anchor the ceremonial corridor.


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