It’s official now. Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin issued a formal announcement that he is running for mayor.
He joins fellow City Council member Kirk deViere in challenging two-term mayor Nat Robertson.
A fourth candidate, Quancidine Hinson Gribble, has also filed for the post. After declaring for months that he would not seek a third term, Robertson announced in April that he would run again.
Colvin’s entry into the race makes for interesting political dynamics, especially since two of the nine incumbent Council members have chosen not to seek re-election. Because more than twice the number of candidates for the mayor’s seat are in the running, a primary election will be held Oct. 10. The candidates who receive the top two most number of votes will meet in November.
Speaking of Elections…
The Cumberland County Board of Elections is seeking precinct workers for the 2017 municipal election Nov. 7. Interested persons must be U.S. citizens, registered voters in Cumberland County, available to attend required training and able to operate laptop computers.
They must remain non-partisan on the day of the election and be available to work the entire day from 5:30 a.m. until dismissed by the Chief Judges, usually between 9 and 11 p.m.
Precinct workers are compensated for attending training and for working on Election Day. Twentysix precincts/polling locations are especially in need of workers. Interested people should call (910) 678-7733.
Fort Bragg Soldiers Are Encouraged to Re-up
The Army is offering big bonuses to qualified soldiers it hopes to retain in order to build the force back up to 1 million troops. It’s an acrossthe-board effort in the regular Army and the reserves. Bonus money is available to persuade service members to stay on, especially in critical MOSs. Applicants will be expected to score well on aptitude tests.
“There is a group of young men and women that are motivated by money,” Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Stoneburg told the Army Times. For example, an airborne-qualified combat medic NCO interested in Special Forces can reenlist, complete special operations qualifications and receive up to $72,000 in bonus money, depending on rank and contract commitment. Non-airborne infantrymen can also earn bonuses by becoming paratroopers. Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division is the only parachute division in the military and is considered the Army’s elite.
Tokay Senior Fitness Center to Open Soon
The City of Fayetteville missed its mid-July target date for reopening the popular Tokay Senior Fitness Center on Hamilton Street off Tokay Drive. It will reopen Aug. 1, according to Fayetteville / Cumberland Recreation & Parks Director Michael Gibson.
The interior of the building sustained smoke damage in late March during an electrical fire caused by a short circuit in an electric treadmill. The rubberized floor of the building had to be replaced, and air conditioning ducts were cleaned, all of which delayed the reopening of the center. Patrons and some city officials voiced concerns that it took four months for city contractors to make repairs to the building.
North Carolina Veterans Park
Fayetteville was chosen by the North Carolina General Assembly to host the nation’s first state park devoted to military veterans. The multi-million dollar facility at 300 Bragg Blvd. is adjacent to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum. It was built at state expense and is maintained by the City of Fayetteville. It is the first state park dedicated to military veterans — young and old, living and deceased, from all branches of the armed services.
Admission is free. The North Carolina Veterans Park’s hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. It’s closed Mondays, except on federal holidays. It’s also closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter.
Improving Pedestrian Safety in Fayetteville
The City of Fayetteville is asking residents to take part in a survey to help improve pedestrian safety in the city. City Council wants to complete a pedestrian master plan in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Transportation. A committee met this spring to begin the process for developing the plan. Since then, a consultant has been creating an inventory of options for pedestrians. The committe has built a website for the project: www.WalkingFayetteville.com.
A section of the website is devoted to collecting input from residents who are encouraged to complete the survey.