07 Tisha WaddellFayetteville City Councilwoman Tisha Waddell has scheduled a community forum for Nov. 15. Waddell has no formal opposition in the election. But her candidacy was opposed by Mayor Mitch Colvin, who supported a write-in candidate. Before being elected mayor, Colvin represented the city’s 3rd District, which Waddell now represents.

The write-in candidate was Dominique Ashley, a recent graduate of Fayetteville State University. She announced her candidacy two weeks before the Nov. 5 election. She’s “the kind of people we want involved in the political process,” Colvin said in an interview with The Fayetteville Observer.

Since Ashley announced her campaign, the mayor has twice shared news about her candidacy on his official Facebook page. But he said he has not formally endorsed anyone for office.

Waddell concedes she and Colvin have not always shared the same views on local issues. She supports the proposal to build a multimillion-dollar Civil War & Reconstruction History Center in Fayetteville. Colvin does not. “The majority of the people I’ve spoken with are supportive of the center,” she said. “We think that it’s a good idea.”

It’s one of the subjects the councilwoman says will be highlighted at the community meeting she has scheduled for Nov. 15. It will be held at Simon Temple AME Zion Church on Yadkin Road from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Stormwater issues and sidewalks plus street resurfacing are the other topics of discussion for the forum. “We are directly affected by a lack of resources,” Waddell declared. “I want to make sure the people in my district are knowledgeable,” she added.

City officials responsible for management of streets and sidewalks will be on hand to field questions. Leaders of the History Center have also been invited. “We don’t think of it as a museum,” said Center Chairman Mac Healy.

The Winston-Salem-based Winslow Group was commissioned to perform a conceptual feasibility study, measure support for the mission and gauge interest beyond Fayetteville. Planning of the learning center began 12 years ago. In 2007, the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation received a planning grant from the North Carolina General Assembly. Foundation leaders immediately commissioned the Ohio-based museum consulting firm Germann and Associates to perform a benchmarking and assessment study.

Because of the existing museum’s location on one of North Carolina’s most important Civil War sites and its ownership of the Reconstruction-era E. A. Poe House, consultants recommended that the new center focus on the Civil War and Reconstruction in North Carolina. Local leaders also decided to include the antebellum period from about 1830. It was the period before the War Between the States that philosophically and politically resulted in the conflict.

The interpretive consultants were instructed to find the most effective means of telling the story of North Carolina’s people, all of them, and not to rely solely on artifacts. From the beginning, the History Center’s planners understood that many students from across the state would benefit from the use of technology. So, they created one of the nation’s first digital master plans to make this authoritative resource accessible to all.

Pictured: Tisha Waddell

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