Fayetteville Logo I was very grateful to read the article written by Lois Kirby two weeks ago discussing the District 5 Special Use Permit. In an age of dwindling readership and lack of non-biased news resources, thank you for your service to our city. Our citizens must know what is happening in our city; Otherwise our government at all levels will run unmonitored and unaccountable.

As stated previously, it absolutely was an insult to our neighbors when City Council refused to follow protocol by voting twice on the issue and then tableing the matter when they did not get the vote they wanted.

What is even worse, after the two votes on May 22, we were instructed by the Mayor Mitch Colvin to get together with Mrs. Creecy, owner of Shinelight LLC, and come to an agreeance on how she could build her property that would be in harmony with the neighborhood. He also suggested Johnny Dawkins, as our District 5 Councilman, get involved to help us come to a compromise. There is more to the story and it needs to be told as well…

Two weeks after the May 26 City Council meeting, the neighbors and Mrs. Creecy met together at Lois Kirby’s home. We were invited for coffee, tea, and to have a civilized discussion on how we could come together as a neighborhood. I was excited to meet my new neighbor Mrs. Creecy, welcome her, make sure she knows we have no ill-will towards her, that she can operate her business however she sees fit, that many of the neighbors currently have autistic family members and love her services. We simply want the building she plans on building not to be a duplex because it doesn’t coincide with the current city planning and the current Haymount District which is a large majority single family homes.

It is obvious to anyone who meets her that Mrs. Creecy is a wonderful woman doing a great service to disadvantaged individuals. The night at the Kirby’s was fantastic. After much discussion, we all came to an agreement that would benefit the neighborhood. The agreement that Mrs. Creecy signed spoke of privacy hedges, a fence/wall, and most importantly two condominiums or townhomes instead of the duplex. The townhomes that were agreed upon maintain the harmony of the neighborhood and encourages property ownership in the area. After our meeting, our agreement was submitted to the city, and the Kirby’s informed Johnny Dawkins of the results by phone some time later.

I was so excited to see the matter reappear in front of City Council at the next session on June 26. Thinking they would commend us for working together (since this is what we all teach our children to do in situations like this), maybe they would be proud of the work they gave us to do…but we were hoodwinked! They straight up bamboozled us like a used car salesman selling a lemon. They refused to look at the new submitted agreement, turned a blind eye on commendable community unity, and voted a third time in order to get their passing vote they so diligently sought.

When the second meeting started and began to unfold, I realized I was about to witness a betrayal. Johnny Dawkins, our own District 5 representative, started out by saying he had a talk behind closed doors with the City Attorney and he now wanted to ask for recusal from the vote on approving the city permit. This was strange? He was told by the mayor the month before, to intercede between everyone in his community, he was supposed to be the figurehead, the man who gets credit for getting everyone together for a win-win. But he was not, we were betrayed. Every Councilman who even spoke to the public about the issue was advised by the City Attorney behind closed doors to ask for recusal, but… only our Councilman actually bowed out. The only councilman, our supposed advocate, played us like a fiddle.

I have been watching our government from afar for the last few years, especially the Cain Rd. incident, and this was the straw that broke the camels back. I cannot sit by idly any longer, I am now running for City Council District 5 and I want my neighbors and community to know Fayetteville is not for Sale!

—Justin Herbe,
Fayetteville resident District 5

Editor's note: The referenced article by Lois Kirby ran in the Aug. 24 issue. It can be found at https://www.upandcomingweekly.com/views/9947-district-5-special-use-permit-is-an-insult-to-all-fayetteville-residents

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