4At the last City Council meeting the members of the Fayetteville City Council voted down a proposal to adopt a “resolution in support of immigrant communities in Fayetteville.” Good for them. After all, Fayetteville has an indisputable reputation for being one of the friendliest and most diverse communities in the country.
Regardless of whether this resolution was symbolic or not, it's absurd and insulting to even insinuate we must mandate such humanity. Sure, liberal- progressive communities like Chapel Hill and Carboro cowed down to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's left-wing progressive wishes, but in Fayetteville, trying to endorse and pass such a resolution in our community disrespects citizens of our proud heritage.
There is another disturbing aspect of that proposed resolution and the way it was voted on. The resolution was voted down with a 4-4 split vote. The City Council is made up of 9 District Representatives and the Mayor. The vote should equal 10, not 8.
Hmmm? Perhaps we should be concerned that our elected officials are not representing their constituents or taking their responsibilities seriously.
The 4-4 vote resulted when Councilman Mario Benavente proposed the motion introducing the symbolic resolution, and it was then supported by Council Members Brenda McNair and Courtney Banks-McLaughlin who were present at the meeting.
The fourth "yes" vote came courtesy of Deno Hondros who was not present at the meeting and was credited with an "unexcused" absence. Regardless of motion, an unexcused absence results in an automatic “yes” vote. (I contacted Loren Bymer, Director of Marketing and Communications for the city, to define what is considered an "unexcused absence " vs. an excused absence. His office has not responded.)
Kudos to Mayor Colvin, and Council Members Lynne Greene, Malik Davis, and Mayor Pro Tem Kathy Jensen who voted NO against the resolution. But, what about Council Members Derrick Thompson and D.J. Haire?
What was their vote? What were their comments and where did they weigh in on this issue? The answer is: they didn't.
Both were officially excused from the meeting by the council, so their absence did not count in the vote. So, is this how they are going to continue representing their constituents by manipulating absences?
If so, you can be assured that the outcomes will never be in favor of the citizens. Another question comes to mind: When a Council Member has an unexcused absence do they get paid for that meeting or is their salary adjusted?
Support immigrant communities in Fayetteville? You bet we do. Fayetteville is known nationwide for its diverse population and warm, friendly, hospitable outreach to all nationalities.
If any city councilman feels the need to introduce and vote on a symbolic resolution, let it be one recognizing Fayetteville as a community of History, Heroes and a Hometown Feeling. This includes our immigrants.
Thanks for reading the Up & Coming Weekly community newspaper, and I hope to see you in September at the International Folk Festival when we celebrate our diverse heritage.

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