For heaven’s sake, pay attention Fayetteville! We have a major decision to make in eight weeks about the future of our community. I’m not talking about just voting in the upcoming March 15 Primary Election for local and national elected officials, but rather for the local $35 million bond issue that will increase Fayetteville’s degree of livability. When it comes to economic development, there is no doubt that one of the reasons why we cannot attract lucrative industry to enhance our stature is lack of amenities like parks and recreational facilities.

 I am amazed and disappointed at the lack of awareness local residents have about this critical upcoming decision. Even more disturbing is how many folks are misinformed about the P & R Bond and its potential impact on our community and quality of life. 

Admittedly, local government’s rationale for determining the communities needs and formulating the right package has left many of us scratching our heads and rolling or eyes. But now it’s done. In the weeks to come the City of Fayetteville has every intention of providing residents information and details about the initiative. To the city’s credit an intensive education and awareness campaign has been implemented. It will include community meetings, public hearings, a media campaign and community outreach. The information will be out there. Now, it will be up to the Fayetteville citizens to pay attention, access the available information, ask questions and make an intelligent and well-informed decision. After all, it is our future. 

On another note, but still on the same page, it is too bad that the city didn’t buy airtime during the J. Cole Concert Special that aired on HBO last Saturday night. Not only did HBO do a great job showcasing this talented native son, but they, like most misdirected media, made sure America got to see our seedy neighborhoods, run down houses and trashy streets. They didn’t leave out Bragg Boulevard’s shady icons and, of course, our community of homeless residents living under our downtown bridges. 

To the detriment of our community, but perhaps a wake up call for us, HBO made a great case to vote yes for the March 15 Parks & Rec Referendum. The reality is, this is the way Fayetteville is viewed by the outside world and we are the only ones who can change that. 

Get smart. Get involved. Get informed. 

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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