robyne parrishSometimes, just sometimes, there is so much going on in this community it’s hard to decide what to write about. So, here are a few thoughts and comments on some hits and misses I found most interesting the past several weeks. I will start with the most exciting.

Hit: On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as America’s 45th president. Making America great should be every American’s highest priority.

Miss: All those people who refuse to acknowledge him as the truly-elected Commander-in-Chief are disrespecting the office of the presidency. This is deplorable, un-American behavior regardless of sexual orientation, political affiliation or race.

Hit: Cumberland County follows the City’s lead and steps up with a $7.5 million unanimous decision to support the Civil War History Education Center. All we need to do now is get started on a new downtown Performing Arts Center.

Miss: Cary and Raleigh’s attempt to “drain the river” by taking nine million gallons of water a day from the Cape Fear River, regardless of the long-term effect it will have on everyone down river in the southeast region of North Carolina.

Hit: A gracious farewell by Artistic Director of the Gilbert Theatre Robyne Parrish as she addressed about 75 friends and well-wishers, bidding them goodbye. Parrish is relocating to Pittsburgh, with her husband Matt, after a successful five-year stint at the Gilbert.

Miss: Shame on the naysayers who have no vision for the future of Fayetteville. They need to lead, follow or get out of the way.

Miss: The excessive amount of litter on Fayetteville and Cumberland County streets and roadways. Fayetteville needs an anti-litter campaign and an official beautification program. This is not being critical of efforts currently being taken by the city and county to address the litter problem. Only education, awareness and action will be effective in addressing the problem. Trash is everywhere!

Hit: City Manager Doug Hewett has initiated a search for a new Fayetteville police chief to replace Chief Harold Medlock, who retired last year. Many think our interim chief Anthony Kelly is qualified for the job. We’ll find out soon.

Miss: Gun violence and homicides in Fayetteville during 2016 have reached a concerning all-time high. Should we be concerned? Yes!

Hit: The new downtown baseball stadium and the $60 million of economic development that will ensue.

Miss: Our community’s continued insistence on listening to outsider experts and paid boilerplate consultants on how to create economic development in Cumberland County. We continue to pay them to come here and state the obvious to us as if it was new found wisdom. Recently, a professor at the UNC School of Government shared these nuggets of wisdom with our local government officials: Local leaders must work together and get along with each other. Duh! And, we should encourage more local investment and more investment would mean more jobs and more jobs would mean higher wages and that would mean a better quality of life. Really? At this stage of the game do Fayetteville and Cumberland County think we really need consultants and university professors stating the obvious to us?

Hit: The prospect of our local Fayetteville General Assembly delegation advocating for “local preference” legislation that would give local businesses an edge in gaining local contracts. Keeping commerce local is important and so is shopping locally.

All these things are thought-worthy and all affect our quality of life here in Fayetteville and Cumberland County. And, you didn’t need to hire a consultant to find them out.

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