On Saturday, District 3 City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Mitch Colvin informally announced his intentions to challenge incumbent Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson. To quote USMC Private Gomer Pyle: “Surprise, surprise, surprise!” And, what a surprise it was. Needless to say, this development has many involved Fayetteville citizens and political observers scratching their heads and wondering how this will affect the future of Fayetteville. Their concerns are justified.
First of all, it was common knowledge in political circles that Colvin was not interested in seeking the mayor’s spot this time around. In addition, he had pledged to support Robertson in his bid for a third term in office. Robertson was counting on it.
Secondly, unlike the ugly and mean-spirited 2013 mayoral race between Val Applewhite and Robertson, no such hostility, conflicts or transgressions seem to be present between Colvin and Robertson.
This begs the question, why is Colvin entering the race? Why, after years of touting the many successful achievements impacting and improving Fayetteville’s quality of life and economic development, would he question or challenge Fayetteville’s present leadership and direction? And, without provocation? Even more disturbing is why Robertson’s challengers are two sitting Council members. What’s the beef? Under Robertson and the current council, Fayetteville has enjoyed a lower crime rate, a safer city and across the board quality-oflife achievements. These achievements include the $35 million Parks and Recreation bond and the $33 million baseball stadium, which is a potential $60 million economic development driver for the City and all of Cumberland County. Not to mention a vibrant downtown community that is finally coming of age. In other words, what’s not to like? Or, what’s not to dislike?
deViere versus Robertson. Ok we get it. There are noticeable philo
sophical and leadership style differences that manifested themselves over the last year. But, Colvin? There are no such traces of animosity, internal conflict or leadership depravity. This too begs the question, what’s Colvin’s motive? How can he, or deViere for that matter, attack the leadership and achievements of a Council on which they both serve? We’ll find out as this political drama unfolds. In the meantime, hope for the best but prepare for the worst in the long run. Unexplainable situations like this don’t usually work out for the best. And then there’s that old Fayetteville haunt that we never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.
Voters need to pay attention. Fayetteville’s future is at stake here. And, the stakes are high. Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.