How do we create a better city, grow our economy and produce a city in which our children and grandchildren will want to return to live, work and raise a family? We do it by focusing on job creation and economic development.
The city has to become more efficient in delivering services to our citizens, to our existing businesses and to our new businesses. We must cut any red tape hindering business expansion, and incentivize our local businesses to grow, to take risks, and to double down on Fayetteville. As a former City Council member and successful businessman for over 35 years; I have the leadership, the vision and the job creation experience to help lead this effort on the City Council.
We have the available land, the natural resources (river), the infrastructure (PWC water/electricity), the schools (K-12, FSU, FTCC, Methodist University) and the location on I-95 to be an ideal site for new manufacturing. Our peers in South Carolina have provided the blueprint — just look to Greenville-Spartanburg with the BMW plant or Florence with the Honda plant or the Boeing plant in Charleston. Yet, we’ll only achieve similar breakthroughs if the state, the county, the city of Fayetteville, and the Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation work together as a unified front.
We, also, must remain laser-focused on public safety. None of our economic efforts will succeed if the basic safety of our residents is in question. Stronger neighborhood-police relations will benefit us all. Initiatives, like Fayetteville Beautiful or Community Watch meetings, or National Night Out events, all complement our efforts to provide places in which people feel safe while walking or biking, or meeting their neighbors.
Hurricane Matthew proved that we have underinvested in stormwater management. Stormwater management is one of the least exciting aspects of local governance, but repairing damaged, city-owned dams needs to happen as quickly as possible. We must build a closer relationship with federal and state authorities, so that funds flow more quickly to the city to cover infrastructure repairs. We must take responsibility and budget wisely, when considering our city-owned dams. Property values (and property taxes to the city) are much higher when a lake is filled with water!
On the subject of water, I am concerned that Fayetteville is on track to becoming the retention pond capital of North Carolina. We need to take another look at our development ordinances, as many developers are finding it easier and less expensive to build in the surrounding counties, instead of complying with our regulations. We want economic development to occur
inside our city limits.
I promise to be your voice on City Council to work to bring new industry and revenue to our city, to hold the line on property taxes, to continue to reduce crime, to work to create good jobs, and to be a watchdog of our city finances. I’m Johnny Dawkins, and I ask for your vote for Council District 5.
One Stop Early voting begins Sept. 21, and the Primary election is Tuesday, Oct. 10. The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 7. You can contact the Board of Elections at (910) 678-7733, if you have questions about when or where to cast your vote for Johnny Dawkins for Council District 5, during the upcoming Municipal Elections.
PHOTO: Johnny Dawkins, District 5 City Council Candidate