City Council newBusiness-wise, 2017 was a great year, but I’m especially excited about 2018. Fayetteville and Cumberland County are flush with opportunities to stimulate our economy, advance our reputation, solidify our brand and enhance our quality of life. The big question looming out there is whether we have the leadership in place to take advantage of these opportunities. After attending the first planning session of the new Fayetteville City Council, I must admit I was slightly disappointed at the reluctance of several council members to step up and take leadership positions on two major local initiatives.

Both initiatives – Pathways to Prosperity and city support for the proposed NC Civil War & Reconstruction History Center – were obviously relevant and potentially beneficial to the residents of Fayetteville. Instead of evaluating these projects on their merits and how they could positively impact the community, council members seemed to be reluctant and overly concerned about how their constituents would perceive and react to their decisions. This concern, rather than a will to provide the leadership and direction for which they were elected, was the focus.

This preoccupation is concerning. They are all intelligent and capable people with good intentions and judgment. Why the reluctance? Doing the right thing for the right reasons never warrants an apology. That’s real leadership, and real leadership inspires vision and aggressive action. The city of Fayetteville is desperately in need of both if it is to succeed in growing the community. This is reality, not negativity.

I was trying to think of a relevant New Year’s resolution I could bestow on our new Fayetteville City Council in the hope it may provide council members inspiration and confidence to be aggressive in their thinking and decision-making. As I was driving through the frozen, snow-covered mountains of West Virginia this weekend, a popular country song by Rodney Atkins came on the radio and provided me the idea for my resolution.

The song is “If You’re Going through Hell.” How appropriate. Atkins sings out an upbeat message of perseverance that could serve to shore up anyone’s confidence and resolve. It goes like this:

If you’re going through hell Keep on going, don’t slow down If you’re scared, don’t show it You might get out Before the devil even knows you’re there Yeah, if you’re going through hell Keep on moving, face that fire Walk right through it You might get out Before the devil even knows you’re there

It’s a fun and catchy tune with a great message. Check it out: www.YouTube/Rodney Atkins. You’ll be humming it all week.

So, there you have it. My musical New Year’s gift and message to the new city council. Lyrics to live and survive by. Work hard, keep on going, don’t slow down, and, if you’re scared – don’t show it! All while continuing to serve and do the right things for the Fayetteville community. You can never go wrong doing the right things for the right reasons.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year. Thank you for reading and supporting Up & Coming Weekly and allowing us to serve you. Expect only the best from our publications as we expect only the best for this community.

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