13 use for bio boxLeaders are supposed to make the hard decisions and embrace the mantle of responsibility, or so I learned in my 20 -year Army career. For too long, the current Fayetteville Mayor and City Council have shirked their responsibilities and avoided making the hard choices that come with their positions. This vacuum has resulted in the waste of taxpayer money, destruction of public and private property, a rise in crime and a decrease in morale within our city's police department. My heart breaks for the city that I have made my home and grown to love. In the past few years, this wonderful town took a turn for the worse due to failures at City Hall. I owe it to my children, grandchildren, friends, family and neighbors to turn Fayetteville into a safe and prosperous city for them.

For these reasons, I, Jose Alejandro "Alex" Rodriguez, have decided to become a City Council candidate for Fayetteville District 1. This city is in dire need of leadership, and I am more than capable and willing to provide it. As a retired soldier, a middle-school teacher and police officer, I have served my country and community. I will continue to do so should the citizens of my district bless me with the opportunity to serve them.

For too long, the mindset in City Hall has steered this city in a destructive direction. Excessive spending and the waste of taxpayer funds are plaguing the weak members of the current City Council. Their lack of knowledge and inability to ask the difficult questions has made them ineffectual at being proper custodians of taxpayer dollars. The same weak-willed City Council enabled the burning and looting of our Market House and Downtown District. Those same "leaders" ordered the police to stand down, allowing the rioters to destroy property and failed to protect the livelihoods of residents and business owners alike. As I watched this occur, I was disappointed at the lack of respect that City Hall has for Fayetteville's citizens.

Change is also needed at the very top of the Fayetteville Police Department. The current leadership is failing at serving and protecting the citizens and property of this city. Morale continues to decline because of the toxic climate and failed indecisive leadership within the department. As a result of this command climate, the decline in personnel willing to serve in the department is growing with early retirements and officers leaving for other agencies. The men and women in blue serve to protect this city's citizens; they need leaders that will serve and protect them.

Our city can be better with leadership that is serious, committed and decisive. Leaders willing to make the hard decisions, expose the ugly truths, and have the courage to accept the consequences regardless of the outcome. I need your help and support to help Fayetteville live up to its title as an "All-American City." I am Alex Rodriguez, and I am running for Fayetteville City Council in District 1.

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