01 Jackie Warner Hope Mills MayorThe following editorial is written for those who love living and working in Hope Mills. It reiterates the age-old adages "seeing is believing" and "believe in what you can see and not what you hear." The Town of Hope Mills is a model community in our state, and there are many good reasons for this. History has dictated that Marxists, Socialists, fascists and communists all object adamantly to the Free Press (newspapers), media in general and free speech concepts. The first thing one must determine if objecting to this editorial is which category do they fall into. Dissenting opinions are encouraged and welcomed — but only if the writer takes ownership of it. We do not acknowledge anonymous comments or points of view. We'll leave that to the unsavory Facebook trolls. Thank you and enjoy. — The Publisher

Hope Mills' progress reflects the dedication and leadership of Mayor Jackie Warner.

Being Mayor of Hope Mills is a full-time job and Jackie Warner will say it has been a blessing and the highlight of her career. Serving the residents of the Hope Mills community is a passion, honor and privilege and watching her hometown grow and prosper is anything but work for this dedicated public servant.

Being Mayor of a thriving and growing community like Hope Mills is much more than showing up for public functions, networking and ribbon cuttings. It takes heartfelt dedication, organization, planning, forethought and teamwork to protect the interests of 17,000 residents. Warner is the catalyst for why Hope Mills is one of the fastest-growing municipalities in North Carolina.

It takes hard work and full-time dedication to keep up with the ever-changing laws and regulations that impact residents. Many of these things take place behind the scenes outside Hope Mills proper and the general public's view. Warner's decade of involvement and leadership in organizations like the Mayor's Coalition has saved Hope Mills over one million dollars yearly after negotiating the Sales Tax Distribution agreement. More importantly, her leadership and Mayor Cliff Turpin of Falcon have all Cumberland County municipalities working together in solidarity and cooperation.

Another example of the Mayor's investment in countless hours of study that benefited Hope Mills is her involvement in the Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization. She is also chairman of the Transportation Policy Board. Hope Mills benefited from the Multimodal Congestion Plan and governmental grants for community sidewalks and pedestrian crosswalks. A joint resolution was signed by the Hope Mills Board and Fayetteville City Council to change the designation of Highway 59 to Main Street (Hope Mills Road), moving trucks and other commercial vehicles going from Raeford Road to Highway 162 as a by-pass. The new configuration of the Highway 59 bridge completion came sooner than expected, along with better access on and off-ramps to Business 95. Warner is a participant with state and national DOT's which have designed and planned significant road improvements in and around Hope Mills — two I-295 interchanges that will assist in alleviating traffic congestion.

These are only a few of Mayor Jackie Warner's tireless but essential tasks in a working day. I could go on if I wanted to mention her involvement with:

*Mid Carolina Area Agency Advisory Council as a Senior Tarheel Alternate Delegate that works to establish and advocate "Legislative Priorities" for seniors with the NC General

*National League of Cities — Community and Economic Development Committee with discussions related to economic development and recovery after COVID

*American Rescue Plan Act virtual meetings with Congressional representatives and Cumberland County Commissioners and Legislators. Warner appointed a Hope Mills Tier I Committee seeking funding for the town's most vulnerable populations, including seniors, veterans, youth and special needs residents. She spearheaded developing partnerships that will benefit the community like FTCC, YMCA, Cumberland County Schools, Cumberland County Commissioners, Advocacy Groups and the Department of Commerce, to name a few.

Warner also serves on the Gateway Study Committee, Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, promotes arts and culture in Hope Mills by advocating and grant writing and working with the Fayetteville-Cumberland County Arts Council. Warner established the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council in 2015 with membership from Grays Creek, Jack Britt and Southview High Schools and received State Youth Council Charter in 2021.

She actively supports our veterans and Hometown Heroes by working with the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitor's Bureau to support the Heroes Homecoming annual event. As a small business owner, she advocates for business and is involved with the Hope Mills Chamber of Commerce.

As a wife, mother of two, grandmother of five, a former teacher and principal, Warner has made a heartfelt commitment to make Hope Mills a better town and community for future generations.

The ever-improving environment, image and reputation of this former "sleepy" little town have the indelible fingerprints of Jackie Warner's relentless public service. The citizens of Hope Mills are the beneficiaries of Warner's outstanding leadership. She is a doer! Honesty, integrity and work ethic is her trifecta for success. Jackie Warner is an authentic "public servant," and Hope Mills is a better, safer and more prosperous community because of her.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

Pictured above: Hope Mills Mayor Jackie Warner

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