Finally, common sense prevails.
Unfortunately, he had to be ordered by Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons.
Ammons decided on September 1 that the Vote Yes Fayetteville referendum be put on the November ballot for voters to decide whether or not they want to change the structure of the Fayetteville City Council.
It’s crazy. In my lifetime, I have never seen such aversion and reluctance to allow Americans to vote and have a voice in their government.
However, I understand human nature, and when unscrupulous people rise to positions of power, the only way they can maintain their hold is to stifle transparency and derail the democratic process.
Unfortunately, Fayetteville’s municipal government is a classic example of such shenanigans.
When council members prioritize personal agendas over what is best for the citizens, they stifle this community and stifle its growth and quality of life.
The Vote Yes referendum is essential to the survival of this community.
Citizens must be allowed to vote on whether or not to break the cycle of secrecy, incompetence and corruption of this Council.
If the Vote Yes referendum fails after it is presented on the ballot, so be it. Then we will finally have the kind of government we deserve.
For those who may have been to Mars in the past year, the Vote Yes Fayetteville initiative is changing the way our City Council members are elected.
Currently, the mayor is the only city-wide elected official. The districts elect the remaining nine Council members.
Voting Yes, if approved, would give Fayetteville voters six votes (four general, one constituency vote, and one mayoral vote) rather than just two.
I’ve always said, “What’s not to love about that?” Six is always better than two, and every citizen has the same chance. Make sense ? Fair? Not to those who fear the outcome of true democracy.
Well, the madness continues. After Judge Ammons announced his decision, Fayetteville City Council immediately called an emergency meeting the next day to review and discuss the litigation.
After such a logical decision, you would think that the Council would accept the decision and move on to more pressing matters in our community. Issues like the roving gang of downtown vagabonds who piss on my office front, ravage my dumpster, and turn my parking lot and city sidewalks into a disgusting and embarrassing image of our city.
No. Not this bunch of rascals. They would lose too much power and privilege if the people were allowed to vote for competence and transparency.
In a 4-3 vote, the Council voted to appeal Judge Ammons’ decision against the advice of his own attorney, while clinging to Mitch Colvin’s false narrative that the creation of general precincts would dilute representation and create financial hardship for minority candidates. Well, the mayor is wrong on both assumptions.
First, members at large would increase representation (six votes out of two votes), and second, Fayetteville’s black population is no longer the minority – 50% versus 35%.
In a typical, arrogant motion, with little hope of reversing Ammons’ decision, Mayor Colvin, Derrick Thompson, DJ Haire and Mario Benavente voted to spend $25-30,000 of taxpayers’ money in a final desperate attempt to salvage their political future.
Perhaps by the time you read this the courts will have made their final decision.
Let’s hope so. In the meantime, I want to say “thank you” to the dozens of people who have worked diligently to get us this far in the process and to the thousands (5,009) of Fayetteville citizens who stepped up and signed the Vote Yes in a spirit of freedom and democracy.
Stay tuned and thanks for reading the Up and coming every week community newspaper.