Fayetteville N.C. Market House Still Vexing City Council

Fayetteville, N.C. – The Fayetteville Market House offends some – so what? Where is it written that someone’s feelings warrant the waste of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to pacify their feelings? Is that even logical and does that show common sense? 

It’s now very common to hear liberals moan, groan and screech, “I feel threatened”, “I’m offended by that.”, “I’m insulted!” As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more…than a whine. “I feel threatened”, “I’m insulted by that.”, “I find that offensive.” It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase.” I feel threatened”, “I am offended by that.” Well, so what?

The majority of Fayetteville’s citizenry don’t care if you’re offended, feel threatened, or insulted. Just because you ‘feel’ threatened, offended, or insulted doesn’t mean you’re right. It just means that you have character afflictions called Hypersensitive Personality Disorder (Avoidant Personality Disorder) and Narcissistic Liberal Disorder. Seek treatment: Cumberland Co. Mental Health Services; 1-800-510-9132.

More importantly, do these actions by Fayetteville’s City Council demonstrate that they’re being good stewards of their tax payer’s dollars? It’s history. It can be utilized as a reminder that we don’t want to repeat certain unsatisfactory history, or it can be utilized as simply a very valuable historical example of architecture or even both. There’s nothing broken here that needs to be fixed, unlike Fayetteville’s numerous potholes, bad roads, and other infrastructure for which Fayetteville’s tax dollars should be spent. There are far more concerning issues in Fayetteville than some crybabies’ fragile feelings. 

The only city councilmembers that demonstrated true adherence to honorable principles of city servant leadership in this one hour and forty-seven-minute debacle known as the January 27th Special City Council Meeting were councilmembers Waddell, Jensen, and Dawkins. 

Item 1: Market House Disposition

The meeting started with four options being put on the table for discussion.

  1. Repurpose – Has already been used for organizations like the “Fayetteville Partnership” which was disbanded for corruption in the 90s and the Chamber of Commerce.
  2. Relocation – Prohibitively expensive. Councilmember Ingram said, “We don’t have that money.”
  3. Demolition – Unethical, immoral, and wasteful – Councilmember Militant-McLaughlin’s motion to destroy the Market House failed.
  4. Status Quo – Motion to remove this option passed unanimously.

The City Attorney, Karen McDonald was asked about the potential involvement of the Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission and the State of North Carolina in these issues. McDonald, looking like she had just been force-fed litter box leavings, stated that the FHRC, “…is responsible for managing and preserving the city’s historical property [Emphasis added].”

McDonald went on to bitterly add that the FHRC, “…can issue a stay [of any city council action regarding historic property], and the stay can be up to 365 days,” then went on to state that “Cities are creatures of the state [meaning the State of N.C. can override the decisions of Fayetteville city council regarding the historic property in the state]. I do not know at this time…they may not become involved…but that’s certainly a possibility.” McDonald would be better off considering it a certainty.

Obviously, this is information that McDonald didn’t want to become public, that Fayetteville citizens can save and preserve the beautiful architecture of the historic Market House by seeking redress of grievances through the FHRC and the State of N.C. Fayetteville citizens can petition the FHRC and the State of N.C. to put a stop to this costly insane madness wrought by merely a few overly sensitive cancel culture attention seekers.

The FHRC has established rules regarding The Design Guidelines for the Fayetteville Historic Districts and Local Landmarks (referred to as the Design Guidelines) that are designed to assist all those involved with historic properties like the Market House within the City of Fayetteville. It provides guidance for property owners, contractors, and tenants wishing to restore or make changes to landmark properties or properties in a historic district. For planning staff, city inspectors, and commission members it serves as a guide for evaluating proposed changes. It serves as a handbook for those who wish to preserve, protect, and educate the community regarding historic resources.

Simply put, the city council doesn’t have the authority to make any decision regarding this historical property. It is not owned by the city council in its collective capacity, nor by a race-centric group, but rather by the citizens as a whole of the State of N.C.  The City of Fayetteville’s name may be on the deed but the Market House is without a doubt historical property protected by the FHRC and the State of N.C. The city council must have the permission of the FHRC and the State of NC to take any drastic actions like moving or destroying the historic Market House.

Is it appropriate for Fayetteville’s city council to waste taxpayer dollars on the moving or demolition of the Market House simply to appease a single race-centric cancel culture?

An 800 person survey is a farce and decidedly not reliable. Especially considering in its proposal to the city, ETC Institute laid out two options. A survey of 600 residents with a margin of error of plus or minus 4% at a cost of $20,000; or a survey of 800 residents at a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

A far more reliable solution would be a voter referendum on an election ballot asking the citizens of Fayetteville what they think should be done with the Market House. Though there is limited room for referendums in North Carolina it is entirely possible to obtain a non-binding referendum on an election ballot in the near future to ascertain what the citizenry desires at a substantially lower cost and a substantially higher level of reliability.

The inherent problem with this idea is that the results returned by the voters in this pluralistic city of 44.6% White, 42.1% Black, and 13.3% Other just might not be what they hope to see. In fact, it’s highly probable that the voters choose to stop all this costly nonsense and leave the highly valued and historic Market House alone.

Councilmember Waddell made a common-sense motion to do just that and place the decision on a voter referendum. But some on the city council clearly didn’t want their drama and madness to end and the motion failed 6-4.

The city council then devolved into a number of confusing and poorly worded motions that were followed by even more thoughtlessly poorly worded “friendly” motions moving to change the original motions followed by “discussion” in which order was completely thrown out the window with numerous councilmembers making unrecognized interruptions.

Colvin, alleged to be a mayor but unable to properly conduct a city council meeting apparently, unprofessionally displayed frustration and angst over multiple contentious opposing motions by councilmembers and had considerable trouble maintaining order. Needless to say, the whole affair devolved into what can only be described as a “Clown Show”.

While highly entertaining, it was clearly an unproductive waste of time. It became clear that the city council was attempting to make a decision without the benefit of the information necessary to make an informed decision.

As usual, the Fayetteville City Council was once again trying to have the cart drag the horse down the street. And to the citizens that were watching, a very clear indication that there are severe problems in the city council and with Fayetteville’s city councilmembers.

There was some discussion about repurposing the Market House. The city manager was asked to report on that option and he stated that there were several options such as a museum that would increase tourism. Or that it could be an annex as a second gallery for another entity, presumably for the Art Council. But the city manager pointed out that there were handicap limitations to the structure that would limit access.

By far, one of the wisest comments of the evening was made by Mayor Pro-Tem Kathy Jensen who stated that the city council needs a carefully considered written policy to guide such issues as these in the future.

Such a policy is extremely necessary to protect the city from making knee-jerk decisions, eliminate litigation over such things as inappropriate and illegal government speech, prevent violations of traffic codes and laws, and prevent the improper use of city property for any activist or race-centric purposes of which the city of Fayetteville has no business entertaining or supporting.

As always, any city should remain completely neutral and stay above such contentious issues and limit their attention to city infrastructure, emergency services, tourism, facilitating job creation, the attraction of citizens – not scaring them away with the fomenting of strife and violence.

Item 2: Moving Market House

The discussion of this issue ended with councilmember Davis making a motion that passed to bring back information to move the historic Market House from its current location in the historic district to another location. Apparently, councilmember Davis is under the impression that the Market House can be moved as readily as a statue. 

This seems to be a waste of staffer’s time and the city’s money considering that it is not the location of the Market House, but rather the existence of the Market House that has a few race-centric whiners irritated. 

Councilmember Waddell clearly understands that moving such a structure would be cost-prohibitive, and wisely pointed out that Fayetteville’s budget is most likely going to be severely affected by the alleged “pandemic” and with regard to relocation she asked, “Where would we move it?”

The city manager reported that there would be an additional expense ($50.000 minimum per location) of having architects “envision” what it would “look like” if the Market House was moved to any given location. Apparently, our city manager doesn’t have anybody in the city’s IT department who’s heard of GIMP or Photoshop and can use these popular computer programs. 

Here’s an excellent “envisionment.” Does not the Market House fit in fantastically on the equally historic property of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) Fayetteville State University, W.T. Brown Dr. at MLK Dr.? What a fantastic educational object lesson it would provide to FSU students! And it won’t cost you $50,000 to envision it either. I’m giving you this one for free!

Item 3: Racist Slogan at Market House

The issue of the city council not being completely informed was raised. Some councilmembers questioned why they were even having a special meeting in the first place if all the information city staff was requested to collect wasn’t even in yet, and their due date to have it completed not yet reached. It quickly became apparent that the city council was attempting to make important decisions without having all the necessary information. To some, it appeared that the pending information didn’t matter to others on the city council and that some pre-determined decision was being foisted on the city council as a whole.

Councilmember Militant-McLaughlin made several attempts to change the motions of other councilmembers and convince other councilmembers to put “Black Lives Matter” as the replacement mural. This was in complete disregard for the fact that it’s government speech and shouldn’t exist at all. Especially on Fayetteville’s streets or highways.  

At any rate, government speech should never be race-centric and should be inclusive of all its citizens regardless of race. Why not, “ALL Lives Matter”? Why not, “Police Lives Matter”? Why not, “Fire Fighter’s Lives Matter”?

It was, however, quite comical to watch as many of her fellow councilmembers frantically strived to keep from visibly rolling their eyes every time Militant-McLaughlin brought it up. One would have thought that after the first couple of times Militant-McLaughlin was rebuffed regarding “Black Lives Matter” or destroying the historic Market House that she’d have gotten the message. 

Councilmember Dawkins appropriately pointed out the various military veterans and their spouses on the city council and clearly and articulately stated that putting “Black Lives Matter”, the name and clarion call of a socialist Marxist anti-American organization on one of our streets or highways would be a slap in the face to our Ft. Bragg neighbors and numerous veteran soldier citizens of Fayetteville.

Item 4: Market House Mural – Not consistent with the area’s historical rules.

Councilmember Haire whined that he didn’t get a heads up on the removal of the mural. Apparently, Colvin is making unilateral decisions behind the backs of the other councilmembers and it is not sitting well with them. One wonders what else the criminally convicted Colvin has been up to behind the backs of the city council. Maybe it’s time for the Fayetteville city council to audit Colvin’s activities and especially his expenditures for the past few years. It couldn’t hurt and may well be very enlightening.

Mayor Colvin, for some reason quite sheepishly, proposed putting the mural back to the point it was before removal.

Councilmember Waddell demanded to know how the city council was placed in the position of having to address the issue in the first place. Councilmember Waddell said,  “$10,000 with the installation and removal and now we want to waste another $10,000? I speak for all in my constituency who are not for the reinstallment of the mural as a bandaid just to shut down responsibility for the problems before us.”

Councilmember Waddell also demanded to know, “What process was broken and how was it a mistake? Why was it removed?” referring to the mural being removed in the first place. Colvin deflected responsibility by whining that it was more about moving forward, not pointing fingers.

What Colvin fails to understand is that it’s not just Waddell wanting to know, it’s also thousands of citizens who are wanting an explanation of this past and potential future waste of their hard-earned tax dollars. Colvin should answer councilmember Waddell’s question instead of taking the cowardly way out and attempting to avoid it. No Colvin, “We the People” demand answers. Now answer councilmember Waddell’s question, Colvin.

Militant-McLaughlin made the comment that if they didn’t vote to remove the mural then why are they voting to replace it. Militant-McLaughlin’s sheer lack of concern for the proper common sense administration of Fayetteville citizen’s hard-earned tax dollars was an outrageous slap in the face to all of Fayetteville’s taxpayers.

Militant-McLaughlin astonishingly somehow failed entirely to understand that an intelligent dedicated servant leader of a city simply does not throw good money after bad without first discussing how appropriate such an expenditure would be in the eyes of the taxpayers.

Clearly, Militant-McLaughlin does not sit in that councilmember’s seat to serve her constituents and the citizenry at large but to serve her own self-serving BLM radical cancel culture agenda. That Militant-McLaughlin is a toxic component of the city council is something of an understatement.

Councilmember Davis – made a motion for the mural to remain “Black Lives Do Matter”, that it would remain around the Market House for 6 months, and task city staff to come back with a suitable relocation for the mural. Motion passed 8-2.

The whole affair reeked with inconsistencies, a complete lack of administrative knowledge, and the shadow of corruptness regarding the attempt to quietly decide to destroy the valuable and historic Market House without even having the knowledge of whether they could do so legally.

The city council needs to understand now that if the Market House is “accidentally” destroyed like the mural was that there will be a lawsuit. It will cost the City of Fayetteville dearly if such a thing were to happen. The Fayetteville city council can now consider themselves officially on notice in this regard.

It would be wise to make sure that the Market House has the appropriate 24/7 police security in place to make sure nothing happens to it. Make it a POLICE ANNEX for the downtown and bike patrols. There, that’s a good repurpose use for the structure.

The Fayetteville Historic Resources Commission can be reached at the Planning Department at (910) 433-1612 or Jennifer Baptiste, Senior Planner, at (910) 433-1936.  The N.C. State Historic Preservation Office can be reached at (919) 814-6570. Reach out to them and demand that they save the historic Market House today!

 

 

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