Candidates for Fayetteville mayor face off in forum - WNCN: News, Weather

Candidates for Fayetteville mayor face off in forum

Posted: Updated:
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

With just a week to go until Election Day, the two candidates for Fayetteville mayor faced off in a forum Tuesday night.

It was the first forum in which the candidates did not share the stage with city council candidates.

At times Val Applewhite and Nat Robertson agreed on points. Both said they understand improving the city will mean they need to form coalitions with others in city government and with members of the community. They also agreed that reducing crime in Fayetteville is a priority.

Applewhite said a grassroots and community approach to underlying social issues would contribute to crime reduction. She said she would like to bring together citizens regularly to discuss ideas they think would work. In addition to those feedback groups she said she'd like to increase mentoring programs and possibly keep recreation centers open until midnight on weekends. She said the extended hours would give young people an organized and positive place to go instead of getting into trouble.

Robertson said he liked the idea of putting mobile police command posts in crime "hot spots." He said the idea worked when he previously served on city council, and he thinks it could work again. Robertson explained the mobile units would stay in a problem area for a few days or a few weeks. He also said he sees the role of mayor as someone who gives the police chief leeway to make crime fighting decisions and then holds the chief accountable for results.

Applewhite seemed to work toward a personal connection with the audience, and at least three times she connected well enough to receive applause during her comments. Several times she mentioned her feelings that citizens need more input in government.

"I don't think government should come in and tell you what your community should look like," Applewhite said as she spoke about Murchison Road redevelopment. "Hear your vision and helping to achieve that vision – that's my role as mayor."

Robertson took a practical approach to his comments. Several times he emphasized the need for economic development. He specifically spoke out against the city's Unified Development Ordinance, which was adopted in 2011. He believes the ordinance restricts the ability of businesses to expand.

"We've got to revisit this, and we've got to do it quickly," Robertson said. "This is what's standing in the way of economic development in the city, and it's affecting development everywhere."

The forum is expected to be the last time both candidates will be together to discuss city issues before the election on November 5.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Indictment: Prosecutor was target of Wake Forest kidnapping

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:57 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:57:33 GMT
    The U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest homeThe U.S. Department of Justice said Kevin Melton has been charged with conspiring to kidnap in relation to the abduction of Frank Janssen from his Wake Forest home
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
    Nine people have been indicted in connection with the kidnapping of a Wake Forest man whose daughter prosecuted a high-ranking member of the Bloods street gang.
Powered by WorldNow

1205 Front St., Raleigh
N.C., 27609

Telephone: 919.836.1717
Fax: 919.836.1687
Email: newstips@wncn.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.