Candidates Name: Nat Robertson
Other Candidates Filed: Val Applewhite
What endorsements have you received to date?
None, I have not solicited any endorsements during this campaign?
If offered, would you accept contributions from political action committees affiliated with the real estate industry? (RPAC, Buildpac etc.)
It would be an honor to again receive a contribution from any of the real estate PACs.
With Crime being the #1 City Council priority, what solutions would you bring to the table and how would you fund them?
Since being elected, for the second year in a row, we have experienced an overall double digit reduction in crime. We have installed and monitor cameras all over the city throughout the major corridors and we have contracted to maintain safe intersection with red-light cameras. Chief Medlock has doubled his efforts on Community Policing and has been recognized for his programs by the Department of Justice and the White House. After taking office, I pushed for the City Council to budget for more police officers. We ended up proceeding with the largest police officer recruitment ever in the history of our City, hiring forty-seven new police officers.
With our crime rate dropping, we will become competitive with other large cities in North Carolina for potential new businesses, industry and economic development. We can continue to do this within the current budget.
What ideas do you have to make it easier to open and maintain a new business in Fayetteville?
The City remains too hard to deal with in regards to inspections and permitting. As Mayor, I have insisted on customer service training for our front line staff. That has been completed however; we should do that type of training at least annually. We also continue to work toward a working “City-Works” system that will be easier for our developers to apply, track and pay for permits.
Quite frankly, we have too many ordinances restricting businesses. We should adopt ordinances that make it easier to do business here and promote commerce. Coming from the small business world, I will continue to fight this battle as long as I have a vote.
What are your solutions for homelessness?
Since taking office as Mayor, I have brought the issues of the homelessness to the attention of the entire Fayetteville City Council. This includes having it added to the City’s Strategic Goals for the first time ever. Having the issue added to the goals shows that the Council considers this issue a priority and allows city staff to give thought and share ideas on how to best tackle this issue. Our influence has also encouraged the County Commission to add homelessness to their Strategic Goals as well. We have for the first time in the history of the City, set money aside to be used for projects/programs involving the homeless. Not for handouts, but for handups! The City has dedicated property for a women’s homeless shelter (the HOPE Center) operated by True Vine Ministry and I have partnered with Col. Goldsby the VA Medical Center Director to ensure that our residents and Veterans have a safe, warm place to stay if needed.
Would you like the City of Fayetteville’s seal changed?
I was on the City Council in the early 1990’s when we instituted the script Fayetteville logo as an alternative to the Market House logo. Perhaps as I have done since being Mayor (see below), others may want to incorporate that logo/seal for their use as well. At that time we put the script logo on city cars, water towers, buildings and letterhead. However, the Market House reflects many thoughts of Fayetteville’s history in so many ways. The ratification of the US Constitution, the signing of the University of North Carolina Charter, the State House and State Capital along with some property and slavery sales. I don’t believe we should try to erase our history but instead learn by it and our mistakes so that we may continue to celebrate our diversity. We are not Baltimore, Charleston or Columbia we are Fayetteville, the best, most diverse and unique City in the Southeast. We as a community are not divisive or racist and if someone is having those thoughts, perhaps they should look inward and work on their own prejudice. As we have always done since 1762 in this great City, we should continue to heal and bring all races and cultures together to be a better place to raise our families.
What new ideas / concepts can you bring to the office you are seeking?
- Continue with Chief Medlock the fight on crime.
- Continue to challenge the bureaucrats’ that slow down government and stifle free enterprise.
- Continue to enhance our quality of life through a strong park system.
- Continue to work toward a friendlier, more efficient operation throughout the entire City.
- Continue to expand our FAST system that will better allow employees and consumers to get to work, thus expanding our local economy and securing jobs for those who do not have reliable transportation.