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City Council may consider PWC appointment, cost of gun violence

Mario Benavente asking for action as city leaders hold work session Monday


Fayetteville City Councilman Mario Benavente is pushing for action on two issues: the long-delayed appointment of a city representative on the Public Works Commission and the cost of gun violence locally.

The City Council will meet in a work session at 5 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

One of Benavente’s agenda requests is that the council appoint its PWC representative during its regular meeting on Feb. 13.

In early December, council members interviewed four of five candidates for the post: Christopher Davis, William Gothard, Josef Hallastchek and Peter Stewart. Ted Mohn, a fifth candidate, could not able attend that meeting.

The representative will replace Wade Fowler, the owner of Fowler’s Southern Gourmet restaurant, who is serving his second term on the commission.

According to city rules, no commissioner may serve more than two consecutive terms.

As each appointment on the board expires, according to the city’s website, council members choose a representative on the commission for a term of four years. In addition, the mayor annually designates a member of the council to serve on the PWC as a nonvoting member.

In September, Councilwoman Shakeyla Ingram asked for a delay on the appointment.

Ingram said she prefers to wait until a new CEO for the utility is named. Elana Ball resigned from that job, Mick Noland was named interim CEO.

On Sept. 12, the City Council voted 6-4 to delay its appointment.

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In another agenda request from Benavente, the first-term councilman said he is eager to “quantify the economic and societal costs associated with gun violence in the city from 2012 to 2022 and inform policy options and strategies to advance violence prevention."

Councilwoman Courtney Banks-McLaughlin is a co-signer on that request, which asks that the city staff compile data on fatal and nonfatal injuries related to gun violence and gun possession..

“Improving issues of gun violence requires a multisectoral, systemwide response that includes partnerships with communities most affected in addition to legislative and criminal justice action,” Banks-McLaughlin and Benavente wrote in their agenda request.

Neither Benavente nor Banks-McLaughlin could be reached for comment on Sunday.

Like other cities nationwide, Fayetteville has seen an uptick in gun violence and homicides recently. The Police Department has implemented initiatives in hopes of lowering crime.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com.

Fayetteville, City Council, Public Works Commission, gun violence