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Election 2022: City Council District 4

Councilman seeking 11th term; challenger calls for term limits

D.J. Haire says Fayetteville is on the right track; Thomas Greene says stronger leadership is needed


As one of the longest-serving members of the Fayetteville City Council, D.J. Haire credits his 10 terms representing District 4 to his willingness to listen not only to his constituents but to all city residents.

“I love serving,” Haire says. “I’m very involved in my District 4 communities from Murchison Road to Reilly Road. I believe that the citizens I represent in or outside my district have a voice, and I do my best to support their concerns.”

Whether the issue is crime, keeping neighborhoods clean, stormwater problems, affordable housing, homelessness, economic development or municipal gateway improvement, Haire says, he has a receptive ear.

District 4 neighborhoods include Bonnie Doone, Broad Acres, Cambridge, Crossings, Englewood, Forest Hills, Foxfire, Glen Reilly, Green Valley Estates, Jack’s Ford, Karen Lakes, LaGrange, Lake Valley, Mallard Creek, Mintz Pond Estates, Morganton Place, North Shore Estates, Ponderosa, Roundtree, Scotty Hills, Seabrook Hills, Shamrock, Stewart’s Creek, Summer Hill and Woodfield.

“I’m very big on listening to my constituents,” says Haire, 63. “So many of my concerns come from District 4 citizens and residents from across the city.” 

But Thomas C. Greene says city leadership is lacking and that Haire has been in office long enough. Greene is challenging Haire in the District 4 election on July 26.

Election Q&A : Candidates for District 4 respond to questions from CityView TODAY.

Early voting is underway at the Cumberland County Board of Elections Office

“This is probably the most vital element we are missing in the Fayetteville City Council,” says Greene, 50. “We lack good leadership. Our council members don’t seem to have what it takes to make hard calls — calls that are in the best interest of the city. They parse their words so as not to displease anyone. By this, their actions are timid and more symbolic than effective.

“During the 2020 riots and looting, we had a police chief in uniform with the protesters and never being held to account,” Greene says. “Not one time did any council member have the fortitude to stand up and tell the mob. ‘This is not us.’ The police were actually told to stand down.

“This is not leadership, and the people of Fayetteville deserve good leadership,” says Greene, who has never held elected office. “Without good leadership, it doesn’t matter if it’s nine districts or five at-large candidates, we will be heading in the wrong direction.”

In the wake of the May 2020 death of George Floyd while in custody of Minneapolis police officers, protesters gathered in downtown Fayetteville and across the nation. Some businesses were looted, and the historic Market House was damaged in an attempted arson.

Greene acknowledges that he is a member of a local chapter of the Proud Boys, a nationwide activist organization linked to far-right and white nationalist political causes.

“Proud Boys get a bad rap,” Greene says. “We come from different races, creeds and colors, and we are law-abiding citizens.”

At least five members of the Proud Boys were indicted on seditious conspiracy charges in the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol. Greene says he was not in Washington that day.

“It didn’t sound right,” he says of the insurrection. “That was stupid to go there.”

Greene, an Army veteran who served for 25 years, received 368 votes, or 16.5%, in the May 17 primary. Haire received 1,684 votes, or 76%, of the vote.

Greene, who owns Promise Bail Bonds, has lived in Fayetteville since 2005. He and his wife, Sonja, have a daughter who lives in Columbia, South Carolina.

Haire, an elder at Kingdom Impact Global Ministries, is a lifetime Fayetteville resident. He and his wife, Wendy, have five grown children and four grandchildren.

Greene says that Haire’s longevity on the council has much to do with leadership.

“Nothing can help the cause of transparency and citizen involvement in local government than term limits,” Greene says. “I believe instituting term limits can greatly eliminate the amount of corruption, nepotism and complacency that we see in local governments all over the country.  Politicians are servants, selected from among their neighbors to do what they can to increase the standard of living in their communities. It is not meant to be a career.

“The danger with career politicians is that when it is time to make a decision, they think of their career instead of the hard and right choice,” says Greene.

Haire was first sworn into office on Dec. 1, 1997, and remained in office until November 2013. He stepped away from the council for two terms before winning the district seat in 2017 and winning reelection since.

Greene says that’s too long in office.

“If elected, I intend to hold office for two terms and nothing more,” he says.

CityView TODAY asked Haire and Greene about a number of issues facing the city, including crime, government transparency, homelessness, economic development and a plan to restructure how City Council members are elected. 


Haire says addressing crime in the community is paramount.

“Crime prevention is a top priority to me and our citizens,” he says. “There is always room to improve and curtail crime. Over the past few months, the city and our Police Department have added a number of tools to our crime-prevention toolbox.

“I believe in Community Watch groups and community policing, so I’m always pushing my residents to keep their Community Watch groups functioning and keep our police in their neighborhoods. I’m always insisting to my residents to increase their 911 suspicious calls for service. I’m always suggesting to my neighborhoods with no watch group to create one.

“Our license-plate cameras technology program has been very helpful in curtailing crime in our city since it originated,” Haire says. “Our Micro-Safety Grant program is now underway with our first set of community grant receivers. It’s my hope these new micro-safety grant community crime prevention concepts will help improve community safety. Fighting crime is a collaborative effort with many supporting parts.”

Greene says that as a bail bondsman, he sees crime firsthand.

“Too many people are caught in the vicious circle of drugs and crime,” he says. “A few months ago, we were told that the homicide rate in Fayetteville has risen to 50%. This is unacceptable.

“Everywhere I go in this city and just about everyone I talk to mentions the speeding and reckless driving on our streets,” Greene says. “If we fail to hold accountable people who speed, is there any wonder we see crime at the level it is today? As a councilman, I will use what influence I must to help build morale and discipline in our Police Department and to help develop an environment of respect and trust in the department so that our officers know that they are supported in the performance of their duties.”

Council transparency

When former Councilwoman Tisha Waddell resigned from her District 3 seat in November, she said that Mayor Mitch Colvin and other council members have not been forthcoming with the public about conversations with a Louisiana private-equity firm that was negotiating with the council to purchase the city-owned Fayetteville Public Works Commission.

CityView TODAY spent more than a month investigating the allegations. While it found no evidence of corruption, it did find a lack of transparency on the part of Colvin and others.

“I can absolutely assure you that no communications regarding large-scale deals such as the PWC conspiracy will occur if I am elected to City Council,” Greene says. “I will be as transparent as possible to ensure that the people of Fayetteville are offered the best and most plausible course of action regarding any of the city's programs.”

That, he says, includes the Police Department.

“As far as the police chief, (on) Day One, I would request of the city manager to conduct a survey of the officers of the force in order to determine if there is a toxic environment in the department,” Greene says. “If there is, come up with plan of action to create a better climate for the force. If corruption or any impropriety is discovered, we must assume that that was the cause of the toxic work environment. I will work diligently to make sure those responsible will be removed from the force.”

Haire says he is for council transparency.

“I support government transparency and citizens’ access to their elected officials and meetings,” he says. “Our City Council chambers have just gone through construction renovations. With the new improvements, now all our meetings are open with audio and visual viewing or in person. This also includes our committee meetings, which once did not have the virtual option. Also, all our Community Watch meetings are open to each community to attend.”

Economic development

Haire trumpets where the city is headed, particularly on the Murchison Road corridor.

“Economic development is a major driver in moving the growth of our city forward,” he says. “The city of Fayetteville has one of the best economic development teams in the nation. The Lending Tree study in February 2022 found that our city has the highest percentage of local Black business owners in the United States at 11.2%. To me, this means that our city economic development system is becoming more supportive in assisting our local business owners to grow. …

“There has been great collaboration between the city of Fayetteville and the business community in and outside of Fayetteville in working together to bring more economic development to our city, from Amazon to improving ways for our local businesses to grow.”

Greene says a safe community will attract business.

“We must first establish security in our communities,” he says. “We had a mantra in the Army, ‘Security before everything.’ We must establish safe communities again. Without safe communities, our city will not thrive.

“I believe if we can get our crime rate down to ‘small-town Fayetteville’ levels, our people will be willing to take risks and start businesses again. I believe it is the crime rate that is keeping bigger businesses from coming here. We have great people and a diverse and vibrant people here. If we can just make Fayetteville safe again, economic development will take care of itself. I believe that with all my heart.”


Haire and Greene agree there is no single or easy fix for homelessness.

“When I came to this city, the homeless situation was not as pressing as it is today,” Greene says. “In dealing with the homeless, we, the people of Fayetteville, will have to understand that it will be a long, hard road to get as many homeless back to where they can be viable and contributing members of society. I don’t believe we can fix the problem by building tiny homes. I believe that is just a way politicians and activists feel better about themselves while claiming to do something when in fact they are just creating more problems for the taxpayers in Fayetteville.

“In dealing with the homeless, it is important to deal with the most pressing need first – safety,” Greene says. “We must partner with the county to ensure that we have enough beds for anyone who wants to get off the streets to be sheltered and off the streets. For the drug-addicted and those with mental health issues, we should build facilities to house them until they are able to manage properly their addiction or disability. Then we need to help them get a job and, more importantly, keep a job. All while helping them get into housing.

“This is going to be a long process and is going to require commitment from the community and the one getting the aid,” Greene says. “We must stay committed to setting the conditions for their success, but they must also bear the same commitment to their own success as well.”

Haire says homelessness is both a local and national issue, and it is challenging.

“And I don’t know if there’s one way to eradicate it,” he says. “This City Council and staff have been and still today are making the best provisions such as our Dream Center and our future day center coming to South King Street, where we’ve partnered with groups to assist in counseling, tutorials, health, computer access, hygiene areas, all forms of education and more. I think this is an ongoing concern that cities will be dealing with in years to come.”

Revamping city elections

The Vote Yes Fayetteville initiative is a plan to restructure the City Council with five district seats and four at-large seats. Currently, all nine council members are elected by district. The initiative is expected to be put to voters in a referendum on the November general-election ballot.

The initiative is supported by former Mayors Nat Robertson and Tony Chavonne, the publisher of CityView TODAY. Other supporters include former City Council members Jim Arp, Wesley Meredith, Bobby Hurst, Ted Mohn and Wade Fowler

Haire does not support the initiative.

“I support single-member districts,” he says. “My personal experience has shown me that within single-member district representation, it gives better opportunities and advantages for the council member to interact with their residents. Relationships are easier to build and needs get resolved faster.

“I believe that the present single-member district works better for representing neighborhoods due to its smaller geographical setting. Serving, to me, is about trust and building personal relationships, and the size of a district helps build the format,” Haire says. “In 2008, the citizens of Fayetteville were given this same type voting referendum option at the ballot box, and they voted for the single-member districts.”

Greene did not say whether he supports the initiative. He said it doesn't matter if it's nine districts or five districts, it comes down to leadership.

"The people of Fayetteville deserve good leadership,'' he said.

Bill Kirby Jr. can be reached at billkirby49@gmail.com or 910-624-1961.

Fayetteville, elections, City Council, District 4, D.J. Haire, Thomas Greene