One of the most controversial issues in recent Fayetteville history has ended with the resignation of the Advertising and Promotion Commission’s chair.
Pat Gazzola, a commission member since 2001, stepped down as chair effective immediately, according to an announcement released this morning.
To say that Gazzola’s comments at a recent A&P meeting in which he referred to a “not all that safe” Dickson Street area were not taken lightly would be a monumental understatement. Instead (and to their credit), the commission chose the words “came under fire” to describe Fayetteville’s reaction.
As chair of a group tasked with promoting and encouraging tourism and conventions in the city of Fayetteville, Gazzola’s public questioning of the safety of the location of one of the city’s most valuable assets was considered irresponsible to some and completely unacceptable by many others.
“I will always be proud of this city and I am taking this action so that the commission can continue its job without distraction,” said Gazzola.
The discussion of a new commission appointee and a new chair will begin at the regularly scheduled meeting next month.
For those unfamiliar with the chain of events, here’s some further info:
- “Gazolla questions the safety…” – Skip Descant’s Twitter message (5/11/09)
- “Commission Discusses Walton Arts Center” – The Morning News (5/11/09)
- “What ‘darker side’ of Dickson Street? – Fayetteville Flyer (5/11/09)
- “The Damning of Dickson Street” – Fayettevillage Voice (5/12/09)
- “Safety of Dickson Street Called Into Question” – KNWA (5/13/09)
- “Time to for you to go, Pat Gazzola” – Street Jazz (5/13/09)
- “Chairman Clarifies Comments” – KNWA (5/15/09)
- “Pat Gazzola Must Go” – Fayettevillage Voice (5/16/09)
- “Gazzola Resigns From Commission” – Press Release (5/18/09)
We’d ask you what you think about all this but judging from a poll of 230 of our readers in which 92% disagreed with Mr. Gazzola, it’s pretty clear what the answer would be. Feel free, however, to let us know.