Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Terrible Tragic Loss: Tom Parent worked hard to make Fayetteville a better place.

Local politician in Fayetteville, NC killed on motorcycle in 3 car accident.
Thomas A. Parent
"I might not have always agreed with his politics but I don’t know anyone with any more love for this city or more personal commitment to help make it better...
He was articulate and passionate and left no confusion about where he stood on an issue...
Fayetteville is a better city because of Tom Parent. For that
we owe his family, and his memory, our gratitude.” ~Mayor of Fayetteville Tony Chavonne
You definitely meet all kinds of interesting people in the world of politics. Sometimes they are outspoken citizens at a town hall meeting fighting for a cause, sometimes they are a volunteer working on a candidate’s campaign or sometimes they are the candidate themselves running for office. One thing is for sure though. It is not everyday you meet a man in this game like Tom Parent.

I can't say that I knew Tom Parent personally all that well, because I only knew him for a short period of time. I can say I knew him well enough to realize he was definately a class act.
I was blessed to first meet Tom at a Cumberland County Citizens Unite meeting in the spring of 2005. At the time we at CCCU were working to try and stop the “Big Bang” forced annexation of 27 square miles and 40,000 people into the city of Fayetteville. An effort we took all the way to the North Carolina Supreme Court, but the court refused to hear our case and we became forced citizens of the city of Fayetteville on September 20, 2005.

I became aquanted with Tom Parent during those meetings and later volunteered on his unsuccessful campaign for city council. He lost to incumbent DJ Haire by only 900 votes.

Tom never cared about the power of the office he was running for; instead he was more focused on empowering the people. He was also the type of person who wanted results and didn’t care who got the credit. He was very outspoken, and spoke passionately about his love and vision for the city of Fayetteville. He never once left any confusion about whom he was or where he stood.

Even though he lost the election for city council he continued to play an active roll as a citizen. Attending city council meetings and voicing the concerns of thousands of people’s views in his district. He never asked the city council for much. He just asked them to be consistent and I will forever remember Tom Parent standing before the city council telling our city leaders that we need to make our government “better not bigger” to “Set the standard” and “follow the standards that you have already put in place.”

We need more people like Tom Parent to take action, to hold government officials accountable and to make government officials do their jobs.

The city of Fayetteville lost a true American citizen and we will all miss Tom Parent.

May God watch over and be with his family during these troubled times.

Visitation for Parent is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St., with a memorial service to follow. Burial will be in Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery in Spring Lake.

What others are saying about the Reilly Road accident and Tom Parent.

Can tradgedy bring change..... by Tim White

Tom Parent was not afraid of a fight..... Fayetteville Observer

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

We recently learned of the death of our hometown boy, Tom Parent and are deeply saddened by the news.

Personally, I haven’t seen Tom in years, but his picture and obituary now tells the story of a man who lead a good life and of a person who felt a sense of responsibility to his family, friends, neighbors and community members.

Tom grew up in a little town in Northern Maine called Limestone and went to school there his entire life. His father Ally, worked for the town of Limestone for many years and died while serving the community. A phone call to Mrs. Beverly Derrah who was a neighbor of the Parent family, revealed that Ally used to attend the town meetings in Limestone regularly, and she said Ally always spoke candidly about the changes and challenges the town needed to face. Mrs. Derrah also said that Ally would have been very proud of his son and his efforts to help make the community in which he lived, a better place.

It was refreshing to see that Fayetteville, North Carolina became a better place because of Tom and we are so glad his smile and hard work made a difference in the Fayetteville community.

May you all carry on Tom’s legacy; Keep your city and country in check by attending your town or city meetings, always remember to vote and continue to make those who serve in public positions accountable.

God Bless you Tom

Bonnie Powers Stopa-Hill