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Back You are here: Home News Local and State News Local Carolina Beach Candidates Answer Questions; Outline Platforms

Carolina Beach Candidates Answer Questions; Outline Platforms

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - Every election year the Island Gazette sends candidates seeking election as Mayor or Council member a questionnaire. The questions are general in nature allowing each candidate to elaborate on their campaign platform.
The following responses are published as received from each candidate in the Carolina Beach Election.

Candidate for Mayor Bob Lewis


• Full name:  Robert H. Lewis
• Date and place of birth: 2/10/1950 – Pittsburgh, PA
• Address: 102 Sugarloaf Court, Carolina Beach, NC 28428
• Own or rent dwelling: Currently rent this dwelling but own another property in Carolina Beach
• Years living in town: 9
• Political affiliation: Republican but vote Independent
• Occupation: Director of Client Services
• Education: CCAC and University of Pittsburgh
• Club or organizational affiliations: Island Men, TDA Board, Carolina Beach Inlet Association
• Military service: N/A
• Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office).
• 2010 to 2012 – Elected to office in 2009 Carolina Beach Town Council
• 2013 appointed and the current Mayor of Carolina Beach
• 1986 -1987 Appointed to serve on Council, Reminderville, OH
• 1987 - 1988 Elected and served as Mayor, Reminderville, OH
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
I am not a politician and as such I do not have a platform.  I am just like you a resident of the community, a property owner, taxpayer, utility customer and a concerned citizen who prior to being elected to office was actively involved in our community in a multitude of ways. I have a consistent voting record and have taken a strong stance against Big Government Spending especially purchasing large parcels of land and taking them off our tax rolls.  I have always said I believe local town governments should run more like a business and use basic business practices and also reference other best practices utilized in other local government entities to make the town more efficient and effective. As part of this I have seen our town under the direction of interim town manager, Bruce Shell instruct our operations department to conduct their first real inventory of all parts and supplies owned and purchased by our town. This is a basic business practice that every business no matter how small conducts to ensure no loss of inventory and to control costs.  I made a commitment when I ran for office in 2009 that I would not vote for a property tax increase and I have kept that commitment and in fact voted to reduce property taxes from the proposed revenue neutral position in 2012 and again in 2013.  I would continue to introduce ideas to the town manager around technology or process which could provide more efficiency thus lowering costs.  I would hope to see the implementation of our Comprehensive Water Improvement Plan completed so we can fixed the water quality in our community.   Every Carolina Beach resident and their families deserves to have clean, good quality drinking water and we can achieve it if we focus on the core problems contributing to our water quality issues and continue to invest in implementing the plan.  I am committed to fixing the water problems in Carolina Beach. We also are in drastic need of an extension of our current beach nourishment permit to ensure we can qualify for future Federal and State Funding for sand.   Council and I along with long-time resident Dennis Barbour have continued to work in the best interests of our community with Congressman, Mike McIntyre to gain his support and initiative to include our permit in the current Water Resources Bill in front of congress today.  I would continue to focus the attention of council and staff on securing funding for future Beach Nourishment and Inlet Dredging projects.  I continue to focus our full time grant writer on identifying and applying for future Federal, State and County grants.  This council and our staff has demonstrated if we put our mind to it we can secure large grants for our community thus getting our fair share of our Federal, State and County taxes paid in by all  of us.  I am committed to continue to build on the mutual value and personal relationships I have forged with our Federal, State and County representatives and because working closely together we can accomplish so much more for our community.  I will also continue to encourage new business development bringing new jobs to our town so as we continue to expand our residential neighborhoods we can provide residents some local jobs.  I would continue my efforts around improving our quality of life and our environment by expanding our town services and creating more education around keeping our beaches clean and free of plastics, cigarette butts and other pollutants. 
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
1. Fix the water quality problems in our town so we can provide each resident with good quality drinking water.
2. Securing a funding source for both Beach Nourishment and Inlet Dredging
3. Focusing on finding new ways to make our town operations more efficient thus lowering costs
4. Continue to foster and encourage active citizen involvement in our town government evening expanding on the over 100 residents participating today on town committees both ad hoc and standing.
5. Continue to find ways to making our local town government more open by providing various communication delivery methods so everyone will have access.
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less)
I will organize a joint meeting with all the communities in New Hanover County to discuss the 2017 revaluation so we can stress the importance of fairer property valuations and encourage that comparable data is averaged from the entire previous 4-5 year sales data.  I would also hope the county does not use the revaluation to raise additional revenue and stays revenue neutral. 
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
I think you always need to seek public opinion on formulating decisions on council and I have demonstrated I listen to all sides of an issue and do not pre-judge or have a prejudice against anyone, any business or any special interest group.  Currently there are close to 100 resident’s participating on standing and ad hoc committees who provide a lot of consistent input on a wide range of issues and these meetings are all open for anyone to participate in.  I also respond to every resident who calls or emails me on any issue.     
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less) 
o FIXING THE WATER QUALITY ISSUES
o SECURING FUNDING FOR BEACH NOURISHMENT AND INLET DREDGING
o FOCUSING ON INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMEMENTS TO OUR ROADS, SEWERS AND STORM WATER
o PRESERVING AND PROTECTING OUR BEACHES AND OUR ENVIORNMENT
o ATTRACTING ADDITIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO CREATE NEW JOBS IN OUR TOWN
6. How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less) 
First I think the investment and construction of a $15 Million dollar hotel project in the CBD will encourage other developers to look at how they can develop a ROI on property they own.   The revitalization and upgrading of the existing historic wooden boardwalk will provide a center piece to attract more year round visitors and residents who will spend more time at the Boardwalk and in the CBD.  I have devoted significant amount of time welcoming and helping new business gain exposure in our community. 
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
Our current council and I have already started a plan to raise $350,000 annually by dedicating $40 of every Freeman Park Annual Pass to this fund.  Based on the current numbers we most likely will only generate around $200,000 through this process in FY 2013/2014.  I would suggest we expand our parking meter program to generate additional revenue.   Another suggestion that we have discussed amongst the New Hanover Beach towns is working to gain state approval for a possible 1% increase to the room occupancy tax rate and all of it going to the individual municipality.  This would help each town raise the necessary match needed for future projects if the Federal government does not provide funding.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
Currently the state passed a license bill to help with inlet dredging funding but that will not provide nearly enough money to fund the dredging we need annually.   There is some discussion going around with the County Sand Man and our Beach Towns working together with state or county government and acquiring a dredge and contracting our own dredge through the Corps of Engineers to complete the work and provide us all more value.  The Federal government would have to change the current law to allow us to take this approach in the future. 
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
Absolutely, I not only think it is possible to avoid raising taxes and utility fees I have been working to make that happen for 4 years and I have a proven track record to support that statement.  A natural disaster could impact that statement but unless we go back to the days of Big Government Spending we should be able to maintain paying for expenditures through our current tax rate as we are experiencing a good natural growth rate within our residential and business communities expand our tax base to cover inflationary increases.  
10. What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
I have not seen the final numbers so it is hard to take a position based on cost benefit analysis, but I do believe the pool would provide a great quality of life asset for seniors in our community, residents with disabilities and families in our community whose children do not have access for a place to learn to swim.   The plan as it sits today is to build a facility which would be paid for by fees generated through memberships and use.  However there is some downside risk to the town as the construction of the project would be financed with the backing of the town.  I have been doing my own one-on-one survey with many of the residents as I campaign and I will say there are more residents for the pool than are against.  I think vetting the process a bit more would be beneficial to our entire community before we move forward with a vote or a design. 
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
I guess as one of individual members of the board who developed the idea I am excited about what it will do for our community.   Council and I invested significant time in developing a strategy, organizing a 20 person committee made up of residents, business owners, chamber members, Island Women, Island Men and at least one CBDI volunteer and developing a conceptual design.  Our meetings were open to the entire community to participate. Since we did not have capital set aside in our budget for the project Council and Staff worked together to go out and secure grant funding to make the Historic Boardwalk Revitalization a reality.  This Boardwalk Improvement really benefits our residents, their families and their friends as much as it benefits attracting tourism and that is what makes it so special.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
This controversial property has little or no value and many question why it was acquired by council back in 2009 especially since the town manager voiced his opinion against buying it.   The only value I see today is for an adjoining property owner acquiring it to build some decking and a small parking area.  I have recommended we put the lot up for sale a year ago but it is hard to place a value on it because it is unbuildable. The purchase of this property created quite a divide in the community a few years ago it might be best to just get rid of it if possible.
13. What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canal the loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
I worked with our current Mayor Pro-Tem to turn around the $250,000 in annual losses on this property into close to a breakeven.  This strategy is more focused on short term (3-5 years).  I was involved in personally meeting with the BB&T VP in charge of public financing to secure a significant cut in finance costs saving significant money for our taxpayers. 
We then went out and negotiated a fixed fee hotel management contract cutting out more costs.  Council also took action and put these properties on the market for sale in the last year or so but we have seen only one potential buyer who was talking about an offer closer to $2.2 Million.  
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
We are working jointly other county communities to voice our outrage over this controversial Act which will immediately affect over 400 properties in our community and will have a major negative impact on future real estate transactions. As a country there is going to have to be such an outcry that congress will break under the pressure to change the Act.  Anyone near a river, stream, lake, inlet, ocean or snow shelf will be affected by this not just those of us close to the ocean.  Your congressman and senators are going to need to hear from you personally to get their attention on this damaging Act. We all need to act now.

Candidate for Mayor Dan Wilcox


• Full name:  Daniel G. Wilcox
• Date and place of birth: 1/7/1953 Rochester, NY
• Address: 614 Monroe Avenue
• Own or rent dwelling: Own
• Years living in town: 23
• Political affiliation: Republican
• Occupation: Contractor/consultant
• Education: Bayside High School/GED
• Club or organizational affiliations: Wilmington Home Builders Association, Co-Lead Carolina Beach Downtown Initiative, USCG Master Captain’s Association
• Military service: No
• Governmental experience:
• 2003 – 2011 Served numerous town ad-hoc committees
• 2003 – 2006 Planning & Zoning Commissioner & Chairman
• 2007 – 2011 Carolina Beach Town Council
• 2007 – 2011 CB/KB Sewer Authority
• 2007 – 2011 County Ports, Waterway & Beach Commissions
• 2009 - 2011 County Tourism Development Authority
• 2009 – 2011 Carolina Beach Marketing & Advisory Committee liaison
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
I am running for Mayor to restore integrity, trust and impartial leadership to our council, and to insure we adhere to proper procedures that are fair and transparent in all council decisions. We can’t solve important problems, like beach renourishment and inlet dredging alone; but by working closely with my fellow council members and new town manager, we can better represent our town with the dignity and respect needed to foster better partnerships with municipal, county, state and federal leaders. Building these relationships will be invaluable in obtaining affordable, long-term solutions for our current and future funding needs. For the first time in eight years, we have a new town manager, and it is important he understands our many issues and opportunities as quickly as possible. I can and will work closely with him in his first year to help him build his coastal knowledge and important contacts and relationships on coastal and tourism issues he has not experienced before.
In the face of a struggling economy, I want to help craft town policies and ordinances to be more “business and citizen friendly,” and work to ensure prudent and well-planned financial decisions are made, not just clever accounting. At the same time, I will look for ways to enhance and improve our town services to make them more effective and efficient.
I remain committed to protecting our single family neighborhoods, helping our business districts continue to thrive, create more tourism-based activities, and use my building, planning and engineering experience to work with staff and contractors to complete currently proposed or planned projects, including the Boardwalk renovation. While the cost of borrowing remains low, I want to reexamine the proposed water quality and supply initiative to make sure we are using every opportunity to repair or replace out of date pipes and water service infrastructure and to insure we remain focused on managing our growth, while building on our previous accomplishments.
During my council term, I worked hard with citizen volunteers and we made significant gains in rebuilding our Town’s image as a place to live and work, as well as regaining our valuable position as a popular and safe family destination. In order to maintain our tourism-supported tax base, the town needs to continue this vision and civic partnerships with the Chamber, Island Women and CBDI that brought us these many successes, including: Christmas by the Sea, Family night, Thursday night Music & Fireworks, Bingo, Island Day, Movies by the Lake, the Farmer’s Market, and our numerous annual festivals. These are all programs I have worked on diligently, both as a volunteer and as a council member, and I will continue to work on them in the future. Because of these successful programs, we have seen a direct increase in our sales tax revenues, room occupancy, business growth, and visitation, as well as significant positive regional and national press coverage that before was negative and derisive.
Finally, I believe in teamwork and building consensus the old fashion way, with citizen involvement and input, and with open meetings held at convenient times so that everyone may attend. It may take longer and require a little more planning and notice on the part of council and staff, but there are no shortcuts in town government, especially ones that preclude citizen participation. I believe strongly in citizen and stakeholder participation in town governance and I have proven that our town works best when it works in partnership with civic and volunteer organizations to achieve mutual goals.
Our town has been without a town manger for over a year--that’s like a company operating without its CEO and being run by its Board of Directors. There is no substitute for a dedicated town manager, and the vision and professional planning they bring to town government. The decision to go without a manager for a full year cannot be seen as a “good business decision,” or a decision in the best interests of our citizens.
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
Getting our new town manager up to speed as quickly as possible; working with him on securing long-term and sustainable beach renourishment and inlet dredge funding; plan improvements to our water, sewer, roads, and parking infrastructure; develop viable alternate water sources, including a new water filtration plant; finding affordable ways to address our storm water issues, and partnering with civic organizations on tourism and quality of life projects. How we fund these priorities are important to our citizens and I want to find as many alternative funding solutions as possible. As important as these initiatives are, it is as important to continue to grow our tourism base to help reduce the tax burden on property owners and by increasing our room occupancy and sales tax revenue, it will enable us to accomplish our many community-based programs for all citizens, including our seniors.
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less)
The revaluation is not determined by our town government; it is a county-managed process mandated by the state. Property taxes are on assessed values and determined by the County on an area-by-area basis. The 2017 County revaluations are four years away, and the market is still in correction, so it’s difficult to predict what our next revaluation will bring. As mayor, I will always ensure our staff works with county assessors to be accurate and we will always assist any citizen with valuations they feel are inaccurate or unfair.
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
Resident’s opinions are critical in town government “every day” and one of my major concerns with our current council is their lack of citizen participation in important decisions. There are always going to be conflicting opinions, but my goal is to increase input and participation by citizens in every decision we make. I am always receiving input from citizens, and I always stop and listen, whether it’s a compliment or complaint. Listening and talking with citizens and stakeholders, whether they are supporters or not, is what my public service is all about.
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less) 
With our list of big projects, it’s difficult to know which ones we will be able to fully resolve before the end of my two year term. My main goal is ensure our Town Manager is informed and knowledgeable on all town issues, and that we fully recognize the Manager/Council operating structure established in our town charter.
My five main objectives are:
• Secure sustained Federal/State/County funding for inlet dredging and beach renourishment;
• Complete the proposed water & sewer improvements, including the addition of a new water filtration plant;
• Complete the proposed boardwalk improvements with the grant monies available, and within a scope that will not burden taxpayers;
• Improve maintenance of roads, sidewalks, parks, parking and public facilities;
• Return open, fair and honest leadership to town government.
6. How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less) 
I’ve been working hard to restore confidence in our business districts for 10 years, and we must accept our primary industry remains tourism. This fact will help us capitalize on economic development opportunities, including two potential CBD hotel projects. A healthy business district promotes visitation, increase sales tax revenue and new jobs. The free market drives business opportunities, but if we provide a business-friendly, clean, and positive environment for them, quality businesses will continue to come, and existing business will expand or improve to meet market demands.
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
We are the first town to reach the end of our 50-year renourishment program and even the current council is uncertain how to continue this crucial federal funding. I will continue to work with the Ports, Waterway & Beach Commission and our county, state and federal partners and elected representatives to find viable funding solutions. Using monies raised from Freeman Park admissions and periodic funds from state and federal grants are all short-term options, but I will work to re-establish our federal renourishment program and explore every funding opportunity to seek options that do not include additional tax liability to our citizens.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
We have considered numerous ideas to fund inlet dredging, including the purchase of a dredge dedicated to servicing the 5 shallow draft inlets on our coast. While those requests were previously denied due to federal regulations, there seems to be some opportunity now and I support those efforts. There is also a Boaters Use tax being considered by the State. I will continue to look to our neighboring municipalities to continue the successful Cost-Share program I helped establish when I served on the Ports, Waterway & Beach Commission. 
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
The short answer is Yes. Even with the currently proposed projects soon to be implemented, I see no reason why we would need to consider a tax increase over the next two years. In my four years on council, I never once voted to raise taxes, and I directly opposed a tax increase in 2009.
10. What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
I’m in favor of a community pool, just not this design or at this time. My suggestion would be to keep the pool committee intact and ask them to look at alternate designs while we explore Parks & Recreation grant opportunities again. If we find an appropriate design and suitable funding sources that will cover any potential shortfalls and liability to our property owners, I feel the community could reach consensus on this issues.
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
Few have worked harder than me over the last six years as both volunteer and councilman to help make our Boardwalk and CBD a safe, family-friendly visitor destination and a viable business environment. So I am in favor of investment in our town’s business districts. However, current design and budget plans lack critical information, timing and scope of project details. And there has been a noticeable lack of public participation by citizens or Boardwalk business owners who will be directly impacted. This is a critical million dollar-plus project that will require continued public involvement as it evolves, and careful planning to avoid unnecessarily inconveniencing our boardwalk businesses or seasonal visitors, or as important, exceed the current available grant funding.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
Despite rumors to the contrary, the council purchased this property for less than 25% of its market value. The opportunity to build a special needs and handicap over-look park was voted on and approved by council. As the father of a special needs son, I still believe in this park and feel it would be a wonderful benefit to our special needs citizens and visitors. I also feel we can find public or private grants to build the park and amenities without additional cost to the town. Facts surrounding this purchase have been greatly distorted and I would encourage anyone interested in the truth to please contact me and I will share the real documentation and facts.   
13. What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canal the loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
The actual purchase price related to the pier was $3.6M. As things stand, the current operation income offsets expenses. Now that improvements have been made and there is some successful operational history, my recommendation is to find a private operator that would provide management of the facility for an amount to maintain, or make a profit, based on current expenses. As long as the operation revenues meet or exceed expenses, we should hold any sale until the market improves. I am also pleased that grants I helped obtain for this project were able to be repurposed as a major portion of the funding for the new Boardwalk improvements.
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
I am extremely concerned about this Act, and have been in active discussions with people involved in the state Insurance Industry to ascertain the extent to which it will affect our residents and many stakeholders with vacation homes on Pleasure Island. One significant concern I have is the potential impact on federal funding for beach renourishment and even inlet dredging, as the act currently removes several potential funding sources from our search. The redrawn flood maps and radical increases in rates and their impact on our families and neighborhoods cannot be justified based on our record in dealing with our own flooding issues. I promise to use every available town resource and relationship to work to have the adverse impact of this legislation modified or overturned.

Candidate for Town Council Tom Bridges:


• Full name: Michael Thomas Bridges (Tom) 
• Date and place of birth: July 15, 1952 / Shelby, North Carolina
• Address:  600 Ocean Blvd., Carolina Beach, NC 28428
• Own or rent dwelling: Own
• Years living in town: 6 ½  years, home owner for 10 years
• Political affiliation: Registered Democrat
• Occupation: Retired Public School Principal
• Education: (Please list high school and/or college.)
B.A. in Psychology from Wake Forest University
M.A. in Education from Wake Forest University
Doctorate in School Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill
• Club or organizational affiliations: Island Men, Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project, Echo Farms Golf Club
• Military service: None
• Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office).
I was appointed to Town Council on January 8, 2013 with the current term ending in December, 2013. I also served on the Planning and Zoning Commission and Freeman Park Committee for three years.
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
Since my appointment in early 2013, I have had the privilege of serving the citizens of Carolina Beach. In my public school career, I learned to be a good listener, face the tough issues, and assess the impact of my decisions. At times, tough decisions must be made for the common good. I am not afraid to make those decisions. Being on Town Council is hard work and time-consuming. As a retiree, I am able to devote the time that this job requires. If elected, I hope to achieve the following. First, I will promote the interests of both residents and business owners. We must remember that we are all part of our island. We must all work together to find solutions to the problems facing us. Second, I will investigate and work with state and county officials to secure a sustainable funding source for storm damage reduction (formerly called beach renourishment) and inlet dredging. Third, I will promote a customer service oriented attitude for our town services with quick response times. We have made improvements in this area, and I am confident that we will continue to improve with the addition of our new town manager, Michael Cramer. Fourth, I will continue to employ sound economic principles as we provide needed services to our citizens without raising taxes or utility fees. Finally, I will continue to promote a positive image for Carolina Beach. We have made great strides in improving Carolina Beach’s reputation as a family-oriented beach destination. However, our reputation is still fragile and negative images of our past can be rekindled when a negative event takes place. As a public school principal, the image of my assigned school was always my responsibility. In the town of Carolina Beach, I fortunately do not have the sole responsibility for our positive image. However, I am well qualified to assist in the efforts of staff, businesses and other stakeholders in promoting our island in a positive way. 
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
As a town council member, I helped to define two of our priorities. First, we directed the staff to move forward with a major water and sewer project. Second, we directed the staff to move forward with the renovation of our wooden boardwalk. Both of these priorities are being implemented at this time. If elected, I will make every effort to ensure that they continue to move toward completion. A third priority for the council must be finding a sustainable funding source for beach renourishment and inlet dredging.
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words or less)
Property revaluations are necessary because the value of real estate changes over time. If we are going to tax real estate property, then it should be based on the current value. The real question should be how the tax rate is adjusted in response to the revaluation. I believe that every effort should be made to keep it revenue neutral.
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
Public opinion is always helpful in formulating decisions. The problem is many people will not volunteer their opinion until the decision is made. To combat that tendency, we have to be vigilant in informing the public of issues through all available means such as public hearings and the utilization of our citizen committees. Nonetheless, an elected official must make the best decision for the common good based on all of the facts available.
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less) 
The top issue facing Carolina Beach is finding a sustainable funding source for beach renourishment and inlet dredging. The second and third issues are improving the quality of our water and roads. Both of these issues will be addressed by our current water and sewer renovation project. The fourth issue is whether or not a community pool should be built. Finally, we need to continue to improve our customer oriented attitude for our town services with quicker response times as well as better communication with our citizens. I am confident that the new town manager will address this last issue.
6. How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less) 
I believe that as we successfully promote our town as a family oriented beach destination, we will attract the businesses to our island which will revitalize the downtown area. We have already seen new businesses come to our island because of our marketing success, and we should stay the course. In addition, we anticipate the renovation of our wooden boardwalk will also attract more visitors to our island, and thus, make it more attractive to new businesses. I do not believe that we need to create special tax incentive plans to attract or encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area.
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
It has been projected that the $40 increase in annual Freeman Park passes will generate $350,000 and those extra fees are being earmarked for beach renourishment. By the end of the year, we will know if we meet that annual goal. If those funds come up short, then perhaps we could create another revenue source by charging extra for overnight camping in lieu of raising the price of the park passes. Those extra fees could provide additional monies for beach renourishment and offset the additional cost to the town for services to our overnight visitors.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
The State has raised boat registration fees in order to generate a dedicated funding source for inlet dredging. Hopefully, in the long run, these funds will be sufficient for inlet dredging. In the meantime, we may have to supplement these funds until boat registration fees accumulate. The revenue from Freeman Park may help this effort. In any case, we will need to work with county and state officials to ensure future funding for inlet dredging.
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
I certainly will make every effort to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during my term. We have a major water and sewer renovation project in progress. However, we have projected that we can keep utility fees at the current level in spite of this project. As for our property taxes, we should be able to maintain the current tax although we will have the difficult task of finding a funding source for beach renourishment. Raising local taxes, however, would be a last resort solution.
10. What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
I believe that the proposed swimming pool project would improve the quality of life for our citizens. However, I cannot support building a community pool at this time for the following reasons. First, we must secure a sustainable revenue stream to fund both storm damage reduction and inlet dredging. Until we determine that funding, it is impossible to know if we can afford to build a pool. Secondly, our recreation center currently operates at a loss. I would like to give the town staff an opportunity to make the recreation center a more efficient operation before adding the additional responsibilities of operating a community pool. Once we address those concerns, then we can better determine if we can afford a pool.
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
 As a town councilman, I was part of the effort to work with state agencies to convert the pier project grants into grants to renovate our wooden boardwalk and improve handicap accessibility to our beach. I also worked with the rest of the council to secure a $500,000 grant from New Hanover County for the boardwalk renovation. So naturally, I think that it will be a great project for the town and will increase tourism.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
As I understand, the vacant lot was purchased for the purpose of making a handicapped accessible park for ocean viewing. I was not part of that decision. I believe that we should try to sell the lot and try to recover as much of the $200,000 as we can. We may have to be patient to find a buyer willing to pay that much but we should do so.
13. What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canal the loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
We should continue to try to sell these properties in an attempt to recover our money. If we can get a reasonable offer, then we can sell. Otherwise, we should hold on to the properties until the value increases as long as we continue to break-even through the arrangement with CBP3. Property values usually increase over time. Hopefully, we will be able to wait that long.
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
Fortunately, we have our representatives in Congress working on our behalf. Mike McIntyre, in particular, has kept us informed of his efforts to modify this bill. I voted for a resolution from Town Council protesting this bill. However, all of our citizens need to write to each of our representatives to let them know of our concerns. I have personally written to them, and I encourage everyone to do the same. The more of us who write, it will help our representatives fight this bill as they convince other non-beach representatives of the unfairness of this bill.

Candidate for Town Council Gary Doetsch:


· Full name:  Gary Lee Doetsch
· Date and place of birth: Evanston Ill.    October 27, 1950
· Address: 209 Greenville Ave.
· Own or rent dwelling: Own
· Years living in town: 61 yrs.
· Political affiliation: Republican
· Occupation: Retired from GE after 37 yrs.
· Education: (Please list high school and/or college.) New Hanover High School, Attended: Cape Fear Technical Institute approx 1 yr.
· Club or organizational affiliations: Sons of The American Legion, Member of the National Rifle Association, Life Member of the Got Em On live bait club, Carolina Beach Inlet Association.
· Military service: None
· Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office). Eight years on Town Council of Carolina Beach from 1997-2005
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
If elected I will work to provide a healthy and safe environment for the residents of Carolina Beach while keeping in mind to always try to keep taxes affordable.  I will do this by gathering input from citizens, determining the wants and needs of our residents, updating the Capital Improvement Plan, developing a budget to address the needs and important projects for our town. I feel that transparency of your local government and Communications between the Town Government and it’s citizens come first to keep the public engaged and informed with the operation of Town Government.  
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
Maintaining and supplying clean drinking water supply and waste water treatment and infrastructure, Inlet dredging and beach nourishment, Maintaining roads, Providing Police and Fire Departments ability to protect our community,   working to keep taxes as low as possible and spending tax dollars wisely. Council should work with State and Federal Representatives to keep Flood Insurance affordable. Town Council should always keep communications between Town Government and its Residents. 
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less) 
If and when a revaluation occurs I will work with Town Council, Town Manager and Finance Director to develop a budget that adjusts Carolina Beach property taxes to keep total property tax increases neutral. No Property Tax increase and possible property tax decrease if possible.
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
The most important time for citizen input is during the Budget Meetings where the operational needs of the town are determined, supporting local organizations request, funding future projects, Funding the Capital Improvement Plan, Planning for future development and projects. In the past while serving on Town Council we encouraged the public to attend and participate in these meetings. I will balance the desires of competing  interest based on the desires of our citizens and needs of our town.
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less)
Maintaining adequate drinking water supplies and waste water treatment, Providing the best Police and Fire Protection for residents and businesses of Carolina Beach, Support inlet dredging and beach nourishment projects to support our tourist based economy, Improve town roads and sidewalks, Provide constant communications between  Town Council/ Town Government and Residents/ Business owners of Carolina Beach.  
6.  How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less)
I will support the funding of services, activities and improvements within the downtown business areas to attract the families to the downtown area. I would like the input from business owners to determine the support they feel the town should provide. With their help determine a long range plan for developing growth of businesses in the downtown.
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)  
I would work with our Town Manager, Town Finance Director and Town Attorney to establish a budget item each year that would  set aside funding needed to support beach nourishment projects and not allow this item to be borrowed from.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
Town Government should work with our Congress in Washington to continue funding for maintenance of shallow water inlets. Use portions of the increase in State Boat Registration Fees to apply to inlet dredging to be protected by laws so funds cannot be touched or moved.. Town Council should always look at local ways of supporting this effort by partnering with Carolina Beach Inlet Association is efforts.
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
I will have to see what capacity our waste water treatment facility is currently operating at to determine what long range upgrades to the system will be needed possible increases would be dependent on this because this is a Self  Enterprising Fund. That and the possible threats of hurricanes and the recovery always may alter plans to hold fees and taxes at current rates. I will make every effort to keep fees and taxes the same but there are situations which may cause changes. If changes do occur I would only support those changes in fees and taxes until problems are addressed.
10.  What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
At this time I am not in favor of the project. Too many issues have not been addressed and I do not feel that adequate information has been supplied to citizens so accurate support can be determined. Having a community pool is something that was suggested when I was on Town Council 1997-2005 but the concept has changed. As long as it was on the Parks and Recreation Committee’s list of future projects I would continue to view this as a possibility as long as it was a Community Pool affordable to all residents both from membership and cost of operation to citizens.
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
I am in favor of this project and support the concept of the new additions to this project. We must do a better job in the Boardwalk Area keeping the towns sidewalks, benches, Trash cans clean so the entire area is an attraction to support the Tourist business in the CBD.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
This lot because of its size would make it tough to sell. I feel that a covered gazebo handicap accessible maybe an acceptable project for this area but I am open to suggestions from the public on usage or sale of property.
13.  What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canal the loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
As soon as the market allows recovery of  as much of the cost of the property  to the town I would be in favor of selling. Until then I would look at using any open lots for temporary paid parking to generate revenues to cover cost to the town until sale can be arranged .
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
After reading this act I was disturbed to know that what is proposed will and could affect many homeowners with increased flood insurance cost . I would continue to support Rep McIntyre’s effort  to stop this from taking  place . I feel this will impact residents and may cause some to find it unaffordable to live where they currently live. I will work to eliminate this and push to have an affordable program we can participate in.

Candidate for Town Council LeAnn Pierce:


• Full name:  LeAnn Pierce
• Date and place of birth: September 11, 1968, Burgaw, NC
• Address: 100 N 8th St, Carolina Beach, NC
• Own or rent dwelling: Own
• Years living in town: 23
• Political affiliation: Republican
• Occupation: Hotel Owner-Drifter's Reef Hotel
• Education: (Please list high school and/or college.) Bachelor of Science in Biology from East Carolina University, Certified in Business and Technical Communications from East Carolina University, Real Estate Broker License 
• Club or organizational affiliations: Island Women, Island Women in Business, Boardwalk Makeover Group, North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors, Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce.
• Military service: None
• Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office).  Vice-Chair Planning and Zoning Commission Town of Carolina Beach-Present,  New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority-Present, Arts and Activity Committee Town of Carolina Beach-Present, Board of Adjustments Town of Carolina Beach-2008-2011, Business and Economic Development Committee Town of Carolina Beach-2008-2011, Master Plan Focus Group Town of Carolina Beach-2007
1.  Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
I believe council members must work together as a team to ensure what is best for our community while building a strong, respectable relationship with other officials throughout our county and state.  My platform is to be conservative with spending  and listen to the concerns of our citizens.  An elected official is the voice of the people that they represent so it is essential to stay in communication with each other.  I bring years of management and budgeting skills to the table.  I believe that we must be creative thinkers, find ways to work around obstacles, and think "out of the box."   I have invested in our town as a business owner and a residential and commercial property owner.  The reason that I am running for council is that I love this town and its people.  I want to see us move forward with a strong economic base and an exceptional quality of life for our residents.  While in office, I hope to achieve the following:
• A strong Council that is known for its leadership, integrity, openness to it citizens, and that will respect others and  agree to disagree if needed. 
• Pursue all avenues and research needed to bring quality water to our residents. 
• Secure funding for beach nourishment and the preservation of our inlet
• Reduce our debt load by not spending money that we do not have and make sure we have proper reserve funding for our long term needs.
• Develop a vibrant economy and family friendly community
2.  What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
I see Council's priorities as being a good steward of tax dollars and creating a fiscally sound budget, pursuing all avenues to bring quality water to our residents,  repairing roads that are in poor condition, securing funding for beach nourishment and inlet dredging,  and creating trust between Council, staff and residents.
3.  How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less)
I am not in favor of property tax increases.  Property tax revaluation is mandated by the state and must be done at least every eight years.  It is hard to predict what our property values will be in 2017.  It is essential that we plan for the future and do not overspend and create debt.  We must budget wisely while continuing to provide services to our residents.  Proper planning now is essential.
4.  Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
Public opinion is important every day and with every decision made by Council.  I believe strongly that Council is not just the five people elected to fill those seats but it represents all the residents of Carolina Beach.  Decisions made by Council can have a direct effect on the finances, businesses, and quality of life of our residents.  We must listen to all parties involved and make decisions based on the facts.
5.  What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less) 
The top five issues that I will work to address are 1) improving our water quality 2) secure long term funding for beach nourishment and inlet dredging 3) repair roads that are in poor condition 4) maintain a balanced budget and reduce any unnecessary spending 5) develop a vibrant economy while maintaining a family friendly community.
6.  How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less)  One way to encourage redevelopment projects is to have a business friendly attitude in our town government.  Our best attraction is our location on the coast and we already have a built in tourist season.  Elected officials who understand the needs of business owners and know how to balance that with our residential community are essential.  My vision for Carolina Beach is to have a vibrant economy but remain a family oriented community.
7.  If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
Our beaches are essential to our economy, our environment, and our quality of life in Carolina Beach.   They are a top priority and we must protect them.  I would like to see beach nourishment be a primary funded issue in our budget.  Although we have the income from Freeman Park, I am not comfortable depending on this income.   Hurricanes and other circumstances  could affect the revenue stream from Freeman Park leaving us without beach nourishment funding.  We must work to reduce debt to be able to fund this item.
8.  What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
Inlet dredging is essential to our economy in Carolina Beach.  We must stay in communication with our state officials to ensure that they advocate for us on a Federal level on both these issues.  I encourage and support our local Carolina Beach Inlet Association on their efforts.  I support a portion of boat registration fees being used to fund our inlet dredging.  Our inlet is essential to commercial and recreational boating as well.
9.  Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
It is my goal not to raise property tax and utility fees during my term.  It is difficult to predict the future of our economy and the cost of living.  The best way to not raise taxes is to NOT spend money that we don't have.  We have to first provide services to our community and nourish our beaches.  We cannot continue to buy property and create debt.  
10.  What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
I would like to see a safe place for our children to learn to swim and families to spend quality time. With that said, I have to look at it through the eyes of a business person and a taxpayer. I would have to be convinced that  we as a community can afford this project and the citizens are in favor of it. I am not in favor of creating a tax burden on our citizens.  I would like to see alternative funding with grants, private enterprise, or county participation.     
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
Our wooden boardwalk is used daily by tourists and residents alike.  It is in need of repair.  I am in favor of the project because it is an asset that we should maintain and particularly because it will be funded with grants and possibly with Room Occupancy Tax dollars generated from tourism taxes.  This is exactly the kind of project that creates a better community for the use of both our tourist and residents.
12.  If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
If we do not have a proposed use for this property, we should sell it.  I have heard some ideas in the past of making it a handicap park.  If we can do this with grant money, I can see that as being an asset to our community and to those with special needs who visit our town.  If not, we should list it for sale to recapture our investment.
13. What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canal the loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
I do not think the town should be operating any business and using tax dollars to compete with local business but I understand the dynamics of why the situation occurred. 
I agree with the property being listed for sale.  I would encourage the property be divided and sold by parcels if needed.  I would like to see the hotel profit and not just break-even to use these profits to buy down our debt each season.  As a hotel owner and Realtor, I would bring this knowledge to Council and suggestions on how the property could make a profit.
14.  What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
The Biggert-Waters Act could drastically effect our residential and commercial property owners.  I have personally already seen increases in flood insurance.  We have to stay informed and as a Council, we must lobby our Representatives to act on our behalf.  It is essential that we have good communication with our state Representatives on this issue so that they are aware of how devastating this is to our community.  If not addressed, this could affect home sales, property values, and our economy in Carolina Beach.

Candidate for Town Council Jody Smith:


• Full name:  Jody Smith
• Date and place of birth:  November 28, 1977; Des Moines, Iowa
• Address:  109 N. 5th St
• Own or rent dwelling:  Own
• Years living in town:  10 in Carolina Beach, 2 ½ in Kure Beach, 5 in Wilmington
• Political affiliation:  Democrat
• Occupation:  Owner, Wilmington Area Fit4Mom; Office Manager, Lifepoint Church
• Education:
• Valley High School, West Des Moines, Iowa (1996)
• UNCW – BS Marine Biology (2001)
• Club or organizational affiliations:
• President, Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project (2003-present)
• Plum Moms Club Coordinator (2008-present)
• Pre-school Ministry Coordinator, Lifepoint Church (2009-present)
• Volunteer, Epworth Soup Kitchen (2010-present)
• Volunteer, NourishNC (2011-present)
• Volunteer, Carolina Beach Elementary School (2012-present)
• Military service:
• Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office). Appointed to Carolina Beach Town Council, January 2013-present
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
If elected, my hope is to continue to be able to serve the citizens of Carolina Beach in an unbiased and open-minded manner. I want to be a representative for the community by listening to what the needs are and taking action to make our town the best it can be. Being on the council for the past 9 months I have been able to be a part of the start of some exciting projects like the water/sewer capital improvement project and the boardwalk renovation. My vision is to be able to work with fellow council-members and town staff to see these, and other, projects through to completion. I want to serve in a way that is honest and transparent and be able to continue to lead Carolina Beach down a path of promise and positivity.
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
I believe the priority of Council is to hear from the residents and business owners and try to better understand what they would like to see done differently and hear what they think is going well. Specifically, a big priority is improving water quality and getting the capital improvement project underway, effectively communicating this process to the community and seeing the project through to completion.
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less)
A more specific revaluation like the one planned for 2017 is overdue. However, in the future, it would make more sense to do this type of evaluation on a more regular basis. There is the potential that the revaluation in 2017 would bring taxes under revenue neutral.
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
Public opinion is always valued and appreciated on any decision that comes before council. In the 9 months that I have served on Council there have been several tough decisions before us. Going into our meetings I know that the only thing I have to go on is what I have researched ahead of time which leaves public opinion to be a big part of my decision making. I fully understand that I can’t please everyone all of the time, however, the public can rest assured that I will always treat their comments and opinions with utmost respect.
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less)
• Improving quality of life for our citizens by providing improved water/sewer system, safe routes to school, improved parks and rec facilities and increased bike/walking trails.
• Secure funding for future storm damage protection projects and inlet dredging.
• Continue support for our downtown central business district in a way that attracts fun, family activity and makes a unique contribution to our business community.
• Maintain relationships with county, state and federal elected officials to keep Carolina Beach at the forefront of their minds.
• Promote development that protects our family friendly atmosphere and single family neighborhoods.
6. How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less)
By keeping businesses and events unique and exciting, people will continue to come and enjoy Carolina Beach as a premier vacation destination. Carolina Beach is already on the map as one of the best boardwalks in the country thanks to the work of the Boardwalk Makeover Group/CBDI and the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce. Council needs to continue to support such organizations and work with intentionality to maintain this improved reputation.
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
This year it is estimated that nearly $300,000 will be put aside from Freeman Park passes to go towards storm damage reduction. I would like to work with the Freeman Park committee to examine the Freeman Park fee structure and propose that we possibly bring back the early purchase pricing as well as look at the possibility of separate rates for overnight camping vs. day users. I would also suggest that we continue to encourage unique shoulder season events that will attract out of town visitors and increase ROT funds. We must also maintain healthy relationships with our state and federal elected officials to rally for us for funding.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
The livelihood of our town depends on healthy waterways and usable inlets. This will always remain a funding priority.
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
Yes, I believe it is possible to avoid raising property taxes during my term. If utility fees increase it would be to offset the cost of new water/sewer system which is much needed and very long overdue. My hope is that we’ll see savings with regard to water treatment and more effective billing with the new meter system and this will offset any need to raise utilities.
10. What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
The idea of a community pool is a desirable one for me, personally, as I feel that my family and many others’ would benefit from it being here. I also believe that it would be a great asset for our community and that it has the potential to be profitable. However, before moving forward, I would want to be certain that this would not end up as a burden on taxpayers and that it is something that the majority of our community and others willing to pay user fees are in favor of building.
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
The Boardwalk Improvement Project is going to greatly enhance the aesthetics of the boardwalk area, allow increased accessibility to the beach and be a great asset as another attraction for visitors. Even better is that the project will be paid for almost entirely with grant funds.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
My recommendation is that if the town is unable to sell it to recoup some of the expense then this property should be looked at to provide some sort of public usage kiosk or gazebo with space to provide shade and/or educational materials about rip tides, the environment, etc.
13.    What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canalthe loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
My recommendation is to continue to try and sell these properties. Keep the hotel management company in place to continue to “break-even” and hope that an encouraging seller comes along with a development idea that is suitable for the future vision of Carolina Beach.
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).
Town officials and staff need to keep informed about which specific property owners will be directly affected by this, how we can help them and keep them informed on what they can do to be proactive in avoiding drastic increases. We must also maintain communication with our state and federal elected officials to make them aware of the major impact this will have on property owners here and stress that these rate hikes will be detrimental to some property owners and future home buyers.

Candidate for Town Council Mike Worley:


• Full name: Michael Brian Worley
• Date and place of birth:  4-28-1973 Smithfield, NC
• Address:  1080 Saint Joseph St #7D Carolina Beach, NC
• Own or rent dwelling:  Rent
• Years living in town:
• Political affiliation:  Republican
• Occupation:  Edge Entertainment, All American Bail Bonding
• Education: Princeton High School and Johnston Community College
• Club or organizational affiliations: Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, Susan G. Komen, Got Em On Live Bait Club
• Military service:
• Governmental experience: (Include dates elected and terms of office).
1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)
My goal is to bring renewed energy, a renewed vision and most of all transparency to our town council.  There are many pressing issues locally as well as State and National issues that could affect the coast and potentially our town.  We (council and residents) must work together to ensure that our town continues to move in the right direction and preserve the quality of life that we all enjoy.
2. What do you see as Council priorities? (100 words or less)
I feel that Council priorities are protecting our beaches, waterways and fishing industry, seeking long term solutions for our water supply and improving our water quality. 
3. How do you feel about the upcoming 2017 countywide property revaluation? (75 words of less)
While the housing market has been struggling the past few years and property values have decreased, I feel that the revaluation in 2017 would help bring our market values back in line of where they should realistically be.
4. Other than Election Day, when is public opinion most important in helping you formulate decisions on council and how will you balance the desires of competing interests? (75 words or less)
To me, public opinion is always important in making decisions on council. While residents may have differing opinions on issues, I feel it’s important to listen and try to understand both sides completely in order to make a fair and balanced decision.
5. What are the top five issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to address during your term? (100 words or less)
Beach renourishment, inlet dredging, water quality, roads, Freeman Park
6. How do you plan to attract/encourage redevelopment projects to revitalize the downtown area?  (75 words or less)
Our downtown area is an important part of our tourism in Carolina Beach and is getting some much needed attention with the boardwalk improvement project. I feel the improvements along with the construction of two additional hotels; our downtown will be positioned for growth. We must work with, support and give incentives to property owners and developers to encourage this revitalization.
7. If elected, what would you suggest the Town do to raise approximately $350,000 annually which may be needed to fund the Town’s obligation for future beach nourishment projects? (100 words or less)
We have to be creative in securing our portion of the funding. This could be achieved by allocating a percentage of the fees collected from Freeman Park, boat registration fees and parking.
8. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for inlet dredging? (75 words or less)
Inlet dredging is an issue that we will always face.  I believe that we must work closely with our local, state and even national leaders to convey the importance of this issue and seek a long term, consistent source of funding.
9. Do you feel it is possible to avoid raising property taxes and utility fees during your term? (Why or why not?) (75 words or less)
I do feel it is possible to avoid raising taxes and fees but not sure if it’s likely. We have to evaluate the cost of operations and services our town provides and act accordingly.
10. What is your position on the proposal to build an 8-lane community swimming pool and Aquatics Center adjacent to Town Hall to be funded by user fees? (100 words or less)
I feel that a community pool could be an asset to our community.  However, I feel that since this project is not a necessity, the taxpayers of Carolina Beach should have the final say through a referendum.
11. What is your position on the Town’s Boardwalk Improvement Project? (75 words or less)
The Boardwalk Improvement Project is without a doubt a great achievement for our town and I feel that it will play an important role in the overall revitalization of our downtown area.
12. If elected what would your recommendation be for the 1710 Carolina Beach Avenue North vacant lot the Town bought for $200,000 in 2009? (75 words or less)
I would recommend the town sell the property.
13.    What should the Town do with the CBP3 owned hotels and property that was purchased for a pier in 2010. The property is currently on the market for sale, and according to the Town it is now being managed at nearly a break-even cost. The Town paid $3,600,000 for the hotels and coupled with the vacant lots on Canalthe loan is $4,300,000. What would you as an elected leader recommend?  (100 words or less).
 I feel that the property should be sold in order to recoup the initial investment.  If that isn’t possible, then we should look at ideas on how to use it to our advantage in attracting tourists.  An idea would be an oceanfront waterpark.
14. What can be done to address the Biggert-Waters Act that drastically increases flood insurance rates? (100 words or less).We have to work closely with our state and national representatives to find a solution to offset this increased financial burden. This could be achieved by having the act amended or delayed until a realistic solution can be found.