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Editorial: Various Issues To Ponder...

Managing Editor

Hotel Parking:
The Carolina Beach Town Council recently denied a permit extension for a Fairfield Inn to be built on the Boardwalk adjacent to the existing Marriott Hotel. That hotel provided the majority of their parking upon their own property. The Council is preparing to consider a new Hampton Inn and Suites on the opposite end of the Boardwalk area that does not provide 100% of their parking requirements on their own property. They are asking the Town to give away taxpayer property in a public parking lot in order to meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance to meet the required number of spaces based on the number of rooms in their proposed hotel. That translates to: Don't provide your own parking, just ask the Town to let you use their land at the taxpayer’s expense.
Waiving Parking Fees:
Mayor Bob Lewis' wife - Kim Lewis - evidently tried to shift attention from a bad situation created by the Town by pointing fingers at two candidates saying they were playing politics prior to a fundraiser. (See report on page 1-A). Fact is, I was there until just before the boat cruise left the dock. The fundraiser was to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis
in the name of the late Michael McGowan of Michael's Seafood Restaurant. The Council agreed not to waive parking fees for the some 300 people attending the event. They claimed it would set a precedent and cost them precious parking revenues to allow people to park for about an hour for free for a charity event. The organizers paid for the parking themselves and posted flyers at the parking lots telling people not to pay for parking. (Also, see the report on page 1-A). Bob and Kim were not pleased with the content of those flyers. Kim said her husbands opponent in the Mayor's Race, Dan Wilcox and Town Council candidate Gary Doetsch, were both handing out flyers to people getting on the boat. I did not observe that happening. No one I've spoken to observed that happening.
One of the event organizers was passing out green flyers to people boarding the boat.
Yet at the end of the day, it's a distraction from the real issue; the Town Council didn't waive the parking fees when they should have. And no amount of political finger pointing will change that fact.
Even worse, they paid $150 which the parking representative said was probably too much and the parking office closed at 4PM any way. Council could have said, no problem, they close at 4PM!