Boardwalk Extension Reckless Spending

By / Letters to the Editor / Wednesday, 21 October 2015 04:00

Dear Editor,
The Town's continuous reckless spending of your tax-payer dollars is getting ridiculous!  Did you realize that the town has officially sought the approval of the northern extension of the boardwalk since January 2014?  Many citizens are opposed to this boardwalk extension that will be constructed between private property and the beach.  The extension is not needed and will bring no value to the town - only expense.  The town cannot currently keep up with the vandalism on the existing boardwalk. They have continued to seek approval for the extension, and have been denied, in February, May, June and October of 2014.  Each time they seek approval, more of the town's money, your money, is being spent. When the mayor and council members attend the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) meetings seeking approval of a variance in order to build the boardwalk extension, a hefty bill is incurred. More times than not, the meetings are out of town and travel is required.  Enough is enough!
I made a public records request of the town on August 25, 2015 asking for the total expenses incurred by the town in their continuous attempts to acquire approval of the extension.  These expenses include but are not limited to monies spent on meals, lodging, gas, reimbursements, overtime hours, filing fees, legal billing, etc.  I received a letter from the town's attorney, Noel Fox, on September 8, 2015.  Their answer was no - no they would not give me any information!  Quoting Ms. Fox's letter she states, "NC law doesn't require the Town to create a record in order to comply with public record requests. Only existing records are subject to production.  After conferring with the Town Clerk and the Town Manager, I am advised that there is no record responsive to your request."  This implies that the town doesn't keep receipts/records of their expenses and will not release information that is public record to the public! Elected officials, the mayor and town council members, are placed in office by you - the voting citizens of our community. The town has hired a new attorney to represent them in this never ending fight for the boardwalk extension without an open meeting to discuss an amendment to the budget in order to pay the attorney.  The town has refused to give private citizens access to the new variance for the extension that will be voted on by the CRC at their next meeting in November. It seems that the town has been in closed session working on a strategy of how to get this approval against the objections of the general public. Are our elected officials representing us? Are the best interests of the town and the town's citizens top priority for them or are they selfishly seeking only what they want -- and spending our money in the process? Please send in letters of objections to the town's never-ending reckless spending of your money in their variance request for the boardwalk extension to the CRC.  Send e-mail letters to:  Braxton Davis, Director of Coastal Resources Commission; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and mail letters to Mr. Davis at 400 Commerce Avenue, Morehead City, NC 28557.
Thank you for your time,
Susan A. Pierce,
Carolina Beach, NC

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