Carolina Beach Mayoral Candidates Outline Platforms For Nov. 5th Election

Carolina Beach Mayoral Candidates Outline Platforms For Nov. 5th Election

Carolina Beach Mayoral Candidates Outline Platforms For Nov. 5th Election Featured

By / Local News / Wednesday, 16 October 2019 22:18

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. This year four candidates are seeking the office of Mayor. Four candidates are running for two Town Council seats.
This week covers reponses from each of the four mayoral candidates. The reponses from Council candidates will be published in the Wednesday October 23rd, edition.

Candidate for Mayor: Tom Elicson
• Date and place of birth:
November 26, 1962. Youngstown, Ohio
• Address: 1520 Bowfin Ln, Carolina beach, NC 28428.
• Own or rent dwelling and years living in town: Own. 7.5 years.
• Years living in Carolina Beach? 7.5 years
• Political affiliation?  Local elections are non-partisan and should be free from outside influences.  I will serve the best interests of the town.
• Occupation: Nuclear Engineer.
• Education: (Please list high school and/or college.): Masters Degree Nuclear Engineering, University of Cincinnati.
• Community clubs and/or organizational affiliations that directly serve our community on a regular basis: (Please include important details.): Member Island Men, an all-volunteer 501.c.3 group of volunteers who raise money and help local non-profits and children’s educational and athletic organizations and activities.  Most recently, Island men organized the 2019 Dragon Boat Regatta and donated a $6300 computer learning system to Carolina Beach Elementary School.
President of the Megan Cajigas Education Foundation, 2016 – present.  MCEF is a 501.c.3 charitable organization founded in 2007, dedicated to helping local children and their families afford pre-school tuition.
• Military service: None
• Governmental experience: (Including Town committees or commissions that you have served on.): Co-chair of the Carolina Beach Operations Advisory Committee, 2014 – 2017.  Lead author of committee’s storm water and flooding report.  Performed first-of-a-kind bulkhead survey to investigate tidal flooding along Canal Dr. and Florida Ave.; Hudson , Ohio City Council Member, 2005 – 2007; Co-founded and served on Hudson Economic Growth Board, 2005 - 2011

1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)

Carolina Beach is a great place to live and our future is bright. But for this town to reach its full potential, we must change the status quo. We can no longer afford to keep making the same mistakes. As your next Mayor, I recognize that there will be others on Council who have been working with the town for a long time.  But, just because you have been doing something for a long time is no guarantee of results.  In fact, sometimes it narrows your vision.  You get used to business as usual and you stop considering new solutions and new possibilities. 

Even though we see our town as laid back and somewhat quirky, our town government cannot be that way. The Carolina Beach town government has to be as modern and efficient as that of any well run larger city.  But that is not what has been happening:

Council fired 2 town managers in the last 12 months and 3 in the past 7 years. Council failed to complete the lake dredging project and has failed to make any changes to correct past mistakes.

Over the past 6 years Council has drawn down the reserve fund so fast the State Treasurer’s office wrote a letter of concern to the town manager. This past June, Council struggled to get a budget out and then forgot to include funding for a needed half-million dollar fire truck replacement. As your next mayor, I will work to restore confidence in the town’s ability to manage its affairs and I will focus on solving our problems.  I will use my 30 years’ of engineering experience and my prior council experience to provide oversight on infrastructure projects and work with the Town Manager to correct past mistakes by implementing best practices for project management. 

I will use my experience managing municipal and corporate budgets to work with the town to reform our budgeting and spending processes. 

I will form an Ad-Hoc committee to proactively address our parking issues. 

I will work to update and then implement high priority projects from our Bicycle Multi-Use Transportation plan. 

I will make sure the Land Use Plan is aligned with our community values regarding growth, our desire to protect residential neighborhoods, and our desire to protect our quality of life. 

I came to Carolina Beach by way of Hudson Ohio and I have lived here with my family for over 7 years.  I have not lived here my entire life.  My background and experience are diverse and I will bring that perspective to the town.

While in Ohio, I served on a town council where we successfully solved many of the same issues we are struggling with in Carolina Beach, from storm water and flooding to infrastructure and town finances.  I understand the type of oversight public officials must provide to properly manage town finances and infrastructure projects.
I am an engineer with 30 years’ experience and I am responsible for managing complex projects. I know how to provide proper oversight on projects to make sure they get done right the first time, on budget, and on schedule.

I have plans to address the issues our town is facing, including parking, commercial development, short-term rentals, pedestrian safety, and the room occupancy tax.  I will work to implement best practices for management and oversight of infrastructure projects.  And, I will work to implement best practices for budgeting and money management.

Our next Mayor must have a plan for the future and must be ready work with the town to ensure it is functioning at a very high level.  I have a plan and will hit the ground running on day one to do just that. 

I believe it is time for us to open our eyes and expect more.  I believe it is time to explore new possibilities.  I believe it is time for new leadership.  And I believe that I am the best candidate to provide that new leadership as your next mayor. 

2. What are the top issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to resolve during your term? (100 words or less)  

Infrastructure, finances, and growth. My top priority: implement best practices for project management.

We must learn from our past mistakes and see the lake dredging project through to the end. We must successfully complete the $3 million marina revitalization project.  We must address nuisance flooding of residential properties on the north end caused by lunar tides and we must address water quality issues.

Since 2014, spending has increased 4 times faster than revenue. I have experience with municipal and corporate budgets and will work to implement best practices for money management.

Our town is growing and we must grow with it.  To move forward, we must address development, parking, and short-term rental issues.

Throughout my campaign, I have outlined plans to address these and other issues.  I will be ready on day one as your next Mayor to implement these plans and start solving problems.

3. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for beach nourishment and inlet dredging? (100 words or less)

Beach nourishment and inlet dredging are regional issues and require regional solutions.  We must continue to work with county, state, and federal leaders to ensure adequate funding for these projects.

4. How will you address the Carolina Beach Lake Dredge project and the Town’s relationship with the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point? ( 100 words or less)

On the private side, professional organizations use formal corrective action reporting to avoid repeating past mistakes.  The corrective action reports identify past mistakes and explain what changes will be made to prevent the same mistakes from happening in the future.  I believe our relationship with MOTSU will be greatly improved if they know we have formally implemented corrective actions to ensure that past mistakes with the lake are not repeated. 

I have proposed corrective actions in the form of updating our processes and procedures to implement best practices for project management.  I have shown that if these best practices had been in place 3 years ago, the problems we had with the lake dredging would have been avoided. 

5. Can you lower the monthly water, sewer, trash recycling and storm water bill? ( 100 words or less)

Increased tourism is causing increased impacts on our town from additional traffic on the roads to increased demands on infrastructure and water usage.  The current Room Occupancy Tax (ROT) funding formula does not allow us to use the ROT to address these impacts.  Instead, we all pay for the impact of tourism through higher utility rates.  We have seen double-digit rate increases over the past 3 years and will see additional increases in the future.  Carolina Beach generated $2.8 million in ROT revenue last year.  The county spent $1.25 million on direct advertising while only $700,000 appeared in our budget.  To reduce pressure on our utility bills, we must work with county and state officials to obtain a more equitable ROT funding formula.

6. What type of development do you think is proper for the downtown or highway bushiness districts? ( 100 words or less)

Carolina Beach is growing up and that we must grow with it. But, we cannot move forward by forgetting the past or by forgetting what has attracted us here in the first place. Right now, even from several blocks back from the beach, we get to enjoy the ocean breeze, sounds of the surf, and the vista above the dunes.  The coastal views are important to our quality of life.  This will be adversely affected if we allow development of medium and high rise buildings to wall us off from the sea scape.  As we grow, we must not allow expanded commercial and high density rental development to destroy the residential communities and residential quality of life.

We must make sure the Land Use Plan and zoning ordinances are in alignment with our desire to preserve our enjoyment of the coastal aesthetics and our residential quality of life. 

Candidate for Mayor:  LeAnn Pierce       
• Date and place of birth: September 11, 1968 Burgaw, NC
• Address: 106 Teakwood Dr
• Own or rent dwelling and years living in town: own, 30 years
• Years living in Carolina Beach? 30 years
• Political affiliation? Republican
• Occupation: Hotel Owner
• Education: (Please list high school and/or college.) ECU B.S. Biology
• Community clubs and/or organizational affiliations that directly serve our community on a regular basis: (Please include important details.): 12 year member Boardwalk Makeover and Team Leader Thursday night activities
• Military service: N/A
• Governmental experience: (Including Town committees or commissions that you have served on.): Six years on Town Council and four as Mayor Pro Tem, New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, CB/KB Sewer Authority, Liaison to Bike/Ped Committee, Police Advisory Committee, Planning and Zoning, Board of Adjustments

1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)

The next phase in Carolina Beach will be managing growth, parking, water quality and quantity, environmental preservation, stormwater mitigation, Freeman Park, attracting families and activities for our children.  I would also like to see a beautification project in Carolina Beach and elimination of single use plastics. 

ROT numbers are up 15% from last year at this time which is an indicator of a strong economy.  We must monitor building heights in our town to keep us quaint and attractive.  Our zoning ordinances and building codes will accomplish this.  We must create open space and help preserve the history of our community.  This is a tough balance of a large beach town like Carolina Beach but it can be done.  We have just reactivated and appointed members to the Business and Economic Development Committee which I am the liaison.  I served on this committee in 2007 before council.  We will research how to attract family friendly businesses to Carolina Beach and business incentives.  I want Carolina Beach to have a strong economy while remaining a place to raise our families. 

We have asked our parking company to audit all lots to accommodate more golf parking and off street parking.  We are also reconfiguring parking at public accesses.  By doing this, we should gain more spaces and become more efficient.  We need to acquire more land for surface parking that the town owns because we cannot depend on leasing property for our parking needs.  We also need to look into a transportation system from a more centralized location.  I believe we are at capacity for 8 weeks a year on the weekends.  With that said, I am not in favor of a parking deck and truthfully, we can’t afford it either.  I will say that we may need to entertain a public/private partnership to meet our future parking needs.

 We are in the process of a water quality study.  We are currently close to build out with only 600 residential lots and very few commercial properties still available.  We are looking for information on capacity and how much water we will need at buildout.  We know we need to build a 3M gallon water storage facility in the near future.  This study will be vital information to address our water and infrastructure needs which also relates back to how much can we and should grow.

Environmental preservation is something every community especially a coastal community has a duty to protect.  The love of our beautiful waterways, ocean and all the creatures that inhabit it is one of the reasons this island is so attractive and peaceful.  It is our duty as honorable citizens to protect the environment because it cannot do it for itself. 

Stormwater is an issue for an island particularly on Canal Dr.  We are currently replacing all 18 valves at street ends with a new more improved valve system.  This should increase blockage by 30%.  We are also in the process of investigating a possible bulkhead ordinance.  Many on the properties on Canal do not have bulkheads and the water flows over those properties into the street.  There are also other option such as living shorelines being looked into.  The water further deteriorates the street which badly needs paving.  We need to fix the problem or the new paving will also deteriorate.

 Freeman Park is a dynamic coastal environment and only mother nature controls the erosion.  We have asked our Freeman Park Committee to make suggestions to council for the upcoming season and have scheduled a workshop to address this topic.  We are not certain if the pinch point will become safe again for vehicle traffic but it is a public trust beach where foot traffic is always allowed.  Public safety is our first concern and it always will be.  Freeman Park is a jewel that very few communities can experience.  It is 380 acres of pristine coastal lands.  I would like to see kayak launches, wildlife tours and living classrooms added to the park.  Maybe a partnership with UNCW known for its marine biology programs could accomplish this.

2. What are the top issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to resolve during your term? (100 words or less)  

As stated above, managing growth, parking, water quality and quantity, environmental preservation, stormwater mitigation, issues with Freeman Park.  Answered above. 

3. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for beach nourishment and inlet dredging? (100 words or less)

We should continue our relationships with county, state and federal partners to ensure funding for beach nourishment.  Growing our ROT funds will insure future money from our sand fund.  We must also continue with the BRER study to gain a 15 year extension. 

4. How will you address the Carolina Beach Lake Dredge project and the Town’s relationship with the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point? ( 100 words or less)

We should finish the lake dredge to gain more capacity.  We are currently awaiting soil testing results to forward to MOTSU to gain permission to place spoils at our WWTP off Dow Rd.  I believe the towns relationship with MOTSU is very good and I will continue this partnership.

5. Can you lower the monthly water, sewer, trash recycling and storm water bill? ( 100 words or less)

I do not believe this is possible at this time.  We have increased these fees to finance our multiphase infrastructure project which replaces failing infrastructure.  This infrastructure was 50 years old and in desperate need of repairs and replacements.

6. What type of development do you think is proper for the downtown or highway bushiness districts? ( 100 words or less)

I am satisfied with the current zoning restrictions on our downtown and highway business.  The mixed use developments are what the public indicated they wanted in our Land Use Plan meetings.  I do not believe we should change our building heights and we should work to preserve open space.

Candidate for Mayor: T D Scaringi
• Born  September 2, 1954 in Live Oak, Florida
• We bought our home just under 6 years ago and have been a full time resident for 4 years.    306 Hamlet Ave.  CB
• My parents are Republicans.  I registered as an Independent and I lean to the right.
• I retired from the motion picture industry in April 2018.  My job title was Motion Picture Studio Grip.  I was a Key Grip and have been a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees for 40 years.
• I am a 1976 graduate of Temple University, Philadelphia, Pa.   Bachelor of Science.
• My wife and I are members of the Federal Point Historical Preservation Society.  I am also a member of Island Men.
• No military or government service.

I hope to lead the way toward responsible spending and represent the residents of Carolina Beach in an effort to combat increasing property taxes and higher utility bills.

There has been too much emphasis on tourism and not enough on money management.

Carolina Beach needs to slow its spending and work on increasing its general fund to an acceptable level.  We are currently building restrooms and a lifeguard facility on Hamlet Ave to the tune of $800,000.  That amount of money can build 3 homes.  In addition, council bundled another $300,000 to the $800,000 for a total of 1.1 million dollars to build on Hamlet and purchase a property in the central business district that will be used for storage.

The Town of Carolina Beach is not along in trying to find funding for beach nourishment.  All up and down the coast, town are struggling to find money for nourishment.  We should join with other town to become a larger voice and be heard in Washington.

Carolina Beach Lake.   If you want to wait for MOTSU, you might wait a long time.  The Town has $1.2 million to complete the project.  More money will be needed to remove any spoils from federal land 3 – 5 years from now.

 I would like to build bulkheads along the east end of the lake and back fill that area with the spoils to create more usable land around the lake.  Parks and Recreation can’t do any improvement around the lake until the dredging is completed.

Water, sewer, trash and storm water is a complicated situation.  We need to continue our infrastructure project.  Cost overages needs to be eliminated.  My suggestion,  the company that is awarded the contract gets a bonus if they come in on time and under budget. The bonus is negotiated up front and in the estimate.  

Seniors should qualify for monthly reductions from the Town.

Development for highway district and downtown.

The five acres for sale next to Jersey Mike’s has huge potential.  I would like to see a shopping center made up of outlet stores.  It would be something that could attract folks from Wilmington and beyond.  It would provide jobs people of Carolina Beach.

Candidate for Mayor: Dorrene Stanley
• Born in Guilford County 12/30/1968
• 1201 Saint Joseph Street CB, NC 28428
• Approx. 4 years living in Carolina Beach
• Member of the Constitution Party
• Semi-Retired now owner/partner Coastal Carolina Property Group LLC
Engineering Degree in Textile Design
• Community liaison of Carolina Beach Jeeps – Adopt A Highway Dow Road - Adopt Freeman Park through TOCB
• Wilmington Off-Road Community liaison which supports economic development, local non-profits & community service activities
• North Carolina Honor Guard community liaison
• No Military experience
• Worked for 25 years in Public Safety – Fire Department, Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, instructor through the NC Office of the State Fire Marshal & Certified National Public Safety Communications Specialist.

1. Describe your platform; what you hope to achieve if elected. (800 words or less)

 I am running on a Prosperity Platform that is about prioritizing the decision making process which focuses on our Needs vs. Wants. Carolina Beach currently has budgeted their entire projected revenue intake for the 19/20 fiscal year. We need to review our revenue generating assets more thoroughly and balance spending with a more realistic approach towards our needs which have been neglected. (i.e. water infrastructure, flood mitigation) This is the primary objective of my platform.

2. What are the top issues facing Carolina Beach that you will work to resolve during your term? (100 words or less)  

Top issues: Spending – balance spending with a realistic approach towards our needs such as flood mitigation and water infrastructure. Ensuring that our revenue generating assets are performing to their ability (parking meters, Freeman Park) and if they are not such as the case with Freeman Park – we must be proactive & creative in order to drive sales through other means. This will keep property taxes low. Empowerment of our citizens & property owners for the decision making process regarding our governing decisions, wants and amenities.

3. What should the Town do to ensure future funding for beach nourishment and inlet dredging? (100 words or less)

Strengthen relationships with State & Federal Leaders. We must also work with our County Governing officials and neighboring communities to create a contingency plan in case Federal & State Funding for Inlet dredging & Beach Nourishment is reduced or discontinued.

4. How will you address the Carolina Beach Lake Dredge project and the Town’s relationship with the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point? ( 100 words or less)

This is a delicate issue because of the miscommunications during the Lake Dredge Project. Communication is “Key” and the lack thereof costed the Tax Payers of this community more than it should have. I will immediately meet with representatives of MOTSU to discuss how we can better build our working relationships and hopefully address implementing a temporary project manager to speed up the efforts.

I work on a prioritization approach – so finishing the project at this point in time is out of the question until the current “Spoils” are properly disposed of and better planning is implemented.

5. Can you lower the monthly water, sewer, trash recycling and storm water bill? ( 100 words or less)

Yes we can. (Especially for Senior Citizens and folks who live alone --- most likely they are not using the minimum.)

6. What type of development do you think is proper for the downtown or highway bushiness districts? ( 100 words or less)

Development for this area should mimic the Town of Carolina Beach current nostalgia. (What our current infrastructure is designed to handle).

This is what makes our community unique and desirable. I believe we should preserve our Boardwalk area to include historic information and encourage current property owners of this area to “update & better maintain” their structures. This will enhance economic development. More successful Small businesses in this area will strengthen the economic backbone of our Town. Small Businesses control the economy both locally & nationally. If we drastically change and move away from our current “look” – it will cost the tax payers more in the long run.


Author

Super User

Super User

 



Please publish modules in offcanvas position.