Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Deb LeCompte For Carolina Beach Council

Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Deb LeCompte For Carolina Beach Council

Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Deb LeCompte For Carolina Beach Council Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 26 October 2021 18:49

If you are elected on to council, what will be the first thing you do? The first thing I want to see our new council tackle is prioritizing our much-needed infrastructure projects, as well as an improved schedule of maintenance for these capital improvements.  For too many years, we have put off much needed maintenance to our water and sewer because no one wanted to spend the necessary dollars for regular maintenance and upkeep, and we are left with decades of crumbling infrastructure.  We can no longer afford to place bandaids on our hemorrhaging infrastructure.

Do you feel like Carolina Beach Town Staff is working effectively? I have run a successful business for 17 years and understand the dynamics in a workplace; there is always room for improvement.  One of the things I hear most is that our citizens have a hard time communicating with town staff and getting answers on a wide variety of issues.  Over the last few months, while attending Council Meetings and Workshops, several unexpected and unbudgeted expenditures transpired.  There was a buy out of a cell phone contract that cost us $59,000 and the buy out of the parking company contract which cost us $36,000. In addition, our lake dredge permit expired which will be costly.  These mistakes should not have occurred, and I believe continuity is the reason for these mistakes.  Our Town Manager turnover the last few years has left a gap in executing policy that Council sets.  Our Town Manager answers directly to Council and Council needs to give clear guidance and direction. 

If not, what will you change? We need accountability measures in place when costly mistakes are made.  We also need a thorough review of all existing contracts and leases.  We need improved and streamlined customer service. One of my goals is to not only have continued conversations with department heads but, staff that are out on the streets making the repairs, picking up trash as well as those sitting in our customer service windows. 

What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected? One of my strongest traits is that of an organizer; I effectively execute goals with results.  I am someone who thoroughly researches the issue at hand, in order to understand the impacts of that issue.  I believe Planning & Zoning prepares its members for being on council because it hears many town issues prior to council, therefore my service as current Chair for Planning & Zoning and Vice Chair term prior to that has prepared me to better serve as a council member.

I asked both Mayoral candidates this in a different form, what was your biggest disappointment made by standing council? My biggest disappointment is that for three election cycles we have discussed the Lake Dredge Project which has yet to be completed.  While the lake is a wonderful place for activities, it is also one of our biggest assets for storm water mitigation.  I am excited to hear we have the funding to complete this project but am disappointed that for six years we still do not have a plan for placement of the spoils, and that our permit was allowed to expire, which means we will spend more tax dollars for the permit reissuance. 

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing.  How do you reassure them?   Our quality of life must be our number one priority.  For the last 10+ years, I have spoken at council meetings about the importance of putting our infrastructure ahead of amenity projects.  While I agree the amenity projects are much more fun, I always ask the question, what good are they if our infrastructure continues to decline and decay?  I will continue to put our resident’s quality of life issues at the top of my priorities.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council? This community is special and unique. Through my volunteer efforts, I have been told time and time again by outside agencies that they have never seen a community that pulls together during times of need like we do.  That is the spirit I want to keep alive in Carolina Beach.  I must tell you; I have a hard time talking about myself and telling you why you should vote for me because I serve with intention, not for attention. My efforts are through teamwork.  What I will ask, is let my actions and service speak to my character, my experience, and my willingness to serve and I would appreciate your vote on November 2.   

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