Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Mike Hoffer For Carolina Beach Council

Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Mike Hoffer For Carolina Beach Council

Island Gazette Candidate's Corner: Mike Hoffer For Carolina Beach Council Featured

By / Local News / Tuesday, 26 October 2021 19:04

If you are elected on to council, what will be the first thing you do?

I will work with the new council to delegate responsibilities for individual council members. Our collective responsibility model is inefficient because we find ourselves working on the same things. Each council member should have specific areas of expertise and focus on them.

For instance, I would volunteer to oversee stormwater policy, environmental concerns and bike/pedestrian safety. That way, if a citizen has a concern with one of those issues, they’d know who to call. I would work with staff, develop in-depth knowledge of the subjects and communicate to the public. This would free the other council members to focus on their areas of expertise. Efficiency matters!

In the first winter of my term I would push for multiple safety improvements around town that would have an immediate effect. Reclaim the bike lanes on Lake Park Blvd, add a crosswalk at Spartanburg Ave, repaint pavement markings around the school and repair sidewalks in strategic spots, just to name a few.

 Do you feel like Carolina Beach Town Staff is working effectively? 

No.

If not, what will you change?

As I stated previously, Town Council should divide our workload. This will help staff work more efficiently, because it will eliminate distractions and overlapping requests.

Take stormwater for instance. When someone has a problem, they often contact the council member they know. Then the council member calls around, learns about the issue, meets with staff to find a resolution, etc… This is inefficient, distracting to staff and time consuming for Town Council.

A better system is for one council member to focus on stormwater. I would know the systems, know the staff, know the problems and know how to address them. Everyone would know where the buck stops and that’s always the best way to get results. If you want something done – make it someone’s job. It’s a more efficient system for Town Council and staff.

 What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected?

I’m the only candidate with an engineering degree and stormwater management experience, so I’ll start there. I can provide technical assistance and oversight that is needed right now.

I’ve spent years organizing volunteer crews for environmental stewardship and community improvement projects. This is a great skill to have, because if our citizens help, then town staff can allocate their manpower and resources to other things. This makes for a more sustainable future.

I’m a great communicator. Town Council needs better communication with our citizens and I will provide that. I’ve been writing articles and newsletters for over 15 years. I will focus on my areas of expertise and regularly share information through multiple sources.

I asked both Mayoral candidates this in a different form, what was your biggest disappointment made by standing council?

That so little was done during the Covid shutdown. There was an opportunity to make improvements around town and very little happened.

Here’s an analogy. During the quarantine days, I wasn’t spending time going to lacrosse games, school functions, parties, etc… so I used the free time to make major improvements around my house.

Town staff should have done the same. Think of all the man hours that usually go to running events, emptying trash bins, hosting the parade… I could go on and on. We should have seen more visible improvements around town as a result. (Parks & Rec is exempt from this complaint. They remodeled the Rec Center nicely while it was closed.)

I am employed by New Hanover County. No one in my department missed a day of work during the quarantine. Meanwhile, I had a hard time getting phone calls returned from town hall. An opportunity was missed here.

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing?  How do you reassure them?    

It’s never too late to focus on the qualities that make our town great. Even as Carolina Beach grows, we can hold on to what makes us special. We need to focus on the specific small town qualities that we hold dear.

Safe routes to school, walkability, shady trees, pleasant biking, convenient parking, affordability… these are all features of a great small town. Make these things a priority and we’ll maintain our quality of life.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?  

All of the candidates basically agree on the issues, so you have to look for who will actually be able to generate progress. Experience, expertise and knowledge of local government matter.

Ask the candidates what they’re passionate about. What legacy do you want to leave? Which one or two issues will you work feverishly toward accomplishing? Outside of your basic Town Council duties, what will you do to make your dreams come true? The answer should be clear and specific

I know how to answer those questions… I want to see Carolina Beach become a bike and pedestrian paradise. A town where you feel good about sending your kids or grandkids outside to play. That’s what will motivate me every day.

Author

jasmine1

jasmine1

 



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