Island Gazette

Councilman Gilbert's Response to Lawn and Winters Letters

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Dear Editor,
Since the political axes are grinding at full speed I thank you for the opportunity to respond to David Lawn and Jacqueline Winters with their politically oriented threads or issues in these letters.
For clarity I believe it important that the identity of the authors be made known to your readers.   David Lawn the husband of Diane Murphy the Campaign Treasurer for the opposition candidate for mayor, who were/are investors in the bankrupt Arcadius Condominium Development. Additionally, Jacqueline Winters who also goes by the name of Jacqueline Broderick Patton the wife and business partner of Arcadius Developer Scott Patton.
Mr. Lawn and his concerns for the transient boat slips are valid and these slips have been scheduled for maintenance along with other improvements according to the police chief that were already underway before the publishing of his letter.  It is my recollection that I brought Mr. Lawn’s concerns about public marina access to the Planning and Zoning commission which included boater candidate Dan Wilcox during the Land Use Plan process over four years ago as a citizen.  With the passing of the Harbor Management Plan and formation of the advisory committee it was my hope that public access concerns would be attended to.  Interesting Mr. Lawn and Wilcox are fighting against the approval of the Land Use Plan which contains specific policy supporting public boat access.
Mr. Lawn’s comment on liking to hear myself talk, if I liked to hear myself talk I would be talking about one of my three kids, surfing or soccer.  I do believe I talk too much.  I care so deeply about this town and all the issues brought before council that I research these issues to the highest degree.  If during a council discussion the other members have not prepared or do not bring important points to light I feel compelled for the sake of the citizens to bring them up.  Some say I dominate meetings and the Mayor needs to speak up.  I challenge that the present Mayor exhibits good leadership skills by not taking sides during a debate by presiding over the meeting with even handed treatment of each view, which is consistent with the recommended rules for presiding over a town council.
Please allow me to address the issues brought by Jacqueline Winters or as the voter registration identifies her as Jacqueline Broderick-Patton.  It is a fact that my wife Jenny and I purchased a retail store in 2005 that was going out of business after five years of operation.  The sign in question has been attached to the building before we purchased the business.  There is a sign permit that was issued by the Town of Carolina Beach that approves the sign.  We have never been notified by the planning department that our sign is illegal.  There was a free standing sign on the property years ago that was brought down in a storm as I understand it. The present sign as explained to me is legal with the issuance of the sign permit.  The daily enforcement of sign ordinances is left to our planning staff not a singular council member.
I do not support an overall building height in our Central Business district of 115 feet.  I consider every project presented for its own merits..  Mrs. Broderick-Patton or Winters and her husband had the boundaries of the CBD moved into a transitional area to accommodate their 140 foot multi building condo project.  I do not believe that transient residential condominiums at unregulated height have a function in Carolina Beach.  I have never wavered from supporting commercial hotels in our business district, but full time live work condominiums adjacent to a traditional entertainment district is wrought with issues.
With respect to contacting a former mayor to run:  Mayor Clark as a retiree is afforded the opportunity to spend a considerable amount of time at town hall.  He has mentioned that he finds it hard to understand how I will find the time to serve with an active large family and a career.  My friends Mayor Bill Saffo and former Mayor Spence Boradhurst and many state legislatures balance their public service with their families and career.  I am truly up for the task.
Appointments of friends to committees:  Carolina Beach is a small town and it is hard not to know or be friends with someone who has applied for a committee appointment.  Funny, that in Carolina Beach that friends, employees, neighbors and even business partners have an opportunity to serve on town council together also.
Thank you,
Alan Gilbert
Mayor Pro-Tem


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