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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Letters to the Editor Give Your Voice to the Town Council

Give Your Voice to the Town Council

The Town of Carolina Beach is in need of your voice!
The Town of Carolina Beach has a Council-Manager form of government. Legislative and policy making authority rests with our elected officials, the Mayor and a four-member Town Council.  The Town Council appoints a Town Manager.
The Town Manager is the Chief Executive Officer for the Town Government and is responsible for developing, interpreting and implementing policies of the Town Council, as well as exercising management control over daily operations and programs of the Town through appointed departments and staff members. The Town Manager attends all meetings of the council and sees that all laws of the State, the city charter, and the ordinances, resolutions and regulations of the council are faithfully executed within the city.  The Town Manager is also the Budget Officer and is responsible for developing and administering the annual budget to include performing budget analyses, developing and presenting budgetary recommendations, and ensuring the satisfying of all legal requirements.  Departments that report directly to the Town manager are Operations, Parks and Recreation, Police, Harbor Master, Ocean Rescue, Fire, Planning and Development and Human Resources.
Other than the Town Manager, departments that report directly to the Town Council are Finance and the Town Clerk.
There are ways you can reach our elected Town Council officials.
One quick way is to call the elected officials directly.  After all, they work for you. They expect your call as they are very interested in your suggestions, concerns and issues.
A second way is to attend the monthly Town Council meeting. Town Council meetings are held in the Town Council Chambers at the Municipal Administration Building located at 1121 North Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC.  Your participation and attendance is encouraged.  If you want to speak before the Town Council; remember to sign the sheet at the entrance to the chamber room.
When you call the Town Council members directly or speak at the monthly Town Council meeting and offer suggestions, concerns and issues, the Town Council will forward your input directly to the department heads that report directly to them for research and development of alternative solutions.  When these department heads have completed their work, they will deliver their results to the Town Council for their consideration and possible vote.
A third way, and probably less obvious, is through a group of volunteer boards and committees. These volunteer groups are staffed by Carolina Beach citizens who submit an application to the Town Clerk.  The Town Clerk will deliver the application to the Town Council for discussion.  If the Town Council accepts the application, they will appoint the person to a volunteer board or committee.
All of the volunteer groups act in an advisory role to Town department heads that report to the Town Manager. The volunteer group’s value is measurable as the volunteers receive no compensation; so the manpower expended does not cost the Town anything from a budgetary viewpoint, and allows the elected officials and employees to expend more of their time performing valuable services to the Town’s citizens.
Currently, the following commissions, boards and committees are:
1.  Planning and Zoning Commission which reviews petitions for proposed amendments to Town zoning ordinances and/or maps and reviews applications for the issuance of a conditional use permit (CUP).
2.  Board of Adjustment Commission which hears and decides appeals where it is
alleged there is an error in any order, requirement, decision, or determination made by the zoning administrator, and to authorize variances to ordinances so as to preserve the spirit and intent of the ordinance.
3.  Recreation Advisory Committee recommends rules and regulations for providing, maintaining, operating, and supervising the public parks and playgrounds, athletic fields, and recreation centers and recreational facilities owned or controlled by the town.
4.  Police Advisory Committee provides an organized forum for two-way communication between the Carolina beach Police Department and the community to improve services provided by the police department.
5.  Operations Advisory Committee provides an organized forum for two-way communication between the operations department and the community to improve services provided by the operations department.
6.  Tourism and Marketing Committee
7.  Freeman Park Committee
8.  Harbor Commission. The purpose of this commission shall be to: (1) Create regulations to manage the shoreline areas of the Town of Carolina Beach by establishing laws that balance the diverse uses and minimize user conflicts; (2) protect and improve water quality in the shoreline area; (3) increase public access opportunities in the shoreline area; and (4) remain consistent with the goals and regulations of the town, county, state, and federal government.
9.  Arts and Activities Committee compiles a yearly schedule of events of all entertainment and tourist related activities sponsored by the town. The committee shall review existing events and determine if the activities can be enhanced. The committee shall develop new cultural and entertainment related activities, primarily related to the boardwalk and CBD areas. The committee shall identify groups and individuals capable of participating in events, identify potential funding sources, work with the parks and recreation department and chamber of commerce to bring more recreational activities to the tourist and locals and to join ideas/events and possibly provide volunteer support.
I mentioned above that your voice can be heard directly by the Town Council by phone or at the monthly Town Council Meeting.  Since these interactions will most likely be forwarded by the Town Council to the Town Manager, then on to the Town Manager’s department heads, and then on to the volunteer commissions, boards and committees, why not voice your suggestions, concerns and issues directly to one of the volunteer groups. 
This can expedite the research and development of solutions and reduce the time for the solutions to be presented to the Town Council.
Each of the volunteer groups has a chairman whose contact information is on the Town of Carolina Beach’s web site, www.carolinabeach.org. 
Call one who chairs the volunteer group you feel can address your suggestion, concern or issue.  They will invite you to their monthly meeting so you can discuss your suggestion, concern or issue directly with the membership of the commission, board or committee.
If you want to share your expertise and have influence in what the Town can provide to its citizens, then submit an application and get appointed to a volunteer group by the Town Council.  It could be rewarding.  The application can be found at the Town’s web site, www.carolinabeach.org.
Ronald Bond
Chairman
Operations Advisory Committee