Carolina Beach Monthly Workshop

Carolina Beach Monthly Workshop

Carolina Beach Monthly Workshop Featured

By / Local News / Friday, 30 July 2021 18:54

This past Tuesday the Carolina Beach Town Council met for their monthly morning workshop. Agenda items included employee recognition, manager’s update, Finance Director’s update and the possibility of a new onboarding process to be implemented for oncoming council members suggested by Council member JoDan Garza. The meeting started off smoothly with only three residents outside of staff and council in attendance.

Fire Chief Griffin introduced the new Beach Patrol team and the towns building inspector, Darrell Johnson was recognized as building inspector of the year for the NCBIA. The Carolina Beach Town Manager shared his updates that included letters being sent out to the properties on Canal Drive that the town’s committee has addressed as flooding issues, legislative changes in beach renourishment, and the American Rescue plan. Finance Director, Debbie Hall shared her updates starting with the Wilmington Beach Assessment, sales and tax use, property tax collections and then onto Percentage Increase/ Decrease Between FY 20 and FY 21 where Council Member Steve Shuttleworth quickly pointed out that Wrightsville Beach was making a significant more amount of money in parking with less spaces and the same exact parking rate. Town Manager Bruce Oakley acknowledged the town needed to review their parking program and those issues will be addressed in the September meeting. After Hall shared the General Fund Expenses update, Council Member Steve Shuttleworth again noticed a discrepancy in both the 2019 and 2020 budget where the town spent approximately $2.1 million less then what had been budgeted an it appeared that extra revenue should have went back into the general fund. Shuttleworth addressed Oakley directly stating, “for the last 2 years Bruce we should have added 4.2 something million dollars to the general fund?” Oakley responded, “it’s the way it looks.” Hall added, “this is just showing you the budget and the expenditures this isn’t showing the revenue piece against that.” Shuttleworth again said if you saved over $2 million in expenses, we should have seen that on the last budget, “it doesn’t add up, we are required by the state to provide a balanced budget.” Oakley said, “they would get something prepared and present it to the next meeting.” Collectively Mayor Pierce, and Council members Shuttleworth and Garza shared the presentation did not add up and they would need more updated information at the next meeting.

The final agenda item, “onboarding new council members” was an idea shared by Council Member Garza to create a smooth transition for the newly elected officials. The concept would provide a workshop prior to their first 2022 meeting with an introduction to staff and department heads and explanation of key points including how does the general assembly work, HR forms, ROT, area history and more.

 Shuttleworth stated, “I appreciate your effort on this JoDan, but I would tell ya any body that is running for town council, other then getting their swag and showing their office, better have spent some time figuring out these things.” He went onto say, “I don’t know how you can a credible opportunity and expect people to vote for you. I am not going to vote for someone who doesn’t do their homework.”

Council Member Garza, agreed candidates should do their homework but the process would be for the “betterment of the town.” Mayor Pro Tem Jay Healy agreed with Shuttleworth echoing candidates needed to do there homework and, “its their responsibility.” Councilman Garza continued that “the vision is ultimately is bettering our community.” Staff will present a orientation program to present to council the next meeting.

In the non-agenda items, Council Member Garza brought up HB 781 that would allow for the possibility of open containers within a district and that he would like to have a discussion. Council Member Shuttleworth, asked when he would like to have the conversation and Garza responded, now. Shuttleworth shared he did not support the bill and his view was that open containers in the downtown Boardwalk would be problematic and he personally would not support opening the Boardwalk area to people walking around with open containers. Garza brought up COVID and it would support social distancing. Council Member Barbee and Mayor Pro Tem Healy both shared much more public discussion was needed and neither would take a position yet.






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