Some folks in the town of Oak Island want to leave. Well, they don’t want to move, they just want to be citizens of the adjacent town of Caswell Beach.
(The State Port Pilot) – A petition circulating among property owners of Oak Island Estates, an area surrounding the Oak Island golf course and adjacent to the border between the two towns, says the owners are petitioning the State of North Carolina to remove the neighborhood from the Town of Oak Island and annex it to Caswell Beach.
Here’s a sample of what they’ve written in their petition to the state.
“Whereby, we do not believe the management of Oak Island to be in our best interests to preserve and enhance our property values and quality of life…,” the petition reads. “Therefore, we the undersigned property owners of Oak Island Estates request that we be allowed to secede from the Town of Oak Island and, by voluntary annexation, become a permanent part of the Town of Caswell Beach.”
Municipalities are not allowed to de-annex property the same way they annex property, and de-annexations require a local act of the N.C. General Assembly, said Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government.
A revolt? Hmmmmm. . . . .Read full article » No Comments »
Councilman Kevin O’Grady called them “failed politicians” (I guess because he’s a nice guy and all) and Councilwoman Margaret Haynes called them “haters” for opposing a taxpayer funded ball stadium. But in my book, going out on your own time and collecting over 4,000 signatures to try and prevent a wasteful taxpayer funded ball stadium is actually a commitment of Herculean proportions worthy of being praised, not scorned.
Ben McCoy and Josh Fulton did the research, wrote up a petition and then worked WITH citizens proactively, tirelessly to fight for what they believed was a wrongheaded approach that might well have led to citizens being forced to pay for a ball stadium by city leaders.
Ultimately over 1,000 of the signatures were thrown out, but they only came up short by 14 and will have quickly addressed that shortfall by the time of this writing. It’s one thing to criticize, quite another to get out and make a difference. They’re not “haters” and their not “failed politicians,” they’re citizen who care enough to get involved.
On a lighter note, it’s like an old episode of Scooby Do with Haynes and O’Grady playing the villains. To paraphrase the 70s cartoon series, “We’d have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”
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Last week I wrote about Sen. Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick) and Rep. Susi Hamilton (D-New Hanover) financially benefiting from movies being shot in the area even as they also support MORE taxpayer incentives being given to same. Now another story has come out about Rep. Hamilton (and others) supporting yet another piece of legislation that helps a specific group. This time the company’s owners are also donors.
State Sen. Bill Rabon last week successfully attached language to a bill moving through the General Assembly that would provide sales tax rebates to Carolina Marine Terminal Inc. Mike McCarley, the company’s president, gave the maximum $4,000 contribution to Hamilton’s successful primary campaign in January, and has given her campaign at least $7,000 total since 2010, according to campaign finance reports on the State Board of Elections website.
Hamilton said the amendment . . . . will create jobs and that the long-term benefits outweigh any costs to the state through tax breaks. She also said other port-related businesses could take advantage of the credit as well, although she didn’t know of any similar companies wishing to expand.
“The idea is to encourage them to pull the trigger on these projects now and for North Carolina to realize the benefits of these new jobs in the coming fiscal year,” Hamilton said.
She said she would push hard for this type of legislation regardless of any contributions from those who would benefit. “It’s just good for business,” she said. “It’s a job-creating piece of legislation.”
It also seems to be “good” for Hamilton’s campaign. It’s too bad that she isn’t as interested in providing the same break for ALL businesses or even in treating all businesses as equals. Also sad that she isn’t really interested in getting rid of special carve outs for businesses and creating a better, more easily understandable tax code.
Rep. Danny McComas (R-New Hanover) also gets into the act.
He said he has been friends with McCarley and company vice president Kevin Walker for many years. Walker gave $2,000 to McComas’ campaign in 2008 and $2,000 to Tillis in 2011, according to the online campaign finance records. McCarley also gave House Speaker Thom Tillis $2,000 in 2011; he gave Sen. Thom Goolsby, R-New Hanover, $1,500 since 2010, according to campaign spending reports.
This just looks bad and Sen. Rabon has the snarkiest remark of the day about people who question this:
Rabon said the fact that McCarley has contributed to the local politicians didn’t bother him.
“I don’t look at that stuff,” he said. “Most business people do (contribute). That’s the unfortunate part of politics.… People that understand politics contribute. People that don’t complain about it.”
As a former elected official and policy wonk, I think Rabon doesn’t fully understand the nature of “pay to play” politics and why it doesn’t tend to pass the smell test. This really pays WELL for Carolina Marine Terminal. I wonder how many other companies are willing to pony up funds for legislators to get ten times the return on their bottom line?Read full article » No Comments »