The StarNews story on Oak Island opens with an interesting comparison:
Oak Island employs more than 125 people. As the second largest town in Brunswick County, it has more employees than the largest town – Leland, which employs 62 people. Leland is also double the population size with just more than 13,600 residents. Oak Island has a population of about 6,800 residents.
At first glance this would appear to make Oak Island look like wasteful big spenders of government money. But there is a larger point that is missing here. Oak Island has many more homes, secondary homes that serve as rental property and makes the residential tax base MUCH larger than Leland. It also is worth noting that the summer populations swell significantly meaning that the human population of the community may be three or four times that of Leland.
Oak Island is to be commended for trying to trim down the size and scope of their government and cut the tax rate in spite of a massive increase in their cost of sewer service delivery. The previous leadership led the community down this expensive path and last year’s election swept that crowd out of office. Here’s hoping they’ll look at privatizing some of the aspects like law enforcement to deal with the massive population shifts as well as other aspects of their government like Sandy Springs, Georgia has done.
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