Oak Island Mayoral Candidates on Transparency and Communication with Citizens
Four people are vying for the mayoral seat in the Town of Oak Island. This Brunswick County coastal town sits largely on a barrier island and has a year-round population of nearly seven-thousand people. That number more than quintuples during the busy summer season.
During a recent CoastLine Candidate Forum, all four candidates said they think transparency in government is critical. But they didn’t all agree on whether the current government is adequately open or on how to improve transparency.
Darrell Vickers, Secretary of Brunswick County’s GOP, retired college administrator and engineer, says transparency and accountability are two critical elements of good leadership.
"When our council votes, many times there is no discussion in advance. I would like to see each council person tell us what they’re going to vote, how they’re going to vote, and why they’re going to vote the direction that they do. That will help inform our citizens…"
Oak Island businessman Richard D’Anjolell agrees the current council’s transparency is lacking. In fact, he says, that’s one of the major reasons so many people are running for office in Oak Island.
"I personally think that the council has done a horrendous job of being open and clear with what they’ve been doing and, actually, since the town of Yaupon Beach and Long Beach merged into the Town of Oak Island, I think there’s been a lot of things that have not been transparent at all."
D’Anjolell says he’d consider making phone calls to inform those who don’t have computer access. But it’s more important, he says, for Council to be clear about how they’re thinking before any serious decisions are made.
Bill Moyer owns a termite detection company and is a former police officer. He says the current Mayor has done a very good job considering the problems she inherited from the previous Council.
"I think the town council and mayor have done a real good job with transparency. If Betty Wallace was any more transparent, she’d be invisible."
Cin Brochure, the current Tourism Director for the City of Southport, says her administration would go overboard in service of transparency and ethics. But for those without computer access…
"If you take away the website and you take the Facebook, it is very difficult to communicate one-on-one with the whole entire community."
That’s why, says Brochure, people can learn the most by coming to Council meetings or watching them on TV.
To hear the Oak Island mayoral candidates speak on a host of other issues, follow this link:
Find a list of upcoming forums here. http://whqr.org/topic/2015-election-coverage