CoastLine Candidate Forums 2015: Oak Island Town Council
This CoastLine Candidate Forum of 2015 features the candidates for Oak Island Town Council. Due to the size of this race, we allotted two hours, with a short break at the top of the hour, so that you can hear the candidates discuss a broader range of issues.
We separated the races for Council and Mayor in Oak Island – airing the mayoral candidate forum the previous Wednesday. You can now listen to that forum by following this link: http://whqr.org/post/coastline-candidate-forum-oak-island-mayor
In the Town of Oak Island, six people are competing for three open seats on Council. The race began with seven candidates, but one, Bob Lloyd, tells us that he has dropped out.
During the live Wednesday broadcast, we received questions from listeners via email (CoastLine@whqr.org), Twitter (CoastlineHQR), and through calls (910.343.1138).
Members of Oak Island’s Town Council serve staggered, four-year terms. This is a non-partisan election.
The Town of Oak Island, which is part of Brunswick County and sits mostly on a barrier island, formed in 1999 when Yaupon Beach and Long Beach merged. The town boasts a year-round population of nearly 7,000 people – but that number can swell during the summer on a daily basis to around 45,000.
Candidates for Oak Island Town Council:
Sheila Mansfield Bell retired as a municipal tax collector last year. She brings over 25 years’ experience in local government; 21 of those years were with the Town of Oak Island. She says that while she is enjoying retirement and time with her grandson, she is passionate about Oak Island and wants to be involved in its direction. She has one son, a grandson, 4 brothers and 6 nephews.
Charlie Blalock was born in Southport and has been married for 45 years to Jan. The Blalocks have one son and 7 grandkids. After serving in the military and spending more than 40 years in law enforcement, including 15 with the Oak Island Police Department, Charlie Blalock retired in 2013. He and his wife have since opened a security consulting and investigative service. Mr. Blalock went on to work with the Southport /Oak Island Chamber of Commerce as Publication and Membership Agent. In his spare time, he serves as volunteer President of the Oak Island Community Watch and he serves on the Town of Oak Island Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
Helen Cashwell worked as an engineer for IBM, was Director of Computer Operations for Frontier Airlines, TWA, Piedmont, and USAir, and has had direct responsibility for budgets over 450 million dollars. After retiring to Long Beach, she was elected to Town Council and then Mayor of Oak Island. She’s also traveled around the world for Healing the Children, an organization that brings kids in need of medical care to the U.S. Mrs. Cashwell has worked on committees for Oak Island and is currently Chair of the Capital Improvement Committee and is a member of the Planning Board. She was born in Happy, Texas, was married to the late Malcolm Cashwell for 62 years, and has two daughters and one granddaughter in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.
Danny Lee Kiser is an incumbent, having served one term as a member of Oak Island’s Town Council. He is retired as a captain with Bald Head Island Fire – Rescue in 2009, with a total of 38 years of fire, emergency medical and law enforcement service in North Carolina. Since retirement, he has remained active as a volunteer firefighter with the Oak Island Fire Department, and is a member of North Carolina Emergency Management’s Eastern Branch Office Incident Management Team.
Tim Pittman is a 34-year resident of Oak Island. He started working at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport in 1982 as an on-shift nuclear operator and held that position for 16 years. During that time he served as Long Beach Fire Chief for 8 years, building a volunteer organization and the new fire station at Middleton Avenue. He still works in the nuclear field and lives on the island. He says his main objective as an elected official is to preserve the culture of Oak Island and keep it a single-family, residential community.
Jeff Winecoff, also an incumbent, is a Facility Maintenance Administrator at The Davis Community in Wilmington, where he has worked for nine years. He has a twenty-nine-year background in commercial construction and management. He is a Town Councilor for Oak Island, an umpire for Dixie Youth--Oak Island/Southport League, and has worked on two Habitat Humanity Homes. Jeff Winecoff has been happily married for 29 years and has two children and three grandchildren.