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CoastLine Candidate Interviews: Oak Island (Rogers) and Kure Beach (Dockery & Ellen)

Our focus today is first on Oak Island and then Kure Beach – two beach towns in southeastern North Carolina.  In the Brunswick County Town of Oak Island, six candidates are running for two open seats on council.  Kenny Rogers, whom we will meet today, is challenging Mayor Cin Brochure as she seeks her second term. 

In the two later segments, we’ll meet two people seeking a seat on the Town Council of Kure Beach, located in New Hanover County:  John Ellen and Jerry Dockery.

Segment 1:  Kenny Rogers -- Oak Island Town Council

Listen to Kenny Rogers here.

The Town of Oak Island, which is part of Brunswick County, is governed by a Council of five and a mayor. As of 2016, population estimates landed at about 7700 people.  According to the U.S. Census, the town has grown by 13.5% percent since 2010.  Median household income is around $51,000. 

Kenny Rogers is challenging Mayor Cin Brochure for her seat in Oak Island.  He grew up in Mullins, South Carolina – a small town about an hour inland from Myrtle Beach. Married with two children and three grandchildren, he says he and his wife have owned their Oak Island home for 33 years.  He says he’s worked in a textile mill, as a product developer in a chemical lab, and as a consultant for what he calls “several large corporations”.

Segment 2:  Jerry Dockery - Kure Beach Town Council

Listen to Jerry Dockery here.

Jerry Dockery is running for one of the two open seats on the Town Council of Kure Beach.  He says his family has spent summers in Kure Beach since 1949.  He worked as a professor of sociology at the University of South Carolina until 1998 – when he took full retirement from the University.

Segment 3:  John Ellen -- Kure Beach Town Council

Listen to John Ellen here.

John Ellen is running for one of the two open commissioner seats on Kure Beach Town Council.  After graduating from NC State, John Ellen joined the Air Force and served for 26 years – predominantly, he says, in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile field.  He served as a missile squadron commander and after pioneering a personnel and resource reduction study, the Commander of Strategic Air Command made him the first-ever Group Commander in Strategic Air Command. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he joined a woman-owned engineering firm and continued to serve the Air Force as a consultant.

He settled in Kure Beach five years ago and has served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for four years – the last two of which he’s served as Chair. He is also the Kure Beach representative to the Wilmington Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.  And he serves on Congressman David Rouzer’s Veterans Affairs Council.

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.