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Week of Nov. 1 - Elections, historic preservation, cul-de-sacs, and masks

Port City Politics wide

On this episode of the podcast: The 2021 municipal elections end with a lot of familiar faces — and a few surprises. Plus, Wilmington's Historic Preservation Commission wants the state to beef up the city's power to prevent demolition of historic buildings, why Jonathan Barfield didn't recuse himself from a vote to fix up the cul-de-sac where his father lives, and once more unto the breach for the county's mask mandate.

2021 Elections

On Tuesday night, voters and candidates watched as final tallies came in for local elections in Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Leland, and dozens of other municipalities around the region. Results won't be official until the canvass on November 9 — but many results are fairly likely to stick.

Related: The Newsroom - Elections 2021: Plot twists, policies, poll numbers, and plenty of campaign spending (WHQR)

Related: WECT 2021 Election coverage and WHQR 2021 Election Coverage

Historic Preservation Commission

Wilmington’s history is part of its appeal for folks who live here, and for tourists; however, as new development continues and vacant land becomes a thing of the past itself, historic buildings could soon be at risk. A resolution being brought forward to city council could help officials and historic activists preserve some at-risk buildings.

Related: A proposed resolution could help save historic buildings in Wilmington


On Monday, New Hanover county commissioners gave their support for a plan to use $100,000 in state funds to repair several cul-de-sacs, including one that Commissioner Jonathan Barfield’s father lives on. Should he have recused himself?

Mask Mandate, Round Two

Next Friday, the county's Health and Human Services Board will revisit its mask mandate. There's no way to make everyone happy — but many hope, at least, that there will be an evidence-based approach to the issue that focuses on science over opinion and emotion.

Ben Schachtman is a journalist and editor with a focus on local government accountability. He began reporting for Port City Daily in the Wilmington area in 2016 and took over as managing editor there in 2018. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and later received his MA from NYU and his PhD from SUNY-Stony Brook, both in English Literature.