Dara Royal is one of six candidates on the ballot for Oak Island Town Council. Her family first bought property in the town in the late 1950s, when she was just two years old. And just as Oak Island isn’t new to her -- neither is a seat on council.
Royal served on council from 2003 to 2013. She’s running again on concerns of inadequate street maintenance, storm water drainage, and yard debris collection. She also thinks the Recreation Center needs rebuilding.
She says the town has the resources and revenue to address these issues -- they just need to act.
“...the last capital improvement plan that was done is five years old. It was woefully inadequate, but it's been largely ignored. We need a comprehensive 10-year capital improvement plan… we need to plan ahead and schedule and... provide resources in each year's budget to keep up with that maintenance. So we're not in a reactive mode; we're in a proactive mode providing better services to our residents, which will improve our quality of life and sustain it for the long-term.”
And as sea levels rise, Royal says the town has already started preparing through its new sewer system, which she says is less vulnerable to leaks and improves water quality.