Surf City is a beach town in Pender and Onslow Counties with a population of slightly more than three-thousand people. Mayor Doug Medlin grew up on Topsail Island, raised his kids there, and now they’re raising their children in town.
We set out to find out why Medlin, part of local government for more than three decades, is running for re-election.
If he wins, it will be his third time as Mayor, although not consecutively. He’s served on Town Council, the Planning Board, and in the mayoral seat, he says, because he wants to keep Surf City a quaint, family-friendly beach town. He’s proud of how the town has pushed commercial growth on the mainland while keeping strict height limits for island building. Given another term, Medlin says he’ll improve communication between citizens and council.
"I think we have a big responsibility to do more communication. Unlike my opponent, I feel communication is a two-way street. The town -- we need to get more communication out but we need to receive more communication back from our citizens. We’re not mind-readers. So unless the citizens let us know what they feel like they need, then we can’t do what they need to have done."
He says he gives everyone his phone number. As a member of the state’s Coastal Resource Commission, he strongly opposes offshore drilling and is working to convince federal officials to oppose it.
As for Pender County’s Unified Development Ordinance, Doug Medlin would like to see his town make its own plan for the future.
Medlin faces one opponent: Surf City Town Council Member Jeremy Shugarts, who was indicted in August on six counts of election law violations.