2015 Elections

Brunswick County

The Village of Bald Head Island, with a year-round population of less than 170 people, has approved a $10 million bond for a broadband network.  But barely.  The “yes” vote squeaked through by four votes – not unusual, though, in a small municipality.

Village residents will see a new slate of council members.  The two incumbents running for reelection, Gene Douglas and Bob Helgesen, lost their seats to top vote-getters Kit Adcock, John May, and John Pitera. 

Pender County Board of Elections; Wikimedia Commons; Robeson County Board of Elections

PENDER COUNTY

In Pender County, the Town of Burgaw voted Wilfred (Red) Robbins, Vernon Harrell, and Bill George III onto its Board for 2016. 

Surf City’s unopposed Mayor Zander Guy will serve another term.  Top vote-getters for the three open Council seats are Buddy Fowler, Donald Ray Helms, and Nelva Albury. 

Neighboring Topsail Beach re-elected Howard Braxton as Mayor – by a roughly 30% margin.  Steve Smith and Linda Stipe won the two seats on Topsail’s Board of Commissioners.

ONSLOW COUNTY

North Carolina State Board of Elections

After yesterday’s elections, incumbents Margaret Haynes and Neil Anderson have secured their seats on Wilmington City Council for another term. But the open seat—left by exiting Laura Padgett—is still somewhat in the air. 

With over 22% of the total votes, Margaret Haynes was the first clear winner as the results rolled in late yesterday. Neil Anderson is set to return to City Council with just 17%. Currently, the third highest vote getter is Paul Lawler, but Deb Hays trails him by just 88 votes.

Rainy Election Day May Deter Potential Voters

Nov 3, 2015
https://www.flickr.com/photos/lindyloo86/

The National Weather Service is calling for steady rain throughout Election Day. Election officials speculate this may decrease voter participation in the 2015 municipal elections. 

Judge Bill Roesink oversaw voting at the New Hanover County Senior Center. Based on what he’s seen at the polls today, he says the rain might be deterring voters:

Judge Bill Roesink: “It’s been slower than normal because of the type of election it is—it’s the city election—and because of the weather. So, it’s down from what it normally would be.”

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

A steady rain fell throughout the day in Brunswick County as a thin but constant stream of voters trickled through Belville Elementary School  -- picking leaders for Belville, Leland, and the Board of the local water authority, H2GO. 

Turnout is famously low when it’s only a municipal race on the ballot.  The Leland and Belville voters who braved the weather today generally didn’t have a lot to say about why they came out – but what they did say was pointed: 

Here’s Leland resident Bonnie Laserna:

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

This coming Tuesday, Leland citizens will cast their votes for the municipal election.  Three candidates are vying for two open seats on Town Council, and Glen Thearling is challenging incumbent Brenda Bozeman for the mayoral seat. During this week’s CoastLine Forum, the candidates focused on addressing issues stemming from the town’s rapid growth.

Leland residents get their water through H2GO, an independent governmental entity separate from Brunswick County’s Public Utility – which sells water to H2GO.  And now H2GO is deciding whether to build its own reverse osmosis plant. 

While water authority officials study the question, a citizen-led group, Stop H2GO, has sprung up in opposition to that project -- creating a StopH2GO website and putting forth two candidates for H2GO's Board of Commissioners.  

Isabelle Shepherd / Rachel Lewis Hilburn

The Town of Leland is governed by a Council consisting of a Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem and three other Council members.  Elections are held every two years.  The Mayor serves a two-year term; Council members serve staggered four-year terms. 

The two candidates for Mayor of Leland in alphabetical order: 

Isabelle Shepherd

Two candidates are running for the Mayoral seat in the Town of Carolina Beach.  On Wednesday, October 21st, WHQR broadcast a live candidate forum with both men. 

The Town of Carolina Beach is governed by a Council consisting of a Mayor, Mayor Pro-Tem and three other Council members.  Elections are held every two years.  The Mayor serves a two-year term; Council members serve staggered four-year terms. 

The two candidates, in alphabetical order:

http://www.visitcarolinabeachnc.com/

This week, Carolina Beach re-submitted a proposal to extend the north end of the town’s boardwalk to Pelican Lane.  At the most recent CoastLine Forum, the candidates for Carolina Beach Town Council weighed in on the proposal. 

The CoastLine Candidate Forum featuring Carolina Beach Town Council aired live on Wednesday, October 14th from 12-2 PM.  We allotted two hours because it's a sizable race – seven candidates competing for two open seats – and we wanted to cover a comprehensive range of issues. 

CSX

Wilmington has pledged $100,000 to fund a feasibility study that would identify the total costs and challenges of moving the CSX rail line over the Cape Fear River, directly to the Port.  During the most recent CoastLine Forum, the City Council candidates weighed in on the issue.  

Wikimedia Commons

In Wilmington, eight candidates are vying for three open seats on City Council. During this week’s CoastLine Candidate Forum, WHQR’s Isabelle Shepherd reports the candidates were asked to explain their best original idea.   

Paul Lawler says his background as an accountant would bring more financial efficiency.

This CoastLine Candidate Forum of 2015, featuring candidates for the Wilmington City Council, aired live from WHQR's MC Erny Gallery on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.  This is a sizable race – eight people are competing for three open seats – so we allotted two hours in order to cover a comprehensive range of issues.

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.  

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

This November, voters will choose from eight candidates to fill three open seats on Wilmington City Council. At the candidate forum hosted by Residents of Old Wilmington and the Downtown Business Alliance, the candidates discussed local transportation issues.   

Alvin Rogers has served on the Wilmington Planning Commission. He remembers when Oleander Drive was just a two lane road, and he thinks transportation has become a problem throughout Wilmington. 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management / T. J. Boyle and Associates

While still years away, offshore wind farms are significantly closer to becoming reality off the North Carolina coast.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently completed its environmental assessment and will hold a Task Force meeting October 7th in Wilmington to consider next steps.  Two of the areas slated for wind are near the southeastern North Carolina coast. 

Wikimedia Commons

This summer, shark bites brought national attention to North Carolina beaches. Two young people lost parts of their arms to sharks while swimming near Oak Island. During this week’s CoastLine Candidate Forum, all Oak Island Mayoral candidates agreed that more needs to be done to lower the risk of shark attacks. 

All four mayoral candidates say this summer’s shark bites were a wakeup call for Oak Island. Cin Brochure, the current Tourism Director for the City of Southport, says the issue has been on her mind since she lives near one of the sites: 

In the Town of Oak Island, four people are hoping to be the next Mayor.  The office comes with a two-year term; Town Council members serve staggered four-year terms and are elected every two years in non-partisan elections.

The Town of Oak Island, which is part of Brunswick County and sits mostly on a barrier island, is only sixteen years old.  It was 1999 that Yaupon Beach and Long Beach merged to form Oak Island.  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. 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

New Hanover County collected more than ten million dollars in room occupancy tax during the last fiscal year.  But officials in Kure Beach aren’t convinced that all property owners who rent on a short-term basis are sending their share to the County. 

At a recent CoastLine Candidate Forum for Kure Beach, held September 16th in WHQR's MC Erny Gallery, everyone agreed the status quo isn’t working.    

New Hanover County ranked 8th last year for tourism out of all 100 counties in North Carolina.   

Pier at Kure Beach
Visit Kure Beach NC (http://www.visitkurebeachnc.com/)

Without the assurance of federal money, funding beach nourishment and shoreline stabilization is one of the most critical issues facing beach towns.  During the first CoastLine Candidate Forum of 2015, all Kure Beach Mayoral and Town Council candidates agreed on one thing: New Hanover County needs to contribute more toward beach nourishment. 

Mayor Dean Lambeth says that he doesn’t think federal funding for beach nourishment will disappear any time soon, but he does want the county to contribute more:

Seismic testing and the potential for offshore drilling has galvanized strong opposition in Kure Beach.  Earlier this year, Mayor Dean Lambeth ignited controversy after he sent a letter in support of seismic testing to the Federal agency overseeing offshore oil exploration.  Hundreds of opponents showed up to protest at the next Kure Beach Town meeting in January.  

Town of Kure Beach

In this first CoastLine Candidate Forum of 2015, we bring you the four candidates running for Kure Beach Mayor and Town Council.

In the Town of Kure Beach, two candidates are competing for the mayoral seat.  On the council side, two candidates are running unopposed for two open seats. 

Kure Beach Town Council Members serve staggered four-year terms. The Mayor serves a two-year term.  Members are elected in a non-partisan election every two years.  

Candidates for mayor: