Elizabeth Morey emerged as a leader in last night’s Town Council meeting, being elected Mayor Pro Tem and appointed a sponsor of the cut-through traffic committee. She also may serve on the Capital Infrastructure Improvement Planning Committee, whose members have not been appointed yet.

The Town Council unanimously approved last night the revival of its mid-monthly workshop sessions, which it suspended in 2017, and elected Elizabeth Morey as Mayor Pro Tempore, while tabling until Jan. 7 Planning Board and Capital Infrastructure Improvement Planning Committee (CIIP) appointments, during the first regular meeting of the newly elected Council.

Ms. Morey joined Leo Holland and Matt Neal, all of whom were elected in November to four-year terms, in being sworn into office. Mr. Holland previously served on the Council from 2013-17.

The Town announced today that the seven-member CIIP Committee will meet Wed., Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. in the Kern Pitts Center. Mayor Tom Bennett and Councilman Jim Conners currently co-chair this committee.

When the CIIP Committee was first organized in 2017, the Council decided to name the Mayor and the Mayor Pro Tem its co-chairs, but the Mayor soon defeated this intent with a motion, which passed 3-2, to appoint Mr. Conners after his election that year.

The Exploratory Committee to Address Cut-Through Traffic will meet Mon., Dec. 16, at 5:30 p.m., in the Pitts Center, according to chairperson Tommy Karole, who gave a short report to the Council last night. The usual third-Monday-of-the-month meeting of Planning Board has been canceled in December.

The new Council also considered the hiring of a management-search consultant, from among a list of four submitted by Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett, to assist with its search for a new town manager; the revision of coastal engineering consultant APTIM’s “beach management plan” to include nourishment of the Southern Shores oceanfront at Seventh Avenue; and a request by Bay Disposal and Recycling, LLC, to amend its 2018 contract with the Town to increase the per-household cost paid for its recycling services.

(See The Beacon’s preview of the meeting, 11/29/19.)

Because of a pre-existing commitment out of town, I was unable to attend last night’s meeting and am relying upon correspondents for this report. I will provide a full account of the Council’s actions after I view the meeting videotape and make inquiries. Meeting attendees say that a very well-prepared Councilman Neal took issue with Bay Disposal’s proposed price increase. (To be continued.)

Mr. Haskett told The Beacon in an email today that the Town Council “decided not to select a [search] consultant until after a representative with the North Carolina League of Municipalities comes to the Jan. 21 Council workshop meeting to present information on the roles and responsibilities of a town manager and things to consider when hiring a new town manager.”

The Town Council’s workshop sessions in 2020 will be held at 9 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month at the Pitts Center.


The December meeting of the Town Council is traditionally an organizational one, with Council members voting upon the next year’s meeting schedule and making necessary appointments. Among the appointments it did make last night, according to Beacon correspondents, are the following:

*Ms. Morey and Mr. Neal were named co-sponsors of the Exploratory Committee to Address Cut-Through Traffic, succeeding outgoing Councilman Fred Newberry;

*Ms. Morey, Mr. Holland, and Mr. Conners were nominated for a seat on the Dare County Tourism Board of Directors, which chooses from among them; the Mayor did not indicate a primary nominee, as is standard procedure;

*Mr. Conners was named to the Dare County Gov-Ed Access Channel Committee;

*Mr. Neal was appointed to the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization; and

*Lee Whitley and Kristine Klousis were re-appointed to three-year terms on the Southern Shores Historic Landmarks Commission.

Beacon correspondents report that Tuesday’s meeting was sparsely attended. Outgoing Councilman Gary McDonald, who chose not to run for re-election, did not attend, and neither Councilman Christopher Nason, who also decided not to run, and Councilman Newberry, who lost his bid for re-election, stayed for the meeting after being recognized for their service.

I will post a followup to this blog, with more information, in the next few days.

Thank you.

(I mistakenly stated earlier that the Town Council’s decision to suspend the mid-monthly workshops was a 3-2 one. It was not. It was unanimous.)

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 12/4/19


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