In a 2/10/20 post, The Beacon reported an incorrect date for the Town Council’s regular meeting in March. The Council will meet on March 4, the day after the primary, not on the primary date. Further, it will hold its March workshop meeting, which is usually on the third Tuesday of the month, on March 24, which is the fourth Tuesday.

The March 24 workshop meeting is one of two budget work sessions scheduled by the Town Council. The other will occur on April 21, according to the meeting schedule approved by the Council in December. Workshop meetings are scheduled at 9 a.m. in the Pitts Center, whereas regular meetings convene at 5:30 p.m in the Pitts Center.

We apologize for the errors.

Last year the Town Council elected to meet in the Pitts Center on the days of the Republican primary runoff and the general election for North Carolina’s third U.S. congressional district seat, which became vacant with the death last February of longtime Congressman Walter Jones.

The Beacon thought the displacement of the polls for these elections into the hallway outside the main meeting room in the Pitts Center, so that the Council could meet, was a mistake. We think all elections, regardless of the number of names on the ballot and the interest among the electorate, should take precedence over a Council meeting. As you will recall, Republican Dr. Greg Murphy won the congressional election.

Upcoming Town meetings this month include the following:


Town Council Workshop Meeting, 9 a.m., Pitts Center (Pay Study, Town Manager Search)

On the Council’s workshop agenda are the presentation of a Town staff pay study report, authored by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (Southern Shores is in the Albemarle region), and a public hearing about the search for a new town manager.

If you know how bell curves are supposed to be used, you may be interested to see how they were used by management analysts with the Piedmont Triad Regional Council who conducted the pay study. In their cover letter to the study, David Hill, who will be present Tuesday, and his colleague, Bob Carter, thank Interim Town Manager Wes Haskett and Town staff for their hospitality and cooperation throughout the study process.

The Town never disclosed this pay study, which involved questionnaires, interviews, and meetings with employees, to the public. At no time did Mr. Haskett mention it in his monthly town manager’s report.

A proposed timeline for the town manager search process, which is included in the meeting packet for Tuesday’s workshop, along with the pay study report, projects a new town manager starting work in mid- to late-June. The first job advertisements are proposed to be placed on Feb. 19-20.

The timeline describes in much more detail than the Town’s brief notice the purpose of Tuesday’s public hearing. It reads as follows:

“Council Meeting & Public Hearing to Discuss & Approve Search Timeline & Job Ad, & Discuss the Town Manager Job Responsibilities, Search Process & Desired Background, Qualifications, Experience & Characteristics.”

The Town has contracted with the highly accomplished The Mercer Group, a national company with an office in Raleigh, to handle the search. Senior Vice President Ellis Hankins of The Mercer Group will attend the workshop.

You may access the workshop meeting agenda and packet here: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Meeting-Packet_2020-02-18.pdf.

Planning Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Pitts Center (Election of Officers, Flood Maps)

According to the public notice for the Planning Board’s meeting, the Board will elect new officers and begin discussing the process of updating the Town’s Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance and adopting the new Dare County flood maps.

Last July, the Planning Board elected now-Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Morey chairperson and Andy Ward vice-chairperson. Ms. Morey resigned her office last November after her election to the Town Council, and the Planning Board has not met since. The Council appointed former Planning Board alternate Tony DiBernardo to complete Ms. Morey’s unexpired three-year term, which started July 1, 2019.

The Planning Board elects new officers every fiscal year, so the officers chosen Tuesday will be subject to re-election after June 30.

The Beacon expects Mr. Ward to be elected the new Board chairperson. The next Board member in seniority is David Neal, who is in his second full regular-membership term. The other three Board members are in their first terms, two of them (Mr. DiBernardo and Ed Lawler, whose term expires June 30) having been appointed to complete other members’ unexpired three-year terms. Board member Don Sowder was appointed by the Town Council to a full term last July.


Capital Infrastructure Improvement Planning Committee, 2 p.m., Pitts Center

The newly reconstituted seven-person CIIP Committee–which includes four members who have served since 2017 and were reappointed by the Council–will meet presumably to discuss current road-construction projects and budgeting for FY 2020-21. The public notice of the meeting does not indicate the nature of the committee’s business, and an agenda has not been posted on the Town website yet.

Current priority construction projects concern the single block of East Dogwood Trail that is east of Duck Road (stormwater improvements); Hillcrest Drive, from the Hickory Trail intersection north to the SSCA tennis courts; Sea Oats Trail from Eleventh Avenue north to Duck Road; and Dewberry Lane.

Councilman Jim Conners, a longtime member who served on the committee before 2017 when it was known as the Capital Improvement Committee, and Councilman Matt Neal, who is new to the committee, co-chair the CIIP Committee.


Exploratory Committee to Address Cut-Through Traffic, 2 p.m., Pitts Center

The six-member Cut-Through Traffic committee, which is advised by Council members Neal and Morey, will meet with representatives from the N.C. Dept. of Transportation to discuss implementation of the no-left turn “option” during weekends this summer, as well as other ideas for curbing vacationer traffic through the Town’s residential areas.


A NOTE ABOUT ADVERTISEMENTS ON THE BEACON: Recently, a reader commented to me how much he dislikes the advertisements that appear on The Beacon, thinking that I chose them and profit from them. No. The ads are placed by WordPress, which hosts The Beacon’s website, and are not visible to me.

The Beacon is strictly a no-profit, voluntary publication. I do not accept ads and regret that you may be subjected to ads that are intrusive, offensive, misleading, etc.  I would have to change The Beacon’s platform –and get into more website technology than I wish to manage now–for it to be otherwise and do not foresee doing that any time soon.

Thank you.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 2/16/20



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