5/12/20: BIG DOINGS AT MAY 19 WORKSHOP: COUNCIL MAY APPOINT NEW TOWN MANAGER; WILL CONSIDER OPTIONS FOR A FUTURE PUBLIC HEARING ON BEACH NOURISHMENT.

Commission-Members-Can-Be-Leaders-520x262
It is tough to find artwork to illustrate the hiring of a new town manager.

The Southern Shores Town Council may appoint a new full-time town manager at its May 19 workshop meeting, according to the agenda posted on the Town website.

The Council also will take up beach nourishment and consider scheduling a public hearing to solicit property owners’ opinions on a sand-fill project of the entire Southern Shores coastline, not just the vulnerable Pelican Watch area.

The workshop will be held in the Pitts Center, starting at 9 a.m., and may be joined electronically on Zoom. See https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/southern-shores-town-council-workshop-mtg-may-19-2020/southern-shores-town-council-workshop-notice-electronic-participation-may-19-2020/.

The Council is scheduled to open the meeting, hear general public comment, and then adjourn into a closed session with the Town Attorney to consider the qualifications, fitness, and other conditions of the appointment, as well as the employment conditions, of a new town manager, according to the agenda.

Former Town Manager Peter Rascoe resigned Sept. 1, 2019, and left on leave in mid-August. Since his departure, Deputy Town Manager/Planning Director Wes Haskett has been serving as an interim manager.

After the closed session, according to the workshop agenda, the Town Council will consider appointing a new town manager and reviewing and approving his or her employment contract.

When this business is concluded, the Council will discuss beach nourishment and hear from the staff about “publicity/educational options” for a future public hearing.

As The Beacon reported yesterday, all Town Council members expressed an interest at their May 5 meeting in hearing the public’s opinions about a townwide beach nourishment project in 2022 that would cost an estimated $14 million to $16 million.

The Town’s coastal engineering consultant has previously recommended four possible project options. The Beacon has covered these options before and will do so again before the May 19 workshop.

Town Councilman Matt Neal and Mayor Pro Tem Elizabeth Morey, in particular, stressed at the May 5 meeting how much they value and would like to hear public opinion.

We want to “try to be proactive,” Ms. Morey said. We want to “push to try to get people to tell us what they think.”

See the workshop agenda here: https://www.southernshores-nc.gov/wp-content/uploads/minutes-agendas-newsletters/Agendas_2020-05-19.pdf

The Beacon will post a link to the workshop meeting packet, shortly after the Town posts it.

N.C. AND DARE COUNTY COVID-19 UPDATE

Today’s 24-hour update on COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide is more encouraging than yesterday’s.

Three hundred one new laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported since 11 a.m. yesterday, based on 6,379 completed tests. That computes to a positive test rate of 4.7 percent. The last time the positive rate was below 5 percent was on May 4.

The number of hospitalizations increased slightly, from 464 yesterday to today’s 475, according to the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services dashboard.

LOCALLY, the Dare County health department has added a new category to its dashboard, that of “active” COVID-19 cases. Today’s active case total is four.

The number of recovered or asymptomatically cleared cases in Dare County remains at 14 of 21, with one fatality. The status of two people is unaccounted for.

Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 5/12/20

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