It is always a bit risky to attribute credit to someone without confirming that the credit is indeed due, but that is what The Beacon did yesterday in attributing to new Town Manager Cliff Ogburn what we called a “cleanup” in the Town’s website homepage.
See The Beacon, 6/29/20.
We basically wanted to acknowledge Mr. Ogburn’s arrival and welcome him, and we did not want to call him. We would like him to have a month on the job before we ask him for a Q&A. Asking about the website seemed just too trivial.
We also wanted to slip in an explanation as to why we have not provided more coverage of the Town Council’s June 16 workshop session without drawing too much attention to our explanation, which is, essentially, it pains us to report on much of the discourse that occurred.
We are trained to be prepared and to form smart, independent opinions based on our preparation, and if we were in elected public office, we would sacrifice sleep and personal time, and pick up the phone and call second-opinion experts, to ensure that we truly are prepared. We revel in critical thinking.
We also are fairly adept at recognizing non-answers from consultants, who do not wish to answer questions—even when they go on interminably and sound impressive—and we would never fail to follow up a non-response with a more pointed question that pins the non-responsive party down.
But we are not every person, so although we are critical, we are also mindful that we set our sights high, and we do not wish to deliver too many public low blows to those who do not.
We cut a few corners ourselves yesterday in order to write about Mr. Ogburn’s arrival and the beach-nourishment discussion that we did not cover, and to get away from COVID-19 case counts and community spread for a change.
Today, we discover that not much actually has changed on the homepage. The clutter at the top–the banner–is still there, unfortunately. We did not see it yesterday, but that may be because we had hidden it a few days ago. We always hide it. It is a tacky, low-tech format to use on a government website. It also is redundant.
But, much to our delight, we discover that the “Rumor or Fact?” and “Legislation Update” links are history—which is appropriate because all they did was preserve history that no longer has relevance.
So, we say bravo to whoever is making changes to the Town website. Please continue. You have a long way to go before the website is both useful and friendly, but we are optimistic it can be done.
JULY 4-5 IS A NO-LEFT-TURN WEEKEND
The left turn from U.S. Hwy. 158-east on to South Dogwood Trail will definitely be blocked this Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., per the Town Council’s vote on June 1. Southern Shores police will be on the scene to enforce the turn prohibition, and vehicle counters will be operational throughout the town.
The Town has issued no further announcements about this weekend.
The Town Council is expected to vote on a 2020-21 budget amendment next Tuesday to fund three no-left-turn weekends this summer. The suggested dates for the other weekends are July 25-26 and Aug. 1-2.
Barrels will be placed in the left-turn lane on U.S. Hwy. 158, and the left-turn signal there will continuously show a solid red, if the N.C. Dept. of Transportation follows through on its agreement to reprogram the light so that it goes not go through its green-yellow-red cycle.
If anyone cycles up to the intersection on Saturday and can catch a glimpse of the left-turn traffic light, please let The Beacon know whether it is fixed on red. As usual, we will be encouraging residents’ comments on the Facebook page.
Ann G. Sjoerdsma, 6/30/20