- Special Sections
- Public Notices
To the editor: I would like to respond Mr. Godwin’s article that he and other readers have had enough of the cabana issue. While he may have had enough discussion on this issue, others and I have not.
When a decision is made based on false assumptions, supported by false information, has at best marginal public support and is enforced with a heavy hand, don’t be surprised if some members of the public are offended and refuse to close the debate.
Let’s address some of the issues now. First is the mistaken belief the town made an informed decision in the best interest of all. In fact, eight people spoke at the meeting with four in favor of the ban and four against the ban.
With the sentiments so divided, the prudent action should have been to seek a compromise, so don’t be surprised the ban created a public outcry.
Second, one of reasons for the ban discussed in the town hall debate was Sunset Beach had banned cabanas. This statement was false, yet the decision was made based on this statement anyway.
In addition, one of the arguments was Ocean Isle Beach is a turtle sanctuary, yet the sign on N.C. 179 clearly identifies Sunset Beach as the turtle sanctuary, and they do not ban cabanas.
Third is Mr. Godwin’s statement the cost of enforcement would increase taxes if we somehow reached a compromise. The town should have sufficient funds to handle beach cleanup during tourist season, which I hope for the sake of tourism, we are doing already.
Fourth, if the cabanas were only restricted after 7 p.m., then the dozen or so police patrols I see on the beach every morning, and I’m sure an equal number in the afternoon, might not be needed.
Is there some reason armed police officers are now being used to enforce a cabana ban when during the same period of time several houses were being broken into and a fugitive was roaming the island?
When public resources are wasted to enforce a weird, politically correct vision of how the public should be allowed to spend their time on the beach, while real issues are left unresolved, perhaps it is the vacationers who have the correct concerns and priorities and the members of the town leadership that have larger issues that need to be resolved.
Finally, it was said the cabanas constituted a hazard. If they are removed by 7 p.m., I doubt the turtles or night-walking beachcombers would be imperiled.
But for the sake of argument, should the odd cabana be missed, the fact is the actual beach area of Ocean Isle Beach is 10 million square feet.
I do not think the odd 100-square-foot cabana will endanger a turtle species that has managed to survive a half dozen ice ages or force beachcombers to become an endangered species.
It is through public debate we decide such issues and such debates tend to stop when the correct decisions are made and the wrong ones no longer require enforcement by armed police.