- Special Sections
- Public Notices
There’s nothing like taking a week off to zap a soul back to reality—my soul, that is. And my reality.
After five luxurious days consisting of a fantastic (car) cruise to Wilmington (for food and essentials), carpetmen transforming my worn floors and assorted de-cluttering (which I’m still working on), I had to face the inevitability of the following back-to-work Monday this week.
And approaching elections—how could anyone covering southern Brunswick County forget about those? Certainly not me—except during that blissful week off.
As a wise editor once stated, reporters, after all, are people, too. They need time off to think, too. At least we like to think so. But no way would I shirk my journalistic duties basking in Wilmington when I have an opportunity to submerge myself in hotly contested races in Calabash, Carolina Shores and Sunset Beach. Would I?
With municipal elections less than a week away (don’t forget to vote Nov. 8!), some of the mostly hotly contested towns in Brunswick County happen to be on my beat.
And this past Monday, which happened to be Halloween, offered a last-minute chance for the public to attend another “meet the (select) candidates” session at Ingram Planetarium in Sunset Beach.
Similar to an event I covered for these candidates’ opponents Sept. 17, this event was designed to give mayoral candidate Clinton Dunlop and town council candidate Jim Williams a chance to speak on the issues.
Another contender for one of two available council seats, Mike Williams, was out of town. But chances are he would’ve been there, too, the way the political winds have been brewing this year in my towns (remember, hurricane season doesn’t officially end until Nov. 30).
Unlike the September event for opponents Richard Cerrato, Ed Apalinski and Wilson Sherrill, organizers said this forum was open to everyone—except, of course, only the aforementioned two candidates (Dunlop and Williams) would be on hand to actually speak.
With some people complaining that the Beacon (aka me) covered the September event and that I should therefore cover this one as well, I stopped by Monday afternoon to take photos and hear about the issues.
In Sunset Beach, that has to do with the budget—revenues and expenditures, particularly for public safety, the future of the town park, and the future second fire station now under construction on Old Georgetown Road.
I took time out of my busy schedule and hurrying home to greet my neighborhood’s two trick-or-treaters to listen in for a while. But, like the September forum, I didn’t get into specifics about who-said-what since only select candidates were allowed to speak. It wasn’t really a spooky Halloween event, but it was a little lopsided.
Organizers promised there were no ghouls or goblins at this Halloween forum. They said it was no trick, either, but a treat for residents—voters, especially. There was no candy—just sugar-free pie charts on display on an overhead screen in a planetarium exhibit room showing 2011-2012 town finances.
Residents brought good questions, but no clear-cut answers about candidates they’ll be casting votes for next Tuesday. They responded with a resounding “no!” when one of the candidates jokingly suggested the town could just sell the park property.
“Let’s sell it to Walmart,” quipped one woman in the audience.
Resident Kathy Fell was among those in the crowd who’d turned out to hear what the candidates had to say, because she didn’t know enough about them.
“Nobody knows—that’s just it,” she said. “We don’t know them, and it’s such an important election.”
Fellow resident Jacque Williams, standing with Fell in the crowd-overflow hallway at the planetarium, said a lot of people don’t know the candidates “unless they’re neighbors.”
“At least it was open to the public,” Williams added.
Come next Tuesday, it will be up to that public to decide which of this year’s select candidates they’ll select.
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email email@example.com.