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Opinion

  • Brunswick Community College officials, particularly all those involved in the search for the new college president, allow us to pat you on the back.

  • Thanks to Carol Scott for being a voice of reason on Sunset Beach Town Council.

    The council is considering implementing a policy that would regulate how the town deals with public records requests. 

    Among items included in the proposal is a form that would require each person to provide detailed information including name, contact information and specific public records information requested.

  • Even though a new director has been hired to lead the Brunswick County Department of Social Services, the agency is still encountering roadblocks.

  • Calabash town attorney Mark Lewis sent a letter to commissioners last week advising them to release information about a possible property purchase—information that has been withheld from the public since the board met on March 8.

  • Here we are less than a week after Sunshine Week, and the Calabash Board of Commissioners is showing constituents just cause for why we make such a noise about public records and properly called meetings.

    On March 8, the board went into closed session where members apparently discussed property the town might be interested in purchasing. They later came into open session and instructed the town clerk to seek an appraisal on the property.

    But they’re not saying where the property is located or who owns it.

  • Would you be OK never knowing why Brunswick County Department of Social Services Director Jamie Orrock was fired, even though thousands of taxpayer dollars have since been spent on related matters?

    What if Brunswick County government fired DSS-appointed attorney Gary Shipman and you never knew about it? Would you have been outraged to find out weeks, months or maybe even years later how much money he was expecting the county to pay him post-termination?

  • Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick County, is a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 110. If this bill were to gain approval in the General Assembly, it would allow terminal groins to be placed on North Carolina’s coastlines.

    Terminal groins are hardened structures constructed in coastal areas prone to beach erosion. They are designed to lessen beach erosion by catching and shifting sand along the shoreline.

  • It was with great sadness last week we learned of the sudden passing of Shallotte Mayor Donald C. “Buddy” Kelly.

    Kelly, who died following an illness, was a selfless and tireless community servant. 

    He earned the respect of all who knew him by being a conscientious listener. He was observant and respected other people’s opinions. When he spoke, those who knew and worked with him knew he was being thoughtful and had well evaluated information before sharing his opinion.

  • In a few months, more than a thousand people are expected to show up at West Brunswick High School to honor and remember cancer survivors and victims as part of Brunswick County Relay for Life 2011.

    Across the community, volunteers are working hard to raise funds for the event. From fun and games to meals, community members are raising money that will ultimately go to the American Cancer Society. That money will be used to fund research and support programs for those with cancer.

  • From the information we’ve reviewed so far, it seems there could be some good cost savings for Brunswick County taxpayers if the county were to allow a nonprofit group to run the county’s animal shelter.

    Last week, Rescue Animals Community Effort (RACE), made a pitch to the Brunswick County Health Board to take over shelter operations. 

    Brunswick County Health Director Don Yousey has said he thinks the concept is a good plan, one that could ultimately save the county money.

  • Every single week while proofreading obituaries before the page goes to press, someone in the newsroom always says the same thing—I wish I would have gotten to know this person before he/she passed away.

  • A North Carolina House bill that has passed first reading could lead to a constitutional amendment that would further protect citizens’ rights to public information.

    House Bill 87, whose primary sponsors are Reps. Stephen A. LaRoque, R-Kinston, and Tim Moore, R-Kings Mountain, was filed earlier this month and passed first reading Monday. The bill aims to amend the state constitution to protect the public’s right to know.

  • If Brunswick County commissioner and department of social services board chair Charles Warren’s intentions are good, his actions are completely off the mark.

    He is single-handedly making a mockery out of the department of social services board and Brunswick County government.

    While Warren claims he is a champion of causes for the community, he is actually a roadblock to open and transparent government and healing and unity for the department of social services officials and employees.

    Worst of all, he can’t see he is doing anything wrong.

  • Since 2004, Brunswick County has invested millions of dollars to purchase a new emergency radio system and maintain and repair it.

    The problem is, even with all of that money dedicated to it, some of the men and women who use it regularly—emergency responders whose lives depend on it—say the system doesn’t always work.

  • In December, the Brunswick County Board of Commissioners adopted a code of conduct for county employees and a code of ethics for board members.
    The code of ethics, which was mandated counties adopt per the General Assembly, specified county commissioners should no longer serve on county boards because of possible conflicts of interest. 
    The exception to this was boards where law mandated a commissioner serve. For Brunswick County, that is the county’s board of health.

  • Brunswick County is known for its beautiful beaches. 

    In fact, these beaches play a vital role in our economy. From lodging and meals to entertainment and other services, the county’s beaches keep our economy fluid, even in difficult financial times such as these.

    Sunset Beach is now facing an issue that could alter the very fabric of beach life there. How and where will residents and beach visitors park on the island?

  • There was some concern that with the departure of state Sen. R.C. Soles Jr. and state Sen. Julia Boseman from the General Assembly in Raleigh, coastal North Carolina could get less attention in the state this year.

    But if Bill Rabon’s public reception and freshman leadership role are any indication of how his first term in office is going to evolve, then it looks as though we may be just fine.

    Rabon is replacing a longtime senator, and the seat is switching from Democrat to Republican. He will have a tough job ahead of him.

  • On Thursday, the community is invited to come to Brunswick Community College and share thoughts and feedback about qualities and characteristics for the college’s next president.

    Stephen Greiner, who has led the college since summer 2005, has left to become the new president and CEO of Hazard Community and Technical College in Kentucky.

    Brunswick County and BCC are different than they were when Greiner took the helm five years ago. The college’s new leader will have a new set of challenges and goals.

  • It’s becoming a matter of who said what when it comes to the county’s emergency radio system.

    Recently, the Calabash Fire Department Board of Directors drafted a letter to county commissioners saying members believe Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano owes firefighters an apology for statements he made about how they used emergency radios during a recent restaurant fire.

    Marzano says he hasn’t yet seen the letter and can’t directly respond to it.

  • For the past 20 years, Rex Gore has faithfully served the citizens of Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen counties as district attorney.

    It’s a job that doesn’t come without a lot of criticism or controversy. When you’re the man leading a team that’s working to send people to jail, the reality is it’s unlikely you’re making a whole lot of friends.

    But Gore handled the position with professionalism, and many crime victims from the area will tell you he also did it with compassion and sensitivity.