Applicant questions Carolina Shores P&Z selection process

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

CAROLINA SHORES—An applicant for the town’s planning and zoning board is questioning criteria used to appoint three new members to the board.

Maxine Mangieri, one of seven people who applied for vacant board seats, said she was asked no questions about planning and zoning when she was recently interviewed by three board members, despite her previous experience in New Jersey.

She said she also took offense when P&Z board chairman Jim Hartnett remarked, “They don’t pour coffee fast at McDonald’s” when she tried to discuss her ideas for planning and zoning in the town.

“I believe he was talking about my credentials,” Mangieri said. “He was saying whatever I was talking about couldn’t be done at one time, that they pour coffee slow at McDonald’s, meaning Southern people were not going to take change.”

Hartnett said he did not mean the remark in a disparaging way.

“I meant you don’t use northern influence in North Carolina,” Hartnett said Monday. “You’re here to retire or play golf. You’re not here to change the world.”

Mangieri said the three who interviewed her—Hartnett, along with fellow board member Jim Mokrycki and town commissioner Joseph Przywara—never asked her to qualify anything she said.

“I thought, ‘That’s not fair,’” she said.

Hartnett said he asked the other men on the interview panel if they had any questions. Town administrator Linda Herncane asked the applicants about serving on the board of adjustment, he said.

Mangieri later asked to see the applications for the board seats that were vacated after three members, including new Mayor Stephen Selby, were elected to the town commission in November.

According to his application, new appointee John Miner is a retired federal prison warden. He cited his 32 years of leadership and managerial positions with the U.S. government.

Former town commissioner Kathryn Powell, another appointee approved at the Jan. 8 commissioners’ meeting, cited her participation in the Village at Calabash property owners association and presidency of the Calabash Garden Club.

The third appointee, James T. Parsch, previously served more than two years on the Richmond County (N.C.) planning and zoning.

Mangieri cited her own experience serving 37 years as a Realtor and 25 years with a large construction company, a career that included “developing, selling and leasing residential communities, office complexes and industrial parks.”

She said she worked hands-on in New Jersey “with engineers, architects and attorneys in presenting various projects to planning and zoning boards all over the state.”

“I have the experience and skills to sit on most planning and zoning boards and would enjoy being part of Carolina Shores boards,” Mangieri wrote on her application.

Hartnett asked how much experience Mangieri has actually had serving on a planning and zoning board. He said the three who were appointed and approved by three commissioners last week bring “practical experience” to the board.

Hartnett said Miner’s previous experience with the prison system has “a lot to do with” serving on the board, including lending discipline and an ability to deal with “all kinds of people.”

”I don’t like turmoil,” Hartnett said. “I don’t like criticism.”

Miner, he said, will “be able to tame people who are combative.”

Powell, he said, has had four years experience serving on the board of commissioners prior to her unsuccessful run for mayor this past November.

“It gives her a key to what’s going on,” he said.

And Parsch has served on a North Carolina planning board, Hartnett said.

As for the applicants overall, “I don’t have anything against these people,” he said. “Each one was very, very nice.”

Herncane, he said, just asked each to consider applying for the board of adjustment as well during the interviews. Currently, the commissioners serve as the board of adjustment.

As for Mangieri’s charge the selection process was reflective of a “good ol boy” system at work, Hartnett said, “Well, what does she think about the people who interviewed her?”

Does Mangieri think they’re unqualified, too?, Hartnett asked.

Mangieri, in fact, said Hartnett’s previous experience with fire sprinklers has nothing to do with planning and zoning.