IT’S DIFFICULT TO remember during this season of raucous national presidential elections and debates that the purest form of politics is local and may be found right here in our town government. We are also celebrating the season of thankfulness and holiday love, peace and goodwill, and so I wish to take a moment to thank the mayors and commissioners, town managers and town employees of all the towns on Bogue Banks. From Emerald Isle to Indian Beach, up the road just a bit to Pine Knoll Shores, and then to our friends at Atlantic Beach, our island is truly fortunate to have an outstanding group of citizens that are willing to take their love of place and community pride and spirit one step further by running for elected office.
I was most grateful to observe in the recent Emerald Isle municipal election that we fielded a strong slate of seven highly qualified and respected candidates for the three open slots for town commissioner. I offer my heartiest congratulations to returning incumbent Floyd Messer and our two newest commissioners, Candace Dooley and Stephen Finch. I would also encourage the remaining candidates who did not win this election to continue offering their time and talents by volunteering in our community. Elected office is just one way to give back to this place we all love.
Our visitors frequently ask us what is it like to live and work and raise a family in paradise. We can all agree on the answer, we are incredibly blessed. But paradise could easily have a dark side if our town governments turned into embarrassing examples of rancor, strident egos and shrill disregard of what is best in every way for our island. Our town meetings are marked by the mayor and commissioners being willing to listen to many viewpoints, thoughtfully consider and discern, then vote their conscience with integrity. The needs of residents, tourists, second homeowners, our environment and our business community are all carefully balanced so that each group is never neglected. The recent town resolution against offshore drilling is an excellent example of hearing from many voices and quickly and efficiently voting in unison to oppose this serious risk to our pristine waters and beaches.
If you are a second homeowner, then you also have had to come to terms with the disenfranchisement that occurs because you cannot vote in your hometown and your beach town. Election laws are designed so that you vote in the location of your primary residence. Yet, second homeowners on Bogue Banks pay the largest percentage of property taxes even though they do not get to vote. For this, you may be even more grateful that your town government is so well run and your elected officials are exemplary.
When you make your next visit to the island, stop by your town hall, or attend a town meeting and greet our elected officials with your warmest, most genuine smile and say thank you for a job well done.
Julia Batten Wax
Broker/Owner, Emerald Isle Realty