Staff photo by Allison Potter
Discussion and direction regarding beautification of East Salisbury Street is on the agenda for the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen retreat on Saturday, Feb. 2.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, the members of the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen will meet in the town’s public safety building for the annual board retreat to discuss the town’s most pressing issues. In his first retreat with the board, town manager Tim Owens said he hopes the board will be able to provide the staffs of each of the town’s departments with a clear vision for the future.
One of the ways Mayor Pro Tem Bill Sisson said he would like to see the board clarify its decision-making process is by developing more policies at the retreat.
“I think there are way too many times where either we don’t have a policy or we haven’t been consistent in following a policy when we make a decision on something,” Sisson said. “From an administrative view, that does not make a lot of sense, and from a political standpoint, it doesn’t make sense either because that is putting the cart before the horse.”
Also, in terms of increasing the board’s efficiency, Sisson said he would like to use the retreat to build team chemistry.
“We need some times where we are not under the gun, so to speak, where we can have time to interact with each other because it is one thing to sit on a table with a bunch of other politicians, but it is a whole other thing to sit at a table with politicians who you also know as people,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that we are going to agree on everything but we start talking with each other rather than at each other and when we ask questions it is not seen as some sort of hostile takeover.”
As far as issues around the town, Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti said he would like to have a constructive discussion on beach renourishment funding at the retreat.
“We really need to start thinking about beach nourishment funding for the future and raising some of that money here at home,” Cignotti said. “I don’t know what direction the board will choose to go but we need to be thinking about it even if we don’t implement it right now, what is going to be our choice for next year once we find out what the state is going to do.”
Another issue that has previously been discussed at board of aldermen meetings that Cignotti hopes to clear up at the retreat concerns building height limitations in the downtown commercial district.
“The board needs to decide if the C1 area is a zone that they would like to discuss possibly allowing 40 feet in exchange for larger setbacks,” Cignotti said. “Currently there are no setbacks in C1 so the choice you’re asking is if you want to allow people to go 40 feet with no setbacks or … with setbacks that can be landscaped.”
Speaking from an administrative standpoint, Owens said he was looking forward to the board’s discussion of the possible technological improvements for the town.
“The town has some issues with regard to technology and we are going to list those,” Owens said. “A lot of those were listed in the Capital Improvement Plan last year and were cut so we are seeking direction from the board about what they want and don’t want to fund this year.”
Other issues to be discussed at the retreat include the beautification of East Salisbury Street, holding property owners responsible for multiple complaints about their tenants, discussion of the allotment of resident parking passes and the future of recycling in Wrightsville Beach. The board retreat is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the public.