Lisa Weeks is the lead executive acute care sales rep at Merck Pharmaceuticals and has been a Wrightsville Beach resident for around 20 years. She has previously served on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen and the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee.†
What do you think being an alderman means?
It is an awesome responsibility. To me the most important responsibility of the board is to effectively manage the townís finances. And to be open-minded; we have a diverse population here and a good leader listens to all those varying opinions and interests, and finds some common ground that most everybody can agree on.
Is there anything you would do differently or look at differently your second time around?
One thing I hope we can accomplish if I am elected is we owe the employees an efficiency and salary study. That was voted for when I was on the board and eliminated in the past two years. An efficiency and salary study will make sure we have the right people doing the right jobs at a competitive salary so that we can retain top talent.†
Describe your budgeting outlook and financial philosophy.†
I am a fiscal conservative and I think we did an excellent job of managing the townís finances. I am an advocate for user fees, for parking fees. I am concerned about using them for operating expenses. When I was on the board we did a really good job beefing up the capital improvements project, which was very anemic and I think we could do a better job with that now.†
What would be your first step as alderman to address Biggert-Waters?
I do think the letter writing is making an impact with raising awareness for our congressional leaders. But also we need to build a coalition with communities to hire a lobbying effort at the state and federal level to address not only flood insurance, but also beach renrourishment; itís funded this year but who knows what it will be next time.†
Considering the cost to the town of our present recycling arrangement, would you favor or oppose mandatory curbside recycling?†
I am on record for being an advocate for providing containers to residents on the beach and I think we could cover the cost of each of those roll carts by doing something a little different with the main site where over 70 percent of the utilization comes from nonresidents. We could potentially cover the cost of the roll carts just by relocating the central site Ö to public works.†
How do you feel about the townís mix of commercial and residential property?
I donít want to let go of any more business property. We made some mistakes on rezoning areas and the unintended consequences were not fully appreciated at the time. I want it to stay a town, I donít want us to be a residential community and that is what I hear most of my constituents saying.†
Are you in favor of or opposed to increasing the height limits in the commercial and residential zones?†
The one area I would be open to taking a look at the height restrictions would be in C-1. I think if we ever want the opportunity to revitalize that area I think we are going to have to be a little more flexible on the height restrictions.†
I would be open to some give and take in residential zones. Say if you come in on your setbacks more than 7.5 feet Ö maybe you could get a couple more feet in height. There has to be a vehicle to negotiate some give and take, but nobody wants high-rise, tall buildings.†
Are you in favor of modifying the existing C-5 commercial zoning (specifically the Galleria property) to allow permanent residential structures?†
I respect what the UDO committee did; they were very thoughtful in their process and the voters have reiterated that they approve of our current plan, zoning and ordinances in that area so I would be very reluctant to change that.†
Where do you see Wrightsville Beach in 10 years?†
My goal is that we have the same wonderful quality of life that we have today and I think with proper planning we can. It is going to take some thinking outside the box. You canít keep doing everything the way we have always had it because the other side of the bridge is saying otherwise.†
What is something people should know about you that they donít? †
I am a Master Gardener and hardly anyone knows that. Both my sets of grandparents were farmers and they taught me a love of horses, a love of gardening and a really strong work ethic. It is very relaxing to dig in the dirt.†