Songs and goodbyes shared at town holiday luncheon

by Cole Dittmer
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Staff photo by Cole Dittmer 

Town of Wrightsville Beach employees from various departments sing a Christmas carol as part of the town’s annual holiday luncheon at the Holiday Inn Resort on Thursday, Dec. 5.

With a few grumbles and shuffled feet, one by one the employees of the Town of Wrightsville Beach took their turn singing Christmas carols in the annual sing-off as part of the town’s annual holiday employee luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 5. 

The format for this year’s sing-off was altered with random tables grouped together instead of each department so the Wrightsville Beach Police Department could not defend its title. The winning grouping consisted of members of the administration department including town clerk Sylvia Holleman, planning and parks director Tony Wilson and a quartet of public works employees. 

All of the town’s employees were much more inclined to dive into the buffet lunch of roast chicken, prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans and an assortment of desserts prepared by the Holiday Inn Resort, which also served as the host of the event. 

Following lunch, the sing-off and the raffle, WBPD Chief Dan House presented outgoing Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen members Bill Sisson and Susan Collins, and outgoing Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti with plaques for their service to the town.  

“I just wanted to tell you all it has been a real pleasure being here the last four years,” Sisson said. “I can’t think of a better group of folks that we have the honor of serving as well as working with. Thank you all and I may see you again sometime.”

Collins echoed Sisson’s remarks and said she would still be active around the town.

Cignotti recounted how his wife came up with the idea to make up campaign koozies when he ran for the office four years ago and on the way out he decided to have new koozies made. The koozies read, “I survived Mayor Cignotti, 2009-2013,” and had symbols of all the controversial topics that arose in the town during that time like the smoking ban, skateboard park, Harbor Island parking plan and the ongoing renovation to the Heide Trask Drawbridge. At the bottom Cignotti left his personal favorite saying. 

“I always put this at the end of my emails, which is ‘make it a great day,’” he said. “We can’t change what happens around us, as board members we can’t and I know you guys like the police can’t either … but we can always dictate what we do and how we respond to it.”

With 12 days left in his tenure as mayor, Cignotti said he is never surprised by the calls he receives from concerned citizens like the one he had received the day before from a man who called the wrong mayor. After complaining about the roadwork on Chestnut Street, Cignotti asked if the man meant to call Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo but he was calling for the wrong Wilmington and Wrightsville altogether. 

“He was in Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, which is an hour away from Wilmington, Delaware, and by the time he was over he was mad at Google,” Cignotti said. “So you never know what you are going to hear.”


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