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Parks Director Jones
Defended At Commissioners' Meeting
BY ERIC CARLSON
Responding to a commissioner's
request that he be disciplined fo? re
marks made to a Wilmington news
paper, Brunswick County Parks and
Recreation Director Bobby "BJ."
Jones got a vocal show of public
support at Monday's county board
A crowd of about 50 people
packed the cramped commissioners'
chambers, with several standing to
speak in praise of Jones's accom
Commissioner Wayland Vcrccn
recently asked that disciplinary ac
tion be taken against Jones for a re
mark he made to a Morning Star re
porter about repeated cases of van
dalism at Northwest Park. Jones was
being interviewed about his decision
to put up fences at the park instead
of replacing a concession stand de
stroyed in a suspicious Fire last fall.
Jones was quoted as saying about
the vandals, "...I'm afraid if I caught
one of them I'd be in jail, because
I'd probably kill them."
Vereen said the comments indi
cated "a very poor attitude" and
asked County Manager David Clegg
to lake action against Junes, ciegg
last week said he had reprimanded
Jones for the comment
Since then, it has been rumored
that the parks director is about to
lose his job, sparking Monday's
show of support.
Jack Frost, a regional consultant
for the N.C. Parks and Recreation
Association, said he had worked
with Jones since 1979. Frost said he
had never visited a commissioners'
meeting before to voice support for
a county parks director. He called
Jones "an outstanding, qualified di
rector who should be commended
foi his quality leadership."
"If every county had a B J., North
Carolina would have the finest
county park system in the United
States," Frost said.
Tim Caulder, a coach for the
Leland girls softball league, said he
had written Jones about his com
ment and met with him to discuss
his decision not to rebuild the con
cession stand. Caulder was con
cerned that there would be no bath
room facilities for children.
He said the two "came to an un
derstanding" about the situation and
that Jones had "found a way to build
bathrooms and a tcncc and stay
within his budget." Caulder called
Jones' handling of the matter "very
Marie Westcott of Town Creek
said she was "very proud of B J." and
what the department "has done for
senior;, for recreation, for health and
for education" in Brunswick County.
Wendy Jones, a teacher from
Southport, called Jones "one of the
best in the state." She said recreation
department programs are "a fantastic
benefit to the youth of the county."
The board thanked the visitors for
their remarks, but made no comment
about Jones or his employment sta
In other business:
?Commissioner Jerry Jones made a
motion requesting that the board
hire one person to fill the previously
authorized positions of lead building
inspector and zoning administrator.
When discussion turned to the pro
posed salary for the position, Vcrcen
moved that the board table the mo
tion until the next meeting "and talk
about it between now and then."
However, the North Carolina Open
Meetings law prohibits government
boards from discussing such matters
outside a public meeting. Jones
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withdrew his motion.
?Commissioner Tom Rabon made a
motion that the board pass a resolu
tion asking state legislators to "ex
tend fox hunting season to coincide
with deer hunting season." He said
he has received a number of calls
about foxes "eating up chickens and
livestock." A member of the audi
cncc expressed concei n that extend
ing the season on foxes might result
in hunting dogs being caught in fox
traps. Rabon withdrew his motion.
?The board heard a status report on
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?Rabon nominated Ralph King as
District 4 representative to the Re
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Chairman Don Wanen nominated
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Sunset Land Plan Update,
Ordinance Changes OK'ed
BY LYNN CARLSON
Sunset Beach Town Council on
Monday approved the town's
Coastal Area Management Act (CA
MA) land use plan update after the
final public hearing on the matter
drew very little public comment.
The plan identifies four "key
planning issues"?the need for a
public sewer system, conservation
of Bird Island, the future of the
town's pontoon bridge and mainte
nance of building height limits.
The update is required every five
years by CAMA. The document,
drawn up by consultant Peggy
Hayes of Wilmington, was the result
of surveys and workshops involving
townspeople who identified those
four issues as priorities last year.
Sunset Beach island resident
Minnie Hunt objected to population
and dwelling estimates for the is
land. Hunt said there arc "half the
number of houses and half the peo
ple" as the 112 year-round homes
and 284 residents in the update.
Hayes said the figures were de
rived from 1990 U.S. Census data
gathered in April and could have
been skewed by early-season visitors.
Mayor Pro Tem Ed Gore said the
population debate "makes absolutely
no difference in what we do to pro
vide services to those houses," and
council did not change the figures.
A change will be made to the up
date's floodplain map after Hunt
pointed out a discrepancy Hayes
said was an oversight
Hunt also objected to council's
policy of not making copies of docu
ments such as the half-inch-thick
land use plan available for public
perusal outside town hall.
"It is difficult to sit here and read
this, and difficult to digest the data
when the public has so little access
unless we camp out here (at town
hall) for a couple of days," she said.
The land use plan update will be
come official after it is approved by
the state's Coastal Resources Com
Council disposed of five other
public hearing items in five minutes
when no one commented on them.
Amendments to the town's zoning
and subdivision ordinances were
subsequently unanimously approved
?set forth site development plan re
quirements for commercial or pro
fessional property in some zones;
?define the "sight visibility trian
gle" required at street intersections;
?set minimum parking requirements
?clarify stormwater control regula
tions for parcels of less than one
?state the permitted commercial us
es of golf courses.
Council will meet this morning
(Thursday) at 10 a.m. in a work ses
sion to discuss proposed zoning of
Bird Island with the planning board.
Brunswick Elections Board
Reaches Tentative Decision
The Brunswick County Board of
Elections reached a tentative agree
ment on several proposed precinct
changes Monday evening, but will
meet again at 6 p.m. March 29 in
special session to complete the
"They want to find out if it is pos
sible to move one line," said Elec
tions Supervisor Lynda Briu.
Tentatively approved was a
plan?called Option B in a series of
public meetings?that creates five
precincts in Shallotte Township,
four south of U.S. 17 and one north
of U.S. 17, and consolidates the two
precincts in Waccamaw Township
into one precinct.
The line change sought would al
low some voters who live just north
west of Shallotte to continue voting
at the N.C. National Guard Armory.
Whether the line can be moved de
pends in part on how population
numbers would be shifted in the
The changes are being made in
conjunction with the county's inclu
sion this year under the state
precinct boundaries law. Proposed
changes in precinct maps and de
scriptions must be submitted to the
N.C. Legislative Services Office and
State Board of Elections for review
Fire Damages Shallotte Store
A small electrical fire damaged
the Speedway gas station amd con
venience store in downtown Shal
lotte Sunday morning.
Fire Chief Tim Carter said the
store sustained mostly smoke dam
age after an exhaust fan situated
near an ice maker "shorted out."
Boxes on top of the fan and
woodwork encasing the fan caught
fire. "It was more smoke damage
than anything else. It was real mi
nor," Carter said.
Firefighters from Shallotte and
Civietown VFDs responded to the
blaze around 9:30 a.m. Sunday and
remained on the scene until 10:45
Carter said the building and busi
ness is owned by Ermo Marketing.
The Main Street store had opened
around 7 a.m. Sunday.
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