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For Coastal Commission
BY SUSAN USHER
Though the hour was late, Eugene
Tomlinson was eager to talk, brim
ming with ideas for the state's
Coastal Resources Commission and
concerns about the future of the
That's only natural, since Gov.
Jim Hunt appointed the Southport
resident as chair of the commission
last Wednesday. Interim chairman
since January, Tomlinson has served
on the CRC since 1977, almost from
its start, filling the coastal engineer
A civilian engineer with the U.S.
Department of the Army for 29
years, Tomlinson is currently self
employed as a marine engineer with
Environ-ECO. He is a former long
time mayor of Southport and a per
manent resident sincc 1952, "long
enough to be considered a native,"
And he has the pride to prove it.
Tomlinson said he is "real encour
aged and extremely proud" of the
strides Brunswick County has made
in the past 10 years, and is eager for
fellow CRC members to meet here
and see it for themselves ? possibly
as early as next March.
Tomlinson may consider himself
a native, but he has a lot in common
with newcomers. His own "lifelong
love affair" with the coast began in
1938, when his father built the first
oceanfront house on Long Beach af
ter it was opened to development.
As a teen-ager who had only seen
the "muddy waters of the Cape Fear
River" at Faycttcvillc and made oc
casional trips to White Lake, his
first visit to the ocean was a heady
cxpcricncc that hooked Gene
Tomlinson for life.
That magnetic draw of the coast
is one reason the CRC was formed
approximately 20 years ago. Guided
by the Coastal Area Management
Act, the CRC adopts standards for
development resource protection
and land use planning in the 20
county coastal area. The 15 mem
bers of the commission are appoint
ed by the governor to four-year
terms and may serve multiple terms.
For the past 20 years, the CRC
has been "engaged primarily in
making rules," a role Tomlinson be
lieves is in transition.
A Coastal Futures Committee,
created by Gov. Jim Hunt and
chaired by Richardson Preyer, is to
take an in-depth look at how the
siaic lias addressed coastal manage
ment issues in the past and offer rec
ommendations for the future that
will most likely influence the CRC's
"Making rules is one thing, en
forcing them is something else,"
said Tomlinson. "As. we move into
our third decadc I think we need to
spend more time cooperating with
other agencies with similar concerns
and working together to plan for
management and conservation of
Tomlinson isn't wailing to be
asked; instead he is taking the lead
in initiating contact with other
boards, with the full support of the
CRC. He said Jonathan Howes, state
secretary of Environmental Health
and Natural Resources, and his as
sistant arc "most interested" in
greater cooperation among the regu
latory boards within that depart
The CRC especially needs to
work closely with the Environ
mental Management Commission,
said Tomlinson. The EMC is the
state policy board that regulates wa
ter quality standards. Roger Schec
ter, director of the Office of Coastal
Management, which serves as staff
to the CRC, is already making plans
for Tomlinson and the new EMC
chairman to meet "so we can talk
about r.cw directions."
Joint meetings of the two boards
to discuss common issues are a dis
Whether working with the EMC
on water quality concerns or with
the state Transportation Board on
solutions for coastal roads threat
ened by erosion, Tomlinson is think
ing positively. '1 think we've got
some real opportunities for coming
up with management solutions that
will allow for conservation, preser
vation and sensible development if
we just use our heads about what
Along with increased cooperation
among state boards that deal with
coastal issues, Tomlinson wants to
see increased community involve
ment with the CRC and the local
land use planning process.
He's already begun. With the full
CRC's cooperation, as interim chair
man he added a period of public
comment to the CRC meeting agen
da, and has been pleased with the re
sults. Also, at every meeting the
CRC seeks comments from its advi
STAfF PHOTO BY SUSAN USHtlt
AS EUGENE TOMUNSON of Souihport takes the help, he sees
the state's Coastal Resources Commission moving in new direc
tions in its third decade.
sory committee, the CRAC.
It concerns Tomlinson that CA
MA land use planning meetings tra
ditionally draw only handfuls of lo
"I don't think the public under
stands how it works," he said, an
edge of frustration creeping into his
voice as he leans forward. And as
long as more people don't get in
volved, the coastal land use planning
process cannot work as it was in
"It is formulated at the local lev
el," he said, "and once it is approved
it is the local government's position
to enforce. It's not something forced
on a community by the state."
"Local citizens have got to get in
terested enough that when a public
hearing is held, John Q. Public at
tends and voices his views."
Across the coastal area, Tomlin
son has found that most often, those
people who do show up and speak at
hearings on coastal issues arc not
coastal natives, but ncwcomcrs.
He speculates that part of the rea
son may be one that's pinpointed in
the N.C. Coastal Federation publica
tion, Troubled Waters. He has en
couraged all CRC members to read
what the authors have to say about
public opinions of government-ap
"It says people have little confi
dence in state agencies, that they
feel decisions arc being made in
Raleigh or behind closed doors."
He doesn't want the public to feel
that way about the CRC. Rather, he
said, "I want them to feel that their
ideas will be heard and considered,
although we can't always do what
In the 20 coastal counties, work
ing within CAMA guidelines, coun
ty and municipal governments arc to
establish and enforce policies to
guide community development. The
tool the governing board or planning
board uses to determine what the
Woodard Is Chosen As Social Services Chairman
BY LYNN CARLSON
The Brunswick County Social
Scrviccs Board clcclcd a new chair
man Monday and welcomed two
The board chose Percy Woodard
of Supply to replace Frankie Rabon
as its chair for the new fiscal year
and was introduced to new members
Moses Stanley and Foster McKoy.
Rabon was elected vice-chairman.
Stanley replaces James Marlow,
whose term on the board expired.
Stanley, who lives in Thomasboro,
is an industrial hygicnisls' assistant
at duPont and has been active in the
United Way and local politics.
McKoy, a Northwest resident, re
places Eulis Willis, whose recent
nomination for reappointment by
Republican County Commissioner
Jerry Jones failed when the commis
sioners voted 3-2 along party lines.
McKoy is a shift supervisor at Fed
eral Paper Board in Riegelwood and
was instrumental in the recent incor
poration of Northwest.
The new board members heard re
ports on all programs administered
by the social services department.
Director Jamie Orrock said Aid to
Families with Dependent Children
(AFDC) ? the program colloquially
known as "welfare" ? has 106 more
cases than it did this time last year.
Some 957 families received AFDC
benefits in July 1992; 1,063 did last
Orrock said foster care is the de
partment's fastest-growing program,
with children "coming into care
more frequently and staying longer,"
a problem he attributed to the in
creasing severity of family prob
"The family environment these
children are being reared in more
deficient," he reported, saying the
average stay in foster care has in
crcascd from six months to 14
Sixteen Brunswick County chil
dren who had been removed from
their homes were in foster care last
July; 23 were last month. Another
28 children were in the care of fami
ly members after having been re
moved from their parents' homes.
The department's Child Protective
Services was recently ranked in the
"exemplary" program range with a
score of 86.97 percent during its bi
ennial review by the state Division
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Beginning at 4:00
Monday-Open 7 am-3 pm, closed this evening
Tuesday-Fried Chicken Night ? Free tea or coffee
Wednesday-Italian Night ? Free dessert
Thursday-Variety Night ? Choice of free tea or dessert
Friday-Fish Fry Night ? Free tea
Saturday-Prime Rib Night ? Free coffee or tea
Sunday-Quail Night ? Free coffee or tea
Located at the Milliken Shopping Plaza
Hwy. 130, Holden Beach Road ? Shallotte
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Sewage Disposal & Water
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of Social Services.
Beginning this month, Brunswick
County turned over the mailing of
food stamps to a Raleigh office ser
vices company, a cost-cutting mea
sure which allowed one staff posi
tion to be eliminated, Orrock report
The county is under contract to
pay Office America 513,122 per year
lo handle the food sttmp mailing.
community is to bccomc is the CA
MA land use plan, which must be
updated every five years. Ideally it
reflects the ideas and concerns of lo
cal residents on issues such as p?o
k tec lion of natural resources and
f management of growth.
Once the plan is adopted, it be
comes a litmus test of sorts. CAM A
state and local permits and federal
permits and proposals for develop
ment arc denied if they arc not con
^ sislcnt with the land use plan.
One issue of growing concern to
Tomlinson is that of "canying capac
A ity," the load something can handle,
H be it a road, a water system, a river
HQ edged with marinas, or a dcnscly-de
u8g vcloped beach community.
SJfi "I think some of our larger beach
*.*? cs have reached their carrying ca
Ipacitics," said Tomlinson. "What's
the good of having 20 public access
areas if people can't gel to them?"
"Cumulative effcct" is a related
concern that the CRC is beginning
to address, and an issue that Tomlin
son realizes won't be popular in
"It's a question of not just if
something is pcrmittablc," he said,
"but what is the end result of it go
ing to be?"
One example: How many marinas
can a single stretch of riverfront ac
commodate before it becomes im
possible to locate safe harbor for
them in a severe storm?
If the approach to managing coas
tal growth doesn't shift," Tomlinson
fears, "We're gong to destroy the
very thing that attracts people here
to vacation and to live.
"And since tourism is such an
economic boon, wc can't afford to
destroy its basis."
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is pleased to announce the
opening of his office limited to
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Please call 754-3093 to
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Accepting: Medicare ? Medicaid
Participating with Blue Cross/ftlue Shield Ccvstwise
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