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Holden Beach Board Takes Heat Over
To the editor:
The commissioners of the Town
of llolden Beach called a special
meeting April 15 to appoint a new
mayor to fill the vacancy created by
the death of Mayor Wally Ausley, to
serve until the next town election in
1995. Gay Atkins, who has been
serving as mayor pro tem since the
last election, was appointed mayor.
This action created two more ap
pointments to be made: a new may
or pro tem and a new commissioner.
It has been a tradition here in this
town for commissioners receiving
the most votes in the election to be
appointed mayor pro tem by the oth
er commissioners For example. Gay
Atkins received the most votes for
commissioner in last election, and
was serving as mayor pro tem be
fore her appointment as mayor.
Appointing a new mayor pro tem
and a new town commissioner
would have been simple if the pre
sent commissioners had let tradition
and the results of the last election
determine who would fill these va
cancies. If tradition had prevailed,
David Sandifer would have been
mayor pro tem because he received
more votes than any of the other
present commissioners. Jeff Lee,
who ran for commissioner last elec
tion and lacked only four votes for
winning, should have been appoint
ed as the new commissioner. This
action would have allowed the vot
ers of the Town of Holden Beach to
determine who should serve them in
At the town meeting April 20,
Dwight Carroll, Jim Fournier and
Sid Swarts disregarded intentionally
the town tradition and the vote of
the homeowners. Instead, they ap
pointed Sid Swarts mayor pro tem
and appointed Marlaine Thomas as
Marlaine Thomas might be well
qualified for the appointment as
commissioner, but she did not run
for town commissioner in the last
election. In the past, these commis
sioners have often accused, implied,
and referred to developers, real es
talc brokers and rental agencies of
wilfully violating town ordinances.
The public should not question
the appointment of Gay Atkins, a re
al estate broker at Coastal Devel
opment and Realty Company, as
mayor; she was serving as mayor
pro tem and that appointment was
determined by the voters of Holden
Beach in the last election.
Many questions have not been an
swered: Why did those three com
missioners refuse to appoint David
Sandifer as mayor pro tem? Accor
ding to the results of the last elec
tion, he would have been the choice
of the voters.
The new mayor, a real estate bro
ker at Coastal Development and
Realty Company, was appointed
April 15. Five days later, April 20,
those three commissioners appoint
ed Marlaine Thomas, an employee
at Coastal Development and Realty
Considering the distrust these
three commissioners have had for
developers, real estate brokers and
rental agencies, one can not help but
wonder what Coastal Development
and Realty Company did to per
suade the commissioners to ignore
the votes of the residents of Holden
When government leaders in oth
er countries ignore the vote of their
people and appoint officials to ac
complish their own personal and po
litical gains, the United States gov
ernment and its citizens identify
such action as dictatorship.
John F. Holden
The writer is a former mayor of
Not The Fair Thing
To the editor:
I had hopes that the commission
ers of Holden Beach, given this
chance, would do the right thing, the
It was evident at the April 20
meeting that most of the commis
sioners have little consideration for
their voters. For if they had, a "nat
ural progression" would have taken
place in filling the recent council va
Mayor Atkins, formerly mayor
pro tern, acquired the pro tern title
due to a singular reason?receiving
the most votes for a commissioner in
the 1993 election. Thus, by follow
ing this system, naturally the candi
date to move into the position of
mayor pro tem would be the next
highest vote-getter not in office,
which would be Jeff Lee, having
lost the position by only three votes.
I am saddened to say these posi
tions were filled quite "unnaturally."
The newly appointed commissioner
was not on the 1993 election ballot,
therefore was not voted on in an
election. Our vote is supposed to be
our voice. We need officials in of
fice who will recognize and repre
sent the voters.
Victoria M. Lee
The writer is the wife of Jeff Lee.
To the editor:
I have owned a house at Holden
Beach for ten years. Just recently I
have had the opportunity to become
a permanent resident.
Wednesday, April 20, 1 attended
my first board of commissioners'
meeting. On the agenda was the
nomination and election of a new
Jim Lowell, a prominent resident
and president of the Merchants'
Association, strongly recommended
we follow the procedure previously
used in 1991 by filling the vacancy
with the candidate in the November
1993 election who missed being
elected to the board by the fewest
In this case it would be Jeff lee,
losing by a mere three votes. The
recommendation was completely ig
nored by the board. Jeff Lee and
Marlaine Thomas (who did not run
as a candidate in the November
1993 election) were nominated. The
board voted quickly, and Marlaine
Thomas filled the vacant seat.
Short Attention-Span Column
Ever hear of the television show
"Short Attention Span Theater?"
Think of this as Short Attention
Span Column?I have some things
on my mind today, none requiring
more than cursory mention. Here
? ? ?
Sometimes when I read signs, I
can't help being curious about what
kind of incident might have pro
In McDonalds dining room, on
the staff entrance to the food prep
area, it says this: "NO HIGH
CHAIRS IN FRONT OF DOOR."
in Hcndcrsonville, there's this one
in a Baptist church graveyard: "DO
NOT BURY WITHOUT FIRST
NOTIFYING CEMETERY COM
Outside Shallotte, this is painted
free-hand on the side of a shed: "NO
DRINKING OR CUSSING."
I once saw this one in a laundro
mat: "DO NOT DIE IN MA
? ? ?
Which reminds me of the answer
ing machine message I once heard
when I called Mickey the Sign Man
up in the mountains:
"If you're calling to order a sign,
we'll get back to you. If you're call
ing about a sign you still owe us for,
we're on our way out to your place
to dig it up. If you're calling to
check on a sign you ordered months
ago, it's just about ready. Don't lose
your temper with us; we're slow and
expensive, but we're #@$*&
? ? ?
Speaking of customer service:
I went to buy a roll of film and re
membered while in the middle of
the store that 1 needed a couple of
big bags of potting soil. I looked
around to see if I could find a cart
and avoid going all the way back to
the entrance to get one. Tliere was
an empty buggy next to an "associ
ate" who was stocking shelves.
"Is it okay if I use this?" I asked.
She let out a big sigh, looked as me
as if I were a puddle of ooze and
said impatiently, "Well, I reckon 1
could see if I can find another one
I told her not to trouble herself;
then I went home and wrote her
boss?the big boss at corporate HQ.
I was in a drug store to buy two
packages of No. 4 cone-shaped cof
fee filters. 1 found them there after
having struck out at four other
places. The only customer at the
register, I had to wait for the clerk to
finish her protracted conversation
with a co-worker before she rang up
my paltry $2 purchase. She didn't
acknowledge my presence before,
during or after the transaction. I said
"you're welcome" even though she
didn't say "thank-you," hoping to
make my point, or at least to pick a
fight. She ignored that, too.
? ? ?
It affirmed my affection for mom
and-pop shops. A while back we
bought a gas grill from a business
owned and run by a local family. A
couple of days after the purchase,
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of fresh re
produce available, *
and early peas.
OPEN 7 AM-7 PM, 7 DAYS A WEEK
Hwy. 17 (4 miles south of Shallotte) 579-4500
they called the office and left a mes
sage saying they'd forgotten to tell
us we were entitled to a free filled
gas bottle. They didn't have to make
that extra effort, but they did.
With family businesses, you
rarely get treated as if you're impos
ing when you ask to get a key made,
a watch battery replaced or your car
inspected. If it costs a couple of ex
tra bucks, I think it's worth it.
? ? ?
There arc still folks out there who
care about helping. Take Edna
Parodi of Calabash, a long-time first
aide and water safety instructor.
Edna wants to pass along an idea
she heard from her daughter. Dee
Parodi Dunham, an emergency med
ical technician in New Jersey.
Edna says it's a good idea to carry
a pair of latex surgical gloves in a
35-mm film canister in your car.
That way, if you happen upon an ac
cident, you can offer your help and
be protected against blood-borne
diseases. She advises that you must
use the black plastic canisters, not
the clear ones; you don't want the
latex exposed to sunlight. She says
photo shops are usually happy to
give away their extra canisters just
to be rid of them.
? ? ?
There are words I'd like to be rid
Keyboarding. This is an asinine
and needless "verbing" of a perfect
ly good noun. What was wrong with
This "verbing" trend is embar
rassing. I once received a news re
lease from a church saying that there
would be "fellowshipping" after
And on that note, I'll stop key
boarding for this week and go home
to fellowship my loved ones.
I have been involved in small
town politics, but I have never seen
a more obvious railroading job. This
was definitely a pre-planned set-up
to put Marlainc Thomas on the
board and override the voters'
choice based on the results of the
Be careful who you vote onto the
board of commissioners. We want
representatives of the people, not a
coalition who decides among them
selves and presents their decision to
Audrey H. Ligon
To the editor:
Election year seems the appropri
ate time to make long-needed chan
ges at the Brunswick County Sher
iff's Department?changes that I
have hesitated to mention until they
directly affected my family.
It appears that the Brunswick
County Sheriff's Department cannot
find the time to be escorts for funer
als when needed on the busy roads
in our county.
My father-in-law, Lloyd Evans,
passed away in May 1993. There
was supposed to be a police escort at
the intersection of N.C. 130 and
Civietown Road, allowing the fami
ly procession to stay together travel
ing to Oak Grove Baptist Church.
No patrolman ever showed up.
The residents of Brunswick
County don't seem to believe in
showing respect to the decease or re
morse for their family. Our sheriff's
department must enforce this.
People could at least pull off the
road until the procession passes.
Those who break in line and pull in
to the middle of the procession don't
realize that one day it will be their
funeral procession! Our sheriff's de
partment must enforce this also.
We had a close family member
pass away in June 1993. Again, the
sheriff's department failed to show
up. The funeral director told us this
occurs on a regular basis?he calls
for an escort and no one comes,
leaving him to lead the procession
and handle traffic.
It appears Brunswick County
deputies are satisfied running up and
down the road blowing sirens or sit
ting at convenience stores drinking
coffee. They are nowhere to be
found when it's time for a funeral.
They all go hide!
What really brought this to mind
was when our aunt passed away in
Conway, S.C., in February of this
year. We had police escorts from
Conway to Myrtle Beach and to the
church. The patrolman made people
pull off the road until the procession
passed. There were patrolmen at
every intersection?stopped, stand
ing outside their cars, hats over
chests, showing respect to the fami
The moral of the story, and my
letter, is this: If you want a proper
funeral and your family and funeral
procession treated with respect,
don't die in Brunswick County. Go
to Myrtle Beach where they treat
people with respect?both the living
and the dead.
Don't Dismiss Claims
To the editor:
I congratulate Thurman Gause for
fulfilling his campaign promise to
keep us informed as to what is going
on behind closed doors with the
Brunswick County Board of Edu
After having talked with Mr.
Gause and having been present at
some board meetings over the last
18 months, I don't see how any of
the board members could dismiss
any of Mr. Gause's claims. All a
person would have to do is secure
copies of board minutes from past
Donna Baxter attacks Mr. Gause
tor making black-and-white issues
out of board concerns. However,
television news footage would show
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Mr. Gausc making the same claims
months ago regarding minority re
cruitment and other issues.
I realize that Superintendent
Ralph Johnston is a man of truth and
honesty. It is strange that such issues
could have slipped his mind when
he directed that there be an entire
task force formed to recruit minority
teachers several months ago. This
task forcc grew out of concerns of
Mr. Gausc and other Brunswick
County concerned citizens.
With reference to inequities, tell
me where the equity is in having on
ly two black principals out of 12? In
my conversation with Mr. Gause, he
assured me that while he is con
cerned with black students, he is
equally concerned with the educa
tion of white students, as this in
equity will ultimately effect all stu
dents. Additionally, he is concerned
with the curriculum being offered to
black and white students in Bruns
With reference to equal pay for
equal duty, I'm not a mathematician,
but I can count. Assistant Super
intendent Ralph Ward needs to look
at the number of students and teach
ers at Shallotte Middle School.
There is clearly a larger number of
students at Shallotte Middle School
than Lincoln Primary or South
Brunswick Middle School.
Mr. Ward references the educa
tion level of the two principals at
Lincoln Primary or South Bruns
wick Middle schools. Are they paid
based on their level of certification
and years of experience? If not, then
why is Mrs. Robinson being held to
that level of pay? If there is some
common denominator that affords
these people a higher level of pay,
let's also apply it at the central office
I look forward to the state audi
tor's report which will most likely
substantiate much of what Mr.
Gausc has been saying throughout
his term. I believe that he has been
truthful. If there is any doubt in your
mind, then why has Bill Fairley,
who has struggled publicly during
board meetings with his colleagues,
now verbally withdrawn his bid for
a seat on the board?
In my mind, Mr. Gausc is one
board member who has done exactly
what he promised to do. Good or
bad, he has kept the citizens of
Brunswick County informed.
To the editor:
On Saturday night. April 2, while
visiting at Holden Beach, my broth
er-in-law became seriously ill. The
rescue squad was called and trans
ported him to The Brunswick Hos
pital. The next afternoon he was
transferred to Duke Medical Center.
Since that time has undergone
surgery and is now at home recuper
I would like to express my appre
ciation on behalf of Houston Hes
ter's entire family for the quick re
sponse of Coastline Volunteer Res
cue Squad and the care and concern
they showed. I do not know the
names of the men and women who
responded, but they arc trained peo
ple that Holden Beach can be proud
Many people tend to take our res
cue squads for granted and do not
appreciate them until someone in
our own family has an emergency.
We're blessed to have people willing
to give their time to organizations
I'd also like to extend thanks to
Jackie and Richard Crabtree, our
beach neighbors for their assistance
that night and for being our good
neighbors for many years.
We all love Holden Beach and
hope to spend a lot more time there.
Joyce C. Dowless
To the editor:
Outlandishly drawn voting dis
tricts contrived to guarantee the
election of black candidates: Docs
this mean that white legislators can
not competently represent blacks?
What about the reverse? Black
women have won the Miss America
contest, but white women are pre
cluded from entering the Miss Black
The National Association For The
Advancement Of Colored People,
and the United Negro College Fund:
Are there comparable organizations
Constant harping by black leaders
to end black-on-black violence.
Does this mean that they condone
any other violence? Why not preach
against all violence?
Black history month; constant an
ti-semitic tirades by the Nation of
Islam; an Atlanta, Ga., telephone
book that lists only black-owned
businesses; violence perpetrated
against Korean merchants who dare
to operate in black neighborhoods;
not admitting Haitian AIDS carriers
is racist because they happen to be
black; quotas for colleges that disre
gard qualifications in the interest of
so called diversity: These are only a
few examples. The list is endless.
Two questions beg for answers:
Who is really being discriminated
against? Do minorities really want
integration or special consideration?
Many Fine People
To the editor:
Recently, our family experienced
a monumental tragedy in the loss of
our most precious Julie Marie
Parker. In the early hours of dealing
with this most painful time of our
lives, we received comfort and assis
tance from some very fine people in
the Brunswick County Sheriff's
Department, rescue squad and many
others involved with 911. For their
help and concern we are most thank
ful, and proud that they are there for
all of us in this county.
As time passed, the out pouring of
love and concern that our family re
ceived has been monumental as
well. For the many friends who vis
ited our home, sent food, flowers,
and wrote us to share our grief and,
most of all, remembered us in their
prayers, we are very very thankful
We are very thankful for all the
young people and adults who knew
our Julie and came by to share their
memories of her with us. Also, the
many people who have experienced
similar tragedies in their lives who
have written us, or visited, have
made quite an impact upon our
lives. Please thank Eric Carlson for
his column, which showed what a
fine person and responsible reporter
I have lived in Brunswick County
all my life and have always been ap
preciative of the many fine people
who make this place such a great
part of the world. The actions of so
many of the residents of our fine
county which my family and 1 have
been able to observe in the last ten
days has just reinforced our love for
them. I find myself at a loss for
words to express my appreciation of
the love we have received.
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ShaUotte NC 28459
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