PART OF A SERIES
Mayor Ken Hanan: 1985-1991
By Phyllis Makuck
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Reflections of Pine Knoll Shores
The following is an extract from a series of blogposts at pineknollhistory.blogspot.
com, and represents the fourth in a series of posts on the early mayors of Pine Knoll
Shores. Most of the information comes from back issues o/The Shoreline (called
Shore Line at the time) available on digitalnc.org/newspapers/the-shore-line-pine-
knoll-shores-n-c. Pine Knoll Shores History Committee member Susan Phillips
provided supplementary information from town records and an internet search.
After agreeing to serve when Mayor Wayne Cleveland died, Ken Haller resigned
in February 1985, so commissioners once again needed to select a mayor to serve
the remaining months of Wayne Cleveland’s term. On March 12, 1985, they
selected Commissioner Ken Hanan. In December 1986, they reappointed Hanan as
mayor for a full term. He would serve three full terms.
Hanan’s public service in Pine Knoll Shores had begun in November 1983,
when he was elected to the Board of Commissioners. He was sworn in early when
Commissioner Bill Dixson resigned.
When Ken Hanan became mayor in 1985, he was 63 years old. The Shore Line
provided the following biographical information:
Ken and his wife, Yola, moved to Pine Knoll Shores from Chatham,
N.J., in March of 1982. Hanan retired after 15 years as editor of a trade
publication of heavy industry and spent 25 years previous to that in the
heavy construction industry. He holds a degree in civil engineering from
the University of Michigan. Hanan is a valued
member of the Rescue Squad.
Ken and Yola moved to 111 Beechwood Drive
in 1982, but the Hanans were not new to the area.
In 1972, after reading about Pine Kholl Shores in
the Wall Street Journal, they made their first visit
and bought a lot with the intention of retiring
here. Between 1972 and 1982, they made over 30
trips to Bogue Banks.
A June 1982 Shore Line profile of new
neighbors stated: “Ken plays the piano, likes
sailing, canoeing, fishing and gardening. He also
had an interest in antique cars.” Both Ken and
Yola enjoyed square dancing.
The Hanans’ spirit of volunteerism became
evident the first year they moved to Pine Knoll
Shores. Yola, a former first-grade teacher, became
a member of the Garden Club, serving a term
as corresponding secretary and, later, as a hospitality committee member. She
also wrote articles for The Shore Line, introducing new neighbors. Ken not only
volunteered as an ambulance driver for the rescue squad, but also offered his civil
engineering and heavy construction background to help assess the town’s roads.
Before becoming mayor, Ken Hanan served as commissioner of public works
and recommended and oversaw the resurfacing of streets and installation of “high-
intensity” streetlights. No public safety problem was too small. When he realized
Mayor Ken Hanan
the steps leading up to town hall got slippery when wet, he experimented with grit
in paint to provide traction and then decided to use skid-resistant tape.
He also took on big issues as a commissioner that he later pursued as mayor. For
example, in 1984, he became involved in renewed efforts for a third bridge between
Bogue Banks and Morehead City. He objected to a proposal that would have the
bridge enter the island near McGinnis Point, but recognizing the safety benefits of
having a third bridge, opted for a plan that would have the bridge reach the island
west of Salter Path in Indian Beach—a plan the state approved in 1985. However,
neither bridge proposal was destined to succeed.
Town Clerk Corrine Geer shakes
hands with newly sworn-in
Mayor Ken Hanan. —Photos by
Susan Phillips from framed photos at
Another nagging issue Hanan dealt with both as commissioner and later
throughout all his years as mayor was the problem of street flooding in eastern
Pine Knoll Shores. Unfortunately, a solution was as elusive as the third bridge.
Mayor Hanan went to Raleigh to discuss drainage issues with the Department
of Transportation, contacted CAM A, and hired Von Oesen & Associates from
Wilmington to consider possible solutions. Two favored recommendations
included limiting impervious surface maximums to 25% and constructing swales.
Determined to solve the flooding problem in his last term as mayor, Hanan
signed off on a Von Oesen drainage plan, even though Pine Knoll Association
(PKA) opposed it. Finally, in response to continued opposition to swales and
to fears drainage would damage canal and sound water quality. Mayor Hanan
authorized a local study group. The study group opposed swales and drainage into
the canal and, instead, proposed “storm water be piped under Salter Path Road onto
oceanfront dunes.” He then authorized a new Von Oesen study, which proposed
also using a water canon for areas the pipe could not drain. It would shoot water
to the ocean. PIKSCO homeowners association opposed the oceanfront pipe and
cannon proposals. In the end, Mayor Hanan could implement nothing to prevent
streets from flooding.
As a leader, Hanan seemed willing to risk action and equally willing to reverse
direction if it failed. He supported spraying Orthane to control the “tussock” moths
infesting hardwoods throughout town. However, after spending over $7,000 on
spraying with minimal success since it rained heavily immediately after the town’s
first spraying effort. Mayor Hanan recommended the problem be left in the hands
In April 1985, he made a premature announcement of a U.S. Post Office plan
for “contract postal service in Pine Knoll Shores.” It entailed “a small branch of the
Morehead City Post Office” to be located in Pine Knoll Shores. Neither the town’s
rural route number nor the 28557 ZIP Code would change, but Mayor Hanan
thought space in a local “store” could be rented out for local postal boxes. The hope
was that “store” would be in the new town center, which, after much opposition,
had finally been approved in Ken Haller’s last days as mayor. Neither the town’s
shopping center nor its branch post office would ever become a reality.
However, over four years later, in January 1990, Mayor Hanan announced a plan
for a new post office in Atlantic Beach. Pine Knoll Shores was to switch to the new
(Continued on page 26)
December 201 S’ I'“ TiHe Shoreline