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Sea Wall Debate Back On Coastal Resources Commission Agenda , Story On Page 7 7-Cj
Twenty-ninth Year, Number 37
CI 991 THE MUNSWKTU MACO*
lursaay, July 18, 1991
25< Per Copy
36 Pages, 3 Sections, 2 Inserts
Fishing Fleet's In
The fishing fleet is mirrored in a calm Calabash
waterfront in this sunset photograph.
smmm mm sm *?
PHOTO COURTESY OF PATl lEWtllYN
1 / M- .
Paychecks Targeted For Those Owing Taxes
BY TERRY POPE
Some Brunswick County properly owners
have noticed their paychecks and bank accounts
shrinking, but inflation isn't the culprit.
The money is he i rig collected by the
Brunswick County Tax Department to pay for
Since the county began garnishing wages and
dipping into personal bank accounts recently,
SI 12,488 has been collcctcd, said Tax Collector
not been garnishing, a
litdc of it might have drib
bled in," she said.
The county's collection
rate for 1990 property taxes
stands at 95 percent. Resi
dents still owe the county
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uiuit uioii oi.j si iiiiiuii ... ulX
cs that were due in January.
Brunswick County Com
missioners voted in April to
begin garnishing wages and
drawing from bank accounts
to collect 10 years' worth of back taxes. Since
1980, more than S2.9 million in taxes levied
against property owners has gone uncollected,
said Ms. Moore.
In December, the county was facing an 80 per
cent collection rate during a tight budget year,
said County Manager David Clcgg. Since the
budget is based on the previous year's collection
rate, county officials panicked.
"1 think we raised the issue to a lot of people
then," said Clegg. "Once we began garnishment,
that made a believer out of many."
The county can garnish up to 20 percent of a
person's paycheck to pay for delinquent taxes.
By suite law, employers must give the tax office
a roster of its employees. It is a misdemeanor not
to do so, said Clegg.
The first to feel the heat were Brunswick
County government workers and those employed
by larger businesses and industries in Brunswick
According to Ms. Moore, the following
amounts are owed the county in delinquent taxes:
SI, 362 .XI 5 for 1990; S656.9X7 for 19X9;
5332,253 for 19XX; S2(X),XXX for 19X7; SI25.02I
for !9?6; vu 101 |nr 19X5: S62.154 for 19X4;
S52.252 for 19X3; S37.272 for 19X2; S34.62X for
1981 and S2.962 for 19X0.
Every one cent on the current tax rate gener
ates S300,(XX) in revenues, said Clegg. A per
centage of the general levy cannot be budgeted
each year because it docs not have a history of
That means if everyone paid their taxes, the
county lax rate could go down, Clegg added.
"Your're living in a dream world if you think
your're going to collect 100 percent," said Clegg.
"However, 98 percent is within the realm of
In previous years, commissioners had never
authorized ihc county to garnish wages or to
draw from personal bank accounts to collect back
taxes. It is the newness of the policy that has
stunned some people, said Clcgg.
From 1982 to 1987, the county chose to fore
close on some property placed on tax liens.
Often, the property was useless to the owner,
who didn't care if the county took it, said Clcgg.
"A lot of those foreclosures did not net us any
thing," he added. "We were spending money for
property that no one would buy."
Persons who have trouble paying their taxes in
one sum can arrange a payment plan with the tax
office. If a person feels a tax is unfair, they can
appeal it to a review board.
"It is becoming known in the community,"
said Clcgg, "that Brunswick County is going to
pursue any means available to encourage those
who choose not to participate in Brunswick
County government to do so."
Those who owe back taxes had previously been
notified by the tax office to pay or to risk having
their wages or accounts garnished or attached.
"I know it's hard to pay taxes," said Clcgg.
"I'm not saying that attachment is pleasant But
people are not losing their homes. We're not cre
ating situations like that."
Taxes arc easier to pay when people feel that
everyone is carrying their fair share, he added.
Ocean Isle Mayor Files For Third Straight Term
BY DOUG RUTTKR
Occan Isle Bcach Mayor Belly
Williamson filed for a third lerni of
office, but activity was generally
slow in ihe South Brunswick Islands
during the first full week of the 1991
municipal election filing period.
No more candidates have filed at
Calabash or Sunset Bcach in the
past week, and the Brunswick
County Board of Elections is still
waiting for the first candidates from
Shallottc and Varnamtown.
Mrs. Williamson, who owns and
operates Betty Williamson Realty,
has served as mayor since July 1987
and filed Tuesday for her third two
year term, according to Town Clerk
Mayor Williamson was on the
town board from 1980 until 1987,
when she was appointed to fill the
unexpired term of former mayor
Ocean Isle Beach Commissioner
Debbie Fox also filed Tuesday for
election to a third consecutive term.
The real estate agent with Sloane
Really has been on the board since
At Holdcn Bcach, Larry McDow
ell has filed for one of the five avail
able seats on the board of commis
sioners, said Mabel Dutton of the
Holden Bcach Board of Elections.
James Shafor, a member of the
town's planning and zoning board,
has filed for mayor. It was incorrect
ly reported in last '^ck's issue of
The Brunswick Beacon that Shafor
had filed for commissioner, based
on information from the board of
In the Southport/Oak Island area,
two ballots have started to fill up
with candidates over the past week,
according to the Brunswick County
Board of Elections.
Southport Mayor C.B. "Cash"
Caroon filed for re-election and will
face a challenge from former mayor
Norman R. Holden.
Alderman Mary H. "Mcczic"
Childs has filed for re-election from
Ward I, and Ward II Alderman Nel
son Adams also is seeking another
At Long Beach, Commissioner
Jean Gray has filed for re-election
and former commissioner H. Mich
ael Oxford has Hied for mayor. He
was defeated in a bid for election as
mayor in 19X7.
William D. Easley III, who made
an unsuccessful election bid in 1989,
has filed for a seat on the Long
Beach Board of Commissioners.
Caswell Beach Mayor Jack Cook
has filed for re-election. Nobody
has filed for the one seat available
this year on the board of commis
Three candidates, including one
incumbent, have filed for seats on
the Dosher Hospital Board of
Trustees in the last week.
They arc incumbent Charles D.
Johnson of Long Beach, (Jib Barbee
of Long Beach and Eugene Tomlin
son Jr. of Southport. Smithvillc
Township voters will elect three
hospital trustees in November.
In northern Brunswick County,
Kenneth D. Messcr Sr. filed for a
fourth two-year term as mayor of
A stcond candidate, Brcmla Gayc
Mitchell, has filed for the Sandy
Creek Town Council.
As of Tuesday, the county board
of elections reported that nobody
had filed for officc in the towns of
Shallottc, Varnamtown, Bolivia,
Yaupon Beach or Navassa.
Also, there were no candidates
for the two scats up for clcction this
year on the Southeast Brunswick
Sanitary District Board, which will
hold its first election in November.
The filing period ends Friday,
Aug. 2, at noon. The S5 filing fee
can be paid at the county elections
officc in Bolivia or at town halls
where forms arc available.
Candidates who filed for office
prior to July 10 and were included
in last week's issue of the Deacon
arc iisicd below:
Calabash: jon Sanbom, commis
sioner, District II.
Sunset Beach: Mason Barber,
mayor; Chcrri Cheek, council.
liolden Beach: Sid Swarls and
David Sandifcr, commissioner;
James Shalor, mayor.
Boiling Spring Lakes: Steven
Mark Stewart, mayor.
Southport: William W. Delaney
II, alderman, Ward II.
Long Beach: Bobbie H. Larri
Leland: Rev. S.L. Doty Jr., may
or; Jane Gilbert and Thomas Hyatt,
Sandy Creek: Louis A. Blouir,
Supply Teen Killed In Wreck
A Supply teen-ager was killed when the car she was driving ran off
ihc roail and overturned east of Shall otic last Tuesday, July 9.
Julia Carol Evans, 16, of Route 3, Supply, died after the car she was
driv ing ran off of Bixmic's Neck Road (S.R. 1 137) about five miles cast
of Shallotlc, reported State Trooper B.L. Wilkes.
A passenger in her 1981 Plymouth, Issac Hincs, 17, of Shallotlc, was
seriously injured and taken to The Brunswick Hospital in Supply.
According to Wilkes, Ms. Evans' car was traveling at a high rale of
speed when it ran off the tight pavement, crossed to the left shoulder,
came back onto ihc roadway and overturned.
The car camc to rest upside down in the southbound lane, Wilkes
said. He estimated the car was traveling 75 mph when it ran off the
(See SUPPLY TEEN, Page 2-A)
I Annexation Bill
BY I)OU<; RUTTER
Slate legislators passed a local
bill last week that allows but
doesn't require a referendum of
Holdcn Beach voters before any
property is annexed.
The N.C. General Assembly rati
fied House Bill 739 last Thursday,
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.)IA iiiuiiiii.> at ivi tun ?( uiiiviuu iiui
discussed the idea of allowing resi
dents to vote on any proposed
changes in the town boundaries.
"I can't tell you how happy I
am," Commissioner Judy Bryan
said Monday after reading the rati
fied bill. "It's a victory for the peo
State Rep. David Redwine, who
introduced the bill and helped get it
through the legislature, said he
doesn't know of any other towns in
North Carolina with similar legisla
Under the new law, any annexa
tion at Holden Beach could be sub
ject to a referendum of the town's
A referendum would be held if
the town board of commissioners
decides to call for a vote in the an
Commissioners would be re
quired to call a referendum if a peti
tion containing the names of 40 per
cent of the town's registered voters
is filed with the board no more than
20 days after an annexation ordi
nance is adopted.
Mrs. Bryan, who was elected two
years ago partly oec^use of her po
sition against mainland annexation,
is pleased with the new law even
though it's different from what
commissioners had requested in
Town officials wanted the law to
say that 1 0 percent of the registered
voters could call for a referendum,
but it was changed to 40 percent in
the final version of the bill.
Holden Beach officials originally
wanted to include registered voters
and non-resident property owners in
the bill. But the board changed its
mind after learning that state elec
tion law wouldn't allow non-resi
dents to vote.
Redwine said the town's original
request had to be changed to get the
bill out of a House committee.
"That bill, quite frankly, was not
one of the favorite bills of the local
government committee," Redwine
The committee tried to kill the
bill at one point, but Redwine inter
vened and agreed to increase the
percentage of petitioners and make
Local government committee
members objected to the bill partly
because it goes against state policy
by allowing petitioners to call for a
referendum on annexation, he said.
North Carolina statutes set up the
procedure for annexation. Redwine
said the general policy is to elect lo
cal representatives and allow them
to make most decisions.
At Holden Beach, however, that
state policy led to a one-issue elec
tion in 1989, when four candidates
for commissioner opposed to an
nexation we-c elected.
They later voted to overturn an
annexation ordinance that had been
adopted by a previous board and
would have brought about 67 acres
01 mainland property into the town
Red-vine said the N.C. League of
Municipalities also was concerned
about the bill but did not actively
oppose it. "They let it go, but they
were not happy about it."
If any towns try to copy the
Holden Beach bill, Redwine said
the League of Municipalities would
oppose it "very strongly."
Murder Charge Filed
/\ I? CliUlii llltill wlhllgCtl 'Vuh the
murder Sunday of a Wilmington
resident was being held Monday in
the Brunswick County Jail under
Bond for Tony Leon Keiiy, 39, of
Eldorado Mobile Home Park, was
set Monday morning during his first
appearance in Brunswick County
He is charged in the shooting
death of Dewayne Abbot Mussel
white, 35, of 502 Murrayville Road,
Officers received a call around
1:35 a.m. Sunday that someone had
been shot in the Phoenix communi
ty north of Lcland, said Capt. Phil
Perry with the Brunswick County
The shooting occurred near a
ballpark at the intersection of Ml
Misery and Cedar Hill roads.
When Deputy Randy Robinson
arrived at liie sccuc, lie fuuiiu ivlus
selwhite lying at the rear bumper of
an automobile, said Perry. The vic
tim, shot twice in the left side, was
pronounced dead at the scene.
Kelly was also at the scene when
officers arrived, said Perry. Follow
ing an investigation, he was arrested
and charged with murder.
A ,22-caliber revolver, thought to
be the murder weapon, was recov
ered at the scene.
"1 don't know if we really have a
motive at this point," said Perry.
Census Admits trror
In Shallotte Count
The U.S. Census Bureau is final
ly admitting it erred in figuring the
1990 population for Shallotte ?
something town officials have
known all along.
Preliminary and revised head
counts were too low for Shallotte
because the census bureau thought
that some people who live inside
the town limits resided outside of
Edwin B. Wagner Jr., assistant di
vision chief for operations with the
census bureau's planning division,
acknowledged the mistake in a re
cent letter to State Rep. David
Redwine had contacted the bu
reau at the request of town officials,
who wanted its count corrected.
Wagner indicated in his letter that
the census bureau planned to in
crease both the number of living
quarters and the population of
Shallotte based on information pro
vided by Mayor Sarah Tripp.
"Our review found an error in the
geographic assignment of living
quarters and associated population
around the legal boundary of
Shallotte...," Wagner wrote.
Preliminary ccnsus figures re
leased in September had the popula
tion of Shallotte at 828. A revised
figure released in January humped
the head count up to 965.
But town officials contended that
the number was closer to 1 ,4(X), and
protested the bureau figures. They
objected, in part, bccausc some suite
revenues are distributed to towns
based on population.
Shallotte's revised certified cen
sus count won't be available until
later this summer when the ccnsus
bureau issues a "supplemental user
note," Wagner wmte in the letter.
Meanwhile, some census-related
materials will be published with the
Final counts for Brunswick
County and its other municipalities
were released this week, but were
not available Tuesday from the
Brunswick County Planning De
Brunswick County officials also
protested the preliminary and re
vised census figures of 50,681 and
50,985. Planning Director John
Harvey said the population was
around 55, (XK).