Hoiden Beach Sends Controversial Light Law
Back To Planninq Board
ItY l>OI <; KH'ITKK
lloldcn Beach Commissioners tossed a scalding hoi
|H?iaii> U> the town's planning and zoning hoaid Mon
The contiovcrsial outside lighting ordinance that's
been debated since it itnik efl'cci last tail has been sent
hack to the planning hoard lor review.
Reacting to growing op|K>sition lioin homeowners
and residents, the town IhkuxI asked lor a re-evaluation
ol the rules at their meeting Monday night.
Among other things, the rule says security lights
must be shielded so they don't shine on neighboring
property and yard lights can't lx- more than 10 feet oil
Since the ordinance took effect, town officials have
forced several homeowners to lower security lights that
were more than 1(1 feet oil the ground on utility |*>lcs
llolden Beach filed a lawsuit in July seeking a court
order to have a security light on Brunswick Avenue
"I feel that one ordinance
has caused this town more
problems than any other
Mayor Pro Tern Gloria Barren
lowered lo the 10- luol limit.
Mayor John Tandy said Monday the outside lighting
ordinance has created almost as much controversy as
the leash law.
But he said some people are under the impression
that the town doesn't allow any yard or security lights.
The ordinance allows outside lights as long as they
meet certain guidelines.
The Holdcn Beach Property Owners Association,
which is made up of X*><) landowners, voted at its Labor
day weekend meeting to ask town officials lor a re
evaluation of the rules.
At Monday's town meeting, resident Boh Kohde
asked for specifically that die rules be changed so yard
lights have to be shielded like security lights.
Several other residents seated in die audience also
asked lor a review of the ordinance, which was adopted
by a previous town hoard in November ll)Xl> and took
ellect a year later.
Bcrlc Walker, who has owned a house on Tarpon
Drive for 2X years, said she's had problems with van
dalism. and neighboring houses have been broken into
since the light ordinance took clfcct.
"The town commissioners are elected to serve the
people, ami I think this is what they should do," she
Alan Holdcn said three ol the four businesses he
owns at Holdcn Beach have been broken into since the
town started enforcing the new lighting inles.
He said doors have been kicked ill, products have
been stolen and money has been taken Iroin machines
Holden said he didn't have any problems with break ins
belorc the new rules took cltcet.
Also. Holden said the 4()<) homeowners who tent
their collages through his real estate agency and want
the rules changed.
Holden has appealed a town ruling regarding lights
at Surlsidc Pavilion and is scheduled to appear beloir
the Holden Beach Board ot Adjustment Monday.
Mayor Pro Tern filoria Barren made the motion to
send ihe rules back to the planning hoaid. saymi! she
doesn't think the town should prohibit someone tiom
having a light il they need it.
"I leel that one ordinance has caused this town inoie
(See l.K.II I I.AW, Page 2- \ I
SlAf> PHOTO BY fcDDifc SWIAIT
Fewer Folks But Just As Much Fun
Crowds have thinned out these days along the South li runs wick Islands beaches, hut a growing number of vacationers are discovering
ih/it Kuminvr /m/t ivirlv f/ill ttru ht>vl nf nil sit tl%*> /?/>??
that late summer and early fall are best of all at the beach
? ? ? ? ? ? a? n? ? a VaMBBJBII
Shallotte Reinstates Suspended Policeman
I?Y l)()l (J KU'I'TKK
Shallotte Patrolman Keith Croom is back on
the job alter town aldermen voted last week to
reinstate the officer following a two-week sus
Crooin, who was suspended with pay Aug. 22
following an allegation that he allowed a minor
to possess alcohol, was reinstated last
Wednesday to the applause of about 50 people
who packed town hall.
The vote to lift the suspension was unanimous,
and came after the second of two executive ses
sions called during the meeting for board mem
bers to consult with Town Attorney Mark Lewis.
Police Chief Rodney Gause had suspended
Crooin for four days in June after he allegedly
provided a 15-year-old girl with beer at his resi
dence, thereby contributing to the delinquency of
Gause said a majority of the town aldermen
approved of the disciplinary action at the time. In
addition to the suspension, Croom was ordered to
apologize to the parents of the minor involved.
But the town board ordered the police chief to
suspend Croom again at the Aug. 21 meeting.
"Hie suspension with pay continued through Sept.
4, when Croom had a hearing before the town
Mayor fro Tent Paul Wayne Reeves, who was
absent w hen aldermen approved the original suspen
"I felt like he was treated
unfair. He was punished
twice for it , and / didnt
think it was right."
? Chief Rodney Gause
on Croom's suspension
sion, intaxluced a resolution three weeks ago seek
ing Croom's dismissal. He withdrew it following an
The police chief said last week he opposed the
second suspension. "1 felt like he was treated un
fair," Gause said. "1 le was punished twice for it, and
I didn't think it was right."
Although the two-hour hearing was held in
open session, aldermen met in executive session
twice during the proceedings to talk with their at
Croom and his attorney, James Payne, had re
quested the open hearing. They met briefly with
aldermen during the second closed session, alter
which the board voted to reinstate the officer
with full pay and benefits.
Following the first closed session, the town
board agreed to hold the hearing in open session
until the parents of the minor were called to testi
ly. However, the matter was resolved w ithout tes
limony from the parents.
Payne submitted two formal motions last week
to dismiss the ease, arguing in both that the po
lice officer's right to due process would be vio
lated if he was fired.
One called for dismissal on the grounds of
"double jeopardy." Payne said punishing Croom
twice for the same incident would be a violation
of rights guaranteed him in the U.S. Constitution.
In a separate motion, Payne argued that the al
leged violation is a "type 4 violation" under the
police deparunenl's policies and procedures man
Those types of violations are punishable by a
reduction in pay or grade or suspension for a pe
riod in excess of three days. Payne said firing
Croom would violate his right to due process
Payne also said the attempt to lire Croom was
against the policy manual, which says the police
chief is the only person who can initiate the fir
ing of an officer.
Although all firings must be approved by the
board ol aldermen and mayor, Payne said the
policy manual doesn't give town board members
the authority to fire policc officers.
(See POLICKMAN, Page 2-A)
Board Supports Use
Of 'Quest' In Middle
School Drug Program
BY SUSAN USHKR
Two parents who objcct lo the
use of Quest in the Brunswick
County Schools' drug abuse pre
vention education program pushed
without success Monday night for
Brunswick County Board of
Education members, citing parental,
community and educators' support
lor Quest, said they plan to continue
using the self-esteem building pro
Janet Pope ol Thomasboro told
the board that Quest should be done
away with because it undermines
parental authority by teaching stu
dents lo set their own values and
promotes New Age ideas and hu
After hearing comments for and
against the program, board
Chairman Donna Baxter told the
group ol about 6() people she had
received 29 calls in support of
Quest and none against it.
Board member Polly Russ said
she would like to sec the program
expanded because it teaches key
skills students need to acquire by
the middle schixil grades. "You
don't have to have your children in
this program, but please don't de
prive other children from participat
ing in it," she asked the objecting
Faced with a long agenda and
lengthy discussion of Quest and an
other student self-development pro
gram, Pathways to Excellence, the
board cut its meeting short Monday.
After an hour-long session behind
closed doors discussing personnel
and attorney-client matters, the
board recessed until the following
Board chairman Donna Baxter
said the board would like adminis
trators to find a way to accommo
date parents who do not want their
children in the Quest program and
that they will explore the use of
parental permission slips.
Mrs. Pope told the board she
thinks the Quest program leaches
students that they can determine
their own values, even if contrary to
those of their parents. She said it in
troduces students to New Age ideas
and Eastern mysticism, and by ask
ing "intrusive questions" and re
quiring private journal-keeping,
subjects them to psychological test
ing without parental knowledge or
permission, in violation of federal
She objected to students in Quest
"conversational circles" being told
to allow other students to freely ex
press iheir views and opinions on
issues without criticism or judgment
from their peers. She said site was
afraid that the experience could
generate peer pressure lor a student
to accept others' ideas even il con
trary to his or her own beliefs.
Minting at potential litigation.
Mrs. Pope claimed Quest violates
federal regulations requiring separa
tion of church and state because it
incorporates relaxation, a technique
associated with Eastern religions,
and visualization, which she said is
associated with the occult.
Instead of using Juest, she asked
that the hoard adopt a curriculum
called Building Drug-Eree ScIhh \
lor grades K-12, developed by the
American Council tor Drug
When told the program .vil' con
tinue. >he cautioned the boa- it ?ha:
witn us "great responsiMitv comes
great accountability '
Lion's Quest, a s|vcial projt. .1 ol
Lions International. \*.as tir^t intio
duced to the school system at
Shallotte Middle Schi>ol three \ ears
ago, with the continued I manual
backing of Shallotte Lions Club and
numerous local businesses and indi
viduals. Lions Club Piesident Mike
Blandino told the board that Quest
is considered die "Cadillac" ol anti
"In an ideal world programs like
Quest and Pathways would not be
needed." he said, but in today's so
ciety they are. "But today they may
be the only exposure some children
have to developing positive social
behaviors and decision making
Because of its successful use at
Shallotte Middle. Quest is now used
in other county middle schools as
well as part of the K-12 drug educa
tion prevention program.
The schools use a curriculum
provided by the slate in grades 9- 1 1
and a combination of state and pri
vate programs in grades K-5, in
cluding DARE at the tilth grade
level, in cooperation with the
Brunswick County Sheriffs
Shallotte Middle School Principal
Mark Owens said the school chose
Quest because it was being used by
all of the model middle schools stall
visited when the school began its
conversion to a "middle school"
plan of organization and was seek
ing a curriculum to use 111 the "advi
sor/advisee" (A/A) program, a small
group session dial is part ot the
(See BOARD, Page 2 -A)
FIRED ENGINEERS SUE COUNTY
Controversy's Nothing New For Shallotte Point Water Project
BY TERRY POPK
Like many Shalloitc Point residents,
R.C. Eaton has heard many promises bui
seen few results from plans to install coun
ty water lines in his community.
"There's not a stake driven anil not a pipe
in the ground," said Raton.
Delays were cited by Brunswick County
| Commissioners as the reason Houston and
| Associates of Shalloitc w as fired Aug. 3 as
the engineering firm at work designing that
Now the engineers have filed suit
against the county, claiming they were de
liberately forced to nuss their deadlines.
Their lawsuit filed in Brunswick County
| Superior Court claims the county contin
| ued to drag its lect in obtaining access to
the proposed site for a 3(X),(XX)-gallon wa
ter tank to he huill at the Point.
Because land entry rights were not
promptly obtained by the county, Houston
and Associates suffered a two-month de
lay, it claims, in what is projected to be a
bitter legal case over the county's alleged
breach of contract.
County Attorney David Clegg said the
county is preparing to file its own lawsuit
against the engineering firm, which was
hired in February to design six projects lor
"We will be countcrclaiming," said
Commissioners voted 3-2 u> terminate
the contract with Houston and Associates.
At the ume, commissioners said the county
had in no way impeded in the firm's
The contract suites that it may he termi
nated by either party without cause by 30
days written notice and that all engineer's
work in progress shall be turned over to
the county upon payment for the work.
C'legi; would not discuss how contract ne
gotiations between the county and the linn
follow mg the commissioners* voce ensued.
"The action of the board spoke for it
sell," said Clegg.
A July deadline on plans for the
Shallotte Point project was delayed twice
by the firm, to the tall of 199 1 and again to
F-'ehruary 1992. said Clegg. Plans are to bid
the project out to a contractor in early 1992
and allow II months for construction.
Camp, Dresser and McKcc of Raleigh
has been hired to replace Houston and
Associates 10 finish design work on ihe es
timated S7 million in water projects. In ad
dition u> designing water lines lorShallotte
Point, the engineers were charged with de
signing a line down Thomasboro Road,
down N.C. *>04 to Seaside, along U.S. 17
from Shallotte to Grisscttown and a U.S.
17 pump station south of Shallotte.
According to the lawsuit, Houston and
Associates delivered designs for the
Thomasboro Road and N.C. lMU project to
the county on Aug. 2, just three tlays be
fore they were fired.
On that date. County Engineer Robert
Tucker told the firm that access to sites for
the pump station and water tank at
Shall olio Point would not lv available until
Aug. 1 1 , the claim suites.
The county has paid lite linn approxi
mately S84.(HH), which amounts to about
30 percent ol the project. said Clegg.
On Aug. II. Houston and Associates
submitted copies ol the engineering plans
for the projects to the NCNB Sluillottc of
fice to be held in escrow pending a deter*
mination of the rights ol both parties. ]
Included in the package were completed
plans for all projects except for the
Shallottc Point water tank and U.S. 17
pump station, (he lawsuit claims.
The claim is asking a jury to award
Houston and Associates S 1 87.CXK) plus m
terest for work completed, which the coun
(See FIRKI), Page 2-A)