Festival By The Sea Opens FridayAt Holden Beach (See Section D For Preview)
THE nm ..... "ick^BEACOM
Twenty-ninth Year, Number 51 .... BtACON bhallotte, North Carolina, Thursday, October 24, 1991 50c Per Copy 54 Pages, 4 Sections, 2 Inserts
I PAST STATE CHAMPION Karen McNeil shucks her way to
Karen McNeil Claims Second
State Shucking Championship
BY SUSAN USI1KK
Karen McNcil of Supply shuckcd her way to a second stale title
Saturday at the N.C. Oyster Shucking Championship Contest.
Finishing a close second was Shirley Simmons, first runner-up; fol
lowed by Tara Futch Clcmmons, second runner-up; and Lofton James,
third runner-up. All are from Brunswick County. The top finishers re
ceived SI 00, S75, $50 and S25 respectively.
Before crowded bleachers, the 28-year-old Ms. McNeil posted the
best raw and adjusted times of a field of six women and one man.
I The suspense heightened as contestant* in the first hea? assisted by
Donald Ray Long, carefully cnose 24 oysters each and arranged them in
rows on die table before ihem, just below their square wooden presenta
tion trays. Willi finely-honed knife blades poised in mid-air, they awaited
Terry Bar bee's signal to begin.
Ms. McNcil finished in 155 seconds, but judges added 54 seconds in
penalties for an adjusted time of 209 seconds. The lime was off from
her 1989 championship performance, when she finished with an ad
justed time of 2:43:24. She was first runner-up in 1988.
"They were some of the hardest I've ever tried to get into," she said
of the oysters used in Saturday's contest. I had a hard time. 1 didn't
think I was going to come in any place because of Shirley (Simmons)
and Lofton (James)."
The Supply area resident has been "picking" oysters at Lloyd's
Oyster House at Shallouc Point for 10 years as of September.
Along with the cash, Saturday's win earns her an opportunity to rcp
(See McNRIL, Page 2-A)
Carlisle Finishes Second
In U.S. Women's Contest
Cathy Carlisle, North Carolina's 1990 oyster shucking champion,
finished second in ihe National Women's Oyster Shucking Champ
ionship Saturday at the St. Mary's County Festival
in Leonardtown, Md.
Ms. Carlisle, a former national grand champi
on, shuckcd 24 raw Chesapeake Bay oysters in an
adjusted time of 2:37, WCCA's Lee Michaels an
nounced at the start of the North Carolina Slate
Oyster Shucking Contest following a telephone in
terview with Ms. Carlisle.
Ms. Carlisle^ who-luis returned to -pitting ayv
ters at Lloyd's Oyster House at Shallouc Point,
posted an actual time of 1:55:23, but judges added
42 seconds in penalties. CARLISLE
The winner of the women's title had the same unadjusted time, but
received only 20 penalty seconds, for an adjusted time of 2: 15.
During last year's stale competition at the N.C. Oyster Festival,
Ms. Carlisle established a new state record, with an unadjusted lime of
2:11 and adjusted time of 2:07. She set the previous record, 2:21:40, in
Her sccond-placc finish in the national women's championship
event won her a plaque and S200.
This year's state champion, Karen McNcil of Supply, finished sec
ond in the U.S. women's event last October.
SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE PASSES
Paving Requirement Eliminated
In Compromise With Developers
II Y I KKKY I'UI'K
Brunswick County's new subdi
vision ordinance, passed by com
missioners Monday 3-2, eliminates
a controversial requirement that
streets be paved in new housing de
The most debated part of the or
dinance was revised by the Bruns
wick County Planning Board again
last Wednesday, at the request of
District 2 Commissioner Jerry
Jones, who serves on the planning
Two commissioners voting
against die ordinance Monday,
Gene Pinkerton and Frankie Rabon,
said they opposed it bccause other
parts were loo restrictive.
The ordinance requires that de
velopers build streets to N.C.
Department of Transportation stan
dards for drainage and coquina
base, but stops short of state re
quirements for paving of collector
streets that serve 15 or more lots.
"1 don't think the intent was to
make it so expensive dial you
couldn't build a road," said John
Barbee, planning board member.
The paving requirement was in
place when the ordinance was be
fore commissioners Oct. 7, but
Jones asked to delay the vote, say
ing a matter needed further study by
the planning board.
The planning board voted 4-0 last
Wednesday to recommend that
commissioners drop paving stan
dards from die ordinance, which has
been undergoing public hearings
aiid icviow sum DuCiiil)* r Ii
has actually been tossed around by
different boards of commissioners
since April 1981, said Planning
Director John 1 larvey.
The new rules will go into effect
"1 think it's probably the most
scrutinized subdivision ordinance in
'7 can certainly see the argument that
the planning hoard had to deal with on
? Kelly Holden, Chairman
the state of North Carolina," said
Board of Commissioners Chairman
Kelly Holden following the meet
ing. "I'm afraid if we went any fur
ther, it would be diluted too much."
Jones told the planning board that
developers who wanted to keep
streets private within new subdivi
sions had questioned why paving
was necessary. County Engineer
Robert Tucker recommended that
the ordinance require a 6-inch base
of coquina on subdivision roads in
stead of paving.
Residents who purchased lots in
subdivisions with unpaved streets
often complain to commissioners
when they later learn that their road
cannot meet state standards for
paving. Many asked for the paving
requirement at the public hearing on
the ordinance in April.
District 4 Commissioner Frankic
Rabon has opposed the ordinance
since it was first proposed. In a de
tailed statement to the board Mon
day, he outlined why he didn't like
"It is a simple fact that the provi
sions of this subdivision ordinance
will add substantially to the cost of
housing t ; our community," said
Brunswick County citizens are
"primarily working people," said
Rabon. "Many of them are young
families just getung started in life,
and a substantial number are elderly
people who arc not wealthy."
When costs are added to making
land available for the construction
of homes, said Rabon, that cost is
passed on to consumers.
Holden said he didn't think the
ordinance would increase the cost
of land in Brunswick County. He
agreed to the planning board's com
promise with developers on the
paving requirements, saying the
cost factor may have been "the
planning board's line of thought
"I can certainly see the argument
that the planning board had to deal
with on this," Holden added.
There were no citizens or devel
opers in the audience at the com
missioners' meeting Monday who
appeared to be following the fate of
"That means we've gone out of
our way to gain input on it from as
many facets as possible," Holden
said alter the meeting.
Before the vote, Rabon asked if
commissioners were ready to "add
another maze of regulatory burdens
on our people and thereby increase
the cost of housing to our people?"
"I am ready to answer these ques
tions, even if 1 stand alone," said
Rabon. "1 iLiJ. you to have the
courage to join me. even though 1
know many of you have had pres
sure from some of the wealthy in
our community who want this very
Rabon did not stand alone in his
opposition. Pinkerton said he was
not opposed to a subdivision ordi
nance, hut didn't like this one.
"It's a little um) restrictive and
confining," said Pinkcrton.
Restricting the size of lots also
restricts the number of people who
can afford to buy the land for
homes, he said.
Before the vote. District 5 Com
missioner Donald Shaw asked if the
ordinance could be changed, and
how quickly, "if there are things the
public cannot live with."
Amendments would have to first
go to the planning board and then to
commissioners for approval, said
Harvey. A clause prohibits planners
from delaying a decision, he said.
"If it can be amended so easily,
why bother with it in the first
place?" suited Pinkerton after the
meeting. "I felt it was going to pass,
but 1 couldn't consciously vote for
Ordinances are needed to help
developers and planners coordinate
streets, water, sewer, drainage lines,
recreation areas and the distribution
of population and traffic to avoid
congestion and overcrowding. The
county's present ordinance was
adopted in June 1980, before the
county's water system was installed.
The new ordinance establishes
minimum building setback lines,
minimum lot sizes (7.5(H) square
feet), new steps for review and ap
proval of subdivision plats, rules on
sewer and water systems, street and
drainage standards and regulations
regarding heir division of property.
Rabon said he wasn't accusing
hi-: fellow commissioners ot
Uonally lrying to make it mor ? diffi
cult for the young, elderly anil
working class to buy homes m
"1 am emphatically pointing out
to you the adoption of this subdivi
sion ordinance docs exactly that,"
County Prepares To Enter Library Dispute
II Y TERRY POPE
Brunswick County officials say
they have homework to do before
entering the dispute over construc
tion of a new northern area library
County Manager David Clegg
told Brunswick County Commis
sioners Monday that the dispute will
be settled before Dec. 31 .
"We're trying to move to fully
understand the situation we find
ourselves in," said Clegg, who is al
so county attorney. "We're very me
thodically moving toward a resolu
Lcland officials and the
Brunswick County Library Board of
Trustees are deadlocked over who
should have legal authority to build
the. S2 1 7 ,000 project.
At a meeting in Shallotte last
Wednesday, trustees refused to sign
a contract with Lcland that would
have turned land and donations for
the building over to the town coun
cil, which voted 3-2 to assume con
trol of the project.
"We're taking a very proactive
stance to the library situation," said
Clegg. "We don't want people to
think we are doing nothing at this
The library building committee,
headed by Lcland resident Edith
Tillman, has threatened to file a law
suit against the library board if it
turned the project over to the town.
Ms. Tillman has charged that Lcland
Mayor Russell Baldwin is trying to
use the library for political gains.
Clegg said he is reviewing min
utes of commissioners' meetings
dating back to 1959 to "determine
the significant issues regarding the
relationship of the city of Southport
and the county" in the establishment
of the library board. Currently, six
trustees are appointed by Southport
while six members are appointed by
State Library Director Howard
McGinn told trustees last month
that library boards cannot own land
on which libraries arc built or sign
building contracts. Trustees are not
in the library building business, he
"These threshold issues have to
be resolved first," added Clegg.
District 3 Commissioner Gene
Pinkerton said he wants the county
to move soon enough so the build
ing committee will not lose a
S50,(XX) state grant needed to help
build the library. Lcland officials
have indicated the slate wants the
project underway before Dec. 31 or
else forfeit the grant.
"Thai's what I've been told," said
Pinkerion, "not thai I'm necessarily
Clcgg said he, loo, is keeping an
eye on the time while trying to chart
development of the library system
as a "joint venture."
"That's certainly a goal (to keep
the grant)," said Clcgg, "to try to
see that this doesn't happen."
In a letter to library trustees, at
torney A.A. Canoutas, who repre
sents the Leland Library Building
Committee, stated that problems
arose in the construction of the li
brary because "no one bothered to
read the law" to guide themselves in
the decision -making process.
"Mayor Russell Baldwin became
involved in the process," slated
Canoutas, "which not only added fu
el to the fire of confusion, but turned
the matter into a five alarm blaze."
The seeking of legal advicc, Can
(See COUNTY, Pa^e 2- A)
Harbor To Talk Incorporation
Slate Rep. David Redwine will meet with residents of Sunset Harbor
Friday night to discuss possible incorporation of the waterfront commu
The state legislator and residents will meet Friday at 7 p.m. at Sunset
Harbor Baptist Church to talk about the pros and cons of becoming a
town, said spokesman Dcrwood Landreth.
Sunset Harbor is a community of about 2(X) permanent residents io
cated on the cast side of Lockwood Folly River on the Atlantic Intra
Landreth said most of the property owners arc not full-time residents
of Sunset Harbor. Residents have been "seriously talking" about incor
poration for three or four months.
Landreth said incorporation proponents want to take control of their
own destiny and govern themselves. They also want better police pro
Proposed boundaries of the municipality would run from the intra
coasial waterway and river to River Run Plantation and the old Swain
property. River Run would not be part of the town, said Landreth.
COUNTY EYES SERVICE DISTRICTS
F/re, Rescue Fun
ding Method Appeals To
BY TERRY POPE
To proponents, scrvicc districts
offer a fair way to fund the county's
volunteer fire and rescue units. To
opponents, it's just another tax plan.
"If they understand it, they'll re
alize that it gives them more control
over their tax dollars," said Doug
Lcdgctt, Brunswick County's Emer
gency Medical Services director.
One of the questions on the op
tional exit poll Nov. 5 asks residents
if county commissioners should es
tablish five county service districts
to provide fire protection, ambu
lance scrvice, rescue service and
emergency medical scrvicc, to be
come effective July 1, 1992.
In scrvicc districts, taxes collect
ed arc earmarked to lund fire and
rcscuc units within that district. The
assessment cannot exceed 15 cents
per SICK) of property valuation, as
allowed under North Carolina law.
"It spreads the financial needs out
over all of the taxpayers," said
Ledgett, "and not just among those
that respond to the departments'
Service districts arc also en
dorsed by the Brunswick County
Fire and Rescue Association, said
President Al Nord, of Civielown.
"It's the way of the future for the
entire slate," said Nord. "It's hard.
It's really hard out there in this day
Poll to ask residents if Brunswick
County should establish districts to
fund local volunteer fire and rescue
Currently, cach volunteer fire and
rcseue unit in Brunswick County re
ceives S13,5(X) yearly in county lax
dollars, regardless of whai the de
partments' individual needs arc or
how many emergency calls arc an
swered. Each of the five electoral
districts are allocated S50,(XK) year
ly to be distributed on an emergency
basis to units within the districts as
More than S5(X),(KK) annually is
budgeted for the county's 22 fire
and rescue units, or about two cents
on the tax rate of 68.5 cents per
SKX) of property value.
Bui not all department needs are
the same, said County Manager
Service districts can "help estab
lish uniformity to provide for the
same level of care in each district,"
"The assessment would be inves
tigated by the board on a year-by
year basis in assuring the needs of
each district," said Clegg. "Each
district is independent and stands
alone and must be levied individual
ly by county commissioners."
Slate law gives commissioners
authority to establish servicc dis
tricts to finance bcach erosion con
trol measures, solid waste, fire pro
lection, ambulance scrvicc, and as
amended during the 1991 session of
the General Assembly, emergency
People sometimes confuse ser
vice districts with drainage districts,
as in the controversial CawCaw
Drainage District in southwestern
"There is this horror of it happen
ing again," said Clcgg. "But scrvicc
districts are creatures of the county
commissioners. What the board has
created, it can abolish."
Residents within the CawCaw
Drainage District were assessed to
(See FUNDING, Page 2-A)