North Carolina Newspapers

    Are You Ready?
June 1 marks the start of the 1 992
hurricane season. A two-page section
in this issue includes a tracking map
and preparation tips, in case a storm
threatens. Pages 6-A, 7-A.
Waccamaw Champs!
Coach Tracey James is all smiles after
West Brunswick wraps up the
Waccamaw Conference Softball
championship Friday. Details are on
ie 9-B.
Hats Off To Grads!
More than 500 boys and girls will
graduate from three high schools
next week. A special section inside
features senior class photos,
commencement details and profiles.
THE
N|- ?
Thirtieth Year, Number 30
??fW THt MJNOMOC BEACON
Shollotte, North Carolina, Thursday, May 28, 1992
50 <t Per Copy
50 Pages, 4 Sections, 2 Inserts
Surprise Move Makes Gause
District 1 School Candidate
ti
* i <
BY MARJORIE MKGIVERN
The naming of a Democrat candi
date last Thursday to replace Sam
Fletcher Frink on the District 1
school board slate did not take the
direction many expected.
After two meetings of special
groups, 48-year
old retiree Thur
man Gausc of
Grissettown be
came the choice
of the executive
committee of
Brunswick
County's
Democrat i?rty.
When Frink,
representing
District 1, withdrew from the race,
in which he would have faced
Republican Janet Pope in Novem
ber, party leaders began juggling
names and interested candidates
emerged. Vernon Ward was one of
these; other names mentioned were
Bud Thorscn and Moses Stanley.
Two nights before the scheduled
meeting of the executive committee,
where a choice would be made, a
group of black Democrats gathered
to put forward a black candidate to
succeed Frink, who is white. Stanley
begged off, pleading the constraints
of his job with DuPont. Gause, who
serves as president of the Brunswick
County Citizens Association, was
asked to allow his name to be rec
ommended.
The next night. District 1 Dem
ocrats got together and were asked
to support Gause before the commit
tee. Ward, who had been an eager
contender, agreed to accept the will
of district leaders and withdraw his
own name from consideration.
"Gause didn't want to run, but he
agreed to do it," Ward commented.
The night of May 20, Ward felt
moved to express his feelings about
the choice, having wrestled for 24
hours with his feeling that Gause
was not the right candidate.
'The more 1 thought about it, the
more I believed it was done wrong"
he said later in an interview. At the
meeting of the executive committee,
made up of chairmen and vice-chair
men of every county precinct, Ward
spoke out.
"I told the committee they
weren't choosing Thurman because
of his qualifications or what he
could do for the children, nor be
cause he was electable, but because
he was black and because of votes
he could bring in for other Demo
crats."
Despite this admonition, the com
mittee named Gause to the Novem
ber ballot.
Questioned later, Gause denied
his lack of interest in the candidacy,
as well as a lack of qualifications.
"It depends on what people think
it takes to be a school board mem
ber," he said. "All you need is com
mon sense; you don't necessarily
need to be an educated person, but
should just have an interest in chil
dren."
Gause is a native of Brunswick
County and a graduate of the old
Union High School at Shallotte. He
went directly from graduation to a
job with Brunswick Electric in 1963,
the first black to work there, he said.
He has also worked as a sheriffs de
tective, in the insurance business and
as a longshoreman, from which he
recently retired. He is the father of
three children, two of whom are in
collcgc and another about to enter.
"I wasn't talked into this school
board race," Gausc said. "I'd have
been on the ticket before, but didn't 1
think 1 could win bccause it's too
expensive. I ran twice for county
commissioner. Black candidates just
can't get clcctcd here."
Eileen Kellagher of Long Beach
was one of the executive committee
members present Thursday who was
disgusted with the outcome.
"We thought it would be Vernon
Ward," she said. "Then we heard the
blacks had met and come up with
Gausc. 1 can understand why, but
everyone was hoping it would be
Moses Stanley; he would be a great
candidate.
"Gausc is definitely not well qual
ified for the job. The word was put
out from the Wednesday meeting
that the blacks would vote a straight
Republican ticket if they didn't get
Gausc."
Stanley explained his reluctance
to accept a nomination. "1 wouldn't
have minded taking it, but my work
is pretty involved," he said. "It's a
24-hour responsibility. People have
been coming to me for years to run
for the county commission or school
board. I've worked hard in the
Democrat party, though. I've been
precinct chairman and vice-chair
man of the county Democrats."
Ward pointed out that the May 20
District 1 meeting was ignored by
all elected officials in the county.
"Rep. David Redwine was invited to
be there," he said, "and so was Pollv
Russ (school board member), but
they did not attend. There were no
elected officials taking part in the
vote to recommend Thurman
Gause."
Holden Beach Commissioners
Nearing Close Of Budget Talks
BY DOUG RUTTER
Holden Bcach officials expected to wrap up their
budget talks this week after a series of number-crunching
sessions that have consumed approximately 22 hours
over the last three weeks.
"We're about to the end here, we're getting close,"
Town Manager Gary Parker said following a 3 1/2-hour
workshop Tuesday morning. "Next meeting will proba
bly do it."
That meeting is planned for today (Thursday) at 8:30
a.m. in town hall. Parker said commissioners hope to
cor.ie up with a proposed spending plan they can take to
a public hearing.
The preliminary 1992-93 budget features a tax rate of
18 cents per SI 00 of property. That's the same rate that
has been used for the last two years.
However, the lax rate was raised from 14 cents to 18
cents two years ago with the promise that three cents
would be used to rebuild the fund balance and dropped in
two years.
Commissioner Sid Swarts said Tuesday the town
board is working to cut the three pennies, but it hasn't
agreed on a tax rate yet
"The whole objective is to get the tax rate down," he
said.
Commissioners received a revised copy of Parker's
proposed budget Tuesday incorporating all of the
changes that have been made since the town board start
ing reviewing the plan May 8.
Commissioners discussed the town pay plan Tuesday
and the possibility of paying off the bank loan that was
used to buy the Davis Street house. The town uses the
house for its police department headquarters.
The town board also met last Wednesday and Friday,
discussing everything from occupancy tax expenses and
overtime pay to a new health insurance plan and a paint
"I think the public has an
erroneous impression that
there is a lot of fat in
government when actually
the opposite is the case."
? Gary Parker
Town Manager
job for the water tank.
Occupancy Tax
Commissioners spent much of their workshop Friday
talking about proposed uses of the occupancy tax, which
is paid by tourists who rent cottages. Parker expects
$215,000 in revenue next fiscal year.
Proposed expenses include $44,000 for police,
$40,000 for sidewalks, $25,000 for sanitation, S20.000
for administration, $15,000 for street lights and $10,000
for the fire department.
Other possible uses include $8,700 for beach patrol,
$7,000 for the South Brunswick Islands Chamber of
Commerce, $6,000 for acccssways, $5,300 for water res
cue, $3,600 for sanitation salaries, $2,500 for the Greater
Holden Beach Merchants Association and $1 ,000 for the
rescue squad.
The town board has also proposed putting $15,000 of
occupancy tax money in two special reserve funds.
Commissioners want to put $5,000 aside for water
fund system improvements and $10,000 in a parks and
recreation fund. Town officials said the $10,000 could be
(See BUDGET, Page 2-A)
STAFF PHOTO BY DOUG R UTTER
Picture Perfect Holiday
Tourists enjoyed a picture perfect Memorial Day weekend across the South Brunswick Islands. Con
ditions were ideal for fishing, swimming, sunning and relaxing. This was the view from Surfside Pav
ilion at // olden Beach Saturday.
COUNTY PLAN REFLECTS LESSONS LEARNED
Changes Give Brunswick A New
Edge In Hurricane Readiness
BY ERIC CARLSON
As the 1992 hurricane season begins, Brunswick
County will be better prepared for a major storm than
ever before, thanks to the latest in computer Hood mod
els, a new emergency operations facility, 91 1 phone ser
vice and a few lessons learned from Hurricane Hugo.
Brunswick Emergency Management Coordinator
Cecil Logan Tuesday outlined recent improvements in
hurricane preparedness and explained how the county
gets ready for an approaching storm.
"I guess the biggest improvement from my standpoint
is that this time we'll have enough room to move,"
Logan said. "During Hugo we operated out of three little
rooms and a hallway."
Since then the county has completed its emergency
operations center at the county complex in Bolivia. The
building houses a vast array of sophisticated new com
munications equipment that will become the central
command post during a hurricanc. Large diesel genera
tors will assure back-up electrical service in the likely
event of a power outage.
The building's spacious garage area will become the
staging point for emergency workers and vehicles. In a
lengthy emergency, temporary sleeping quarters and
food lines could be set up, Logan said.
" I think one of the big lessons
of Hurricane Hugo, at least
for the general public, was
realizing just how far a storm
like that will inundate an
area."
? Cecil Logan, Coordinator
Emergency Management
In the center's briefing room, a wall-sized projection
screen can project updated computer-generated maps of
a storm's progress. Data from the latest computer mod
eling studies show which areas of the county need to be
evacuated during various types of storms.
The computer uses a program called "Hurrcvac," de
veloped by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the
Federal Emergency Management Agency with data sup
plied by state of North Carolina and Brunswick County.
(Set A NKW EDGE, Page 2- A)
County Suspends Permit For Holden Beach House
BY DOUG RUTTER
Couniy health officials have suspended a scplic lank
permit for a Holden Beach residence, saying the ocean
front cottage has more bedrooms than the permit allows.
The permit issued for a four-bedroom house at 137
Ocean Blvd. West was yanked because the home actual
ly has six bedrooms, according to an April 28 letter from
the Brunswick County Health Department.
A contested hearing on the case was cxpected to be
held Wednesday in Raleigh, said the county's environ
mental health supervisor, Andrew Robinson.
The county suspended the permit of Jimmie and
Hazel Monroe of Holden Beach effective May 19, fol
lowing a final inspection of the on-site sewage disposal
system, according to the health department letter.
Robinson said the home lias six bedrooms and the
scplic system can only accommodate die number of peo
pic who would be cxpcctcd to live in four bedrooms.
Stale septic tank regulations are based on the water
flow expected from two people per bedroom, which
means eight people could stay in a four-bedroom house
and 12 could stay in a six-bedroom house.
Robinson said the county health department considers
six rooms in the house as bedrooms because they each
have doors, windows, closets and access to a bathroom.
He also said the house has been advertised to sleep 12
people.
"The system just wasn't designed for that many peo
ple," Robinson said. The county suspends septic tank
permits whenever someone exceeds what their permit
allows without health department approval.
For years, Holden Beach officials have been com
plaining about the lack of enforcement by the health de
partment, and talking about ways to control the over
crowding of homes, particularly cottagcs rented during
the summer.
Houses intended to accommodate six or eight people
are often advertised and rented to sleep 10 or 12. The
extra people put a strain on septic systems, which can
lead to pollution and other health problems.
Several members of the Holden Beach Property
Owners Association Board of Directors said the move
was a "step in the right direction" at their meeting
Saturday.
Holden Beach Building Inspector Dwight Carroll,
who also serves on the HBPOA board, briefly men
tioned the health department action at the Memorial Day
weekend meeting.
Carroll said town policy prevents him from question
ing what is presented on building plans. He's not al
lowed to interpret plans, even when it appears a room la
bclcd as a den on a blueprint will be used as a bedroom.
"Finally the county has got someone with intestinal
fortitude," Carroll said at Saturday morning's meeting.
Holdcn Beach Commissioners Sid Swarts, who has
been among those who has accused the health depart
ment of ignoring abases in the past, said Tuesday the
county has "taken the lead" in this case.
Swans chairs a committee that's looking into septic
systems abuses on the island. He said he hopes the town
and county can work together to control the problems
associated with overcrowding.
"We're sort of watching like everyone else to see
what happens with this one," Swarts said of the case.
As part of the committee's work, Holdcn Beach is
compiling a list of all septic tanks on the island to docu
ment what exists. The information will be ascd later to
determine who might be abusing their system.
    

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