BEAUFORT — Town officials have given county leaders a deadline to make appointments to the town’s planning board and board of adjustment.

“The Town hereby notifies the Carteret County Board of Commissioners of its intent to fill the vacant Town Planning Board seat and the two vacancies on the Board of Adjustment designated for a resident of the Town’s ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction) if, within 90 days of receipt of this Resolution, the Carteret County Board of Commissioners does not fill the vacancy,” reads part of a resolution Beaufort commissioners approved at their Monday evening regular session at the Broad Street train depot.

The town board passed the resolution as part of their consent agenda, a list of housekeeping action items that don’t typically require board discussion.

At issue are the town’s vacant seats that are meant to provide representation for residents who live within the town’s ETJ. The ETJ is the part of city outside but immediately adjacent to city limits.

While the town board has the authority to appoint members from within the town limits, ETJ-designated seats fall under the purview of the county. The town’s intent to move forward with ETJ appointments, pending the county’s response, could have legal implications for both entities and local governments across the state. 

As the town waits for the county’s response, Beaufort officials continue trying to fill vacancies that fall under the town’s jurisdiction.

The town board appointed three people to the planning board and an additional to the Historic Preservation Commission during Monday’s meeting.

“We have six applicants for the planning board and two for Historic Preservation,” Mayor Rett Newton said.

Of the six planning board applicants, two of them were sitting members, Ryan Neve and Paula Gillikin.

“I have a strong personal and professional connection to Beaufort and sound knowledge of its geography, history and culture,” Ms. Gillikin wrote to town commissioners. “My family, the Gillikins, have a long history residing in the county with over 280 years in the greater Beaufort township area and approximately 100 years within the corporate limits of the town.”

The town board unanimously opted to reappoint both members to the board in addition to resident John Lo Piccolo. Mr. Lo Piccolo works as a podiatrist at local business Carteret Foot and Ankle.

Commissioner John Hagle suggested Mr. Lo Piccolo’s appointment, which was subsequently approved unanimously by the town board.

John Stephens of Moonrakers will serve a term on the HPC. Joining him is Robert Terwilliger, who town commissioners reappointed. Both candidates received unanimous approval from the board.

“To me it’s exciting,” Mr. Terwilliger, who attended Monday’s meeting said. “I look forward to continuing the work that we started. We made some significant progress, we’re going to look at the guidelines this year…I’m excited about it, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be a good year.”

All of Monday’s appointees will serve terms of three years, which formally start Saturday, Feb. 1.

While the town made a dent in filling vacancies, one additional seat has come under consideration.  

“The Town of Beaufort Board of Commissioners are accepting applications for a vacancy on the Historic Preservation Commission,” reads an email from Town Clerk Michele Davis. “This appointment will be to serve an unexpired term ending January 31, 2021.”

Town staff confirmed the seat belonged to prominent resident Nancy Francis-Heckman, who died Jan. 6.

To apply for the opening, visit beaufortnc.org

Contact Dean-Paul Stephens at 252-726-7081, ext. 232; email Dean@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @DeanPEStephens.

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