Pine Knoll Shores

July 8, 2020

Some may have followed the recent Mayoral appointment in PKS following Ken Jones’ tragic passing.

Most probably have not; but, as voters in your respective municipalities, you might want to be aware that there is a new twist in the way leadership is either voted in or appointed, depending on your town’s process. Beware……or at least be informed.

In PKS, the commissioners have determined that it is less about voter preference, and more about who is next in line that gets the nod. As explained to a constituent by Commissioner Bill Knecht on why Robert Cox would not be appointed as the runner up in the last election: “If Clark (meaning Commissioner Edwards) had not withdrawn from consideration, would this have been his turn as you put it?” The conclusion is the commissioners (at least Mr. Knecht) had decided that it was Mr. Edwards “turn” to be Mayor. Hmmm……

John Brodman packed up all of his possessions and left the building for places south about 18 months ago, resigning his position as PKS Commissioner. I guess (my opinion), since that didn’t work out well, he returns just before this past Christmas with all of his possessions and by inference assumes (again my opinion) that it is now his turn to be mayor. Seems he has the same thought process, since he was a commissioner before stepping down for greener pastures.

Apparently, in PKS there is a pecking order in whose turn it is to be mayor next under an appointment process. The pecking order is: First, the senior elected official (Mr. Edwards) gets to be mayor – although he has never run for mayor. Second is the individual who moves away, then moves back in. There may be a 3rd/4th/5th in the pecking order, but what is not in the pecking order is the runner up from the last election.

My recommendation: In the next municipal election in PKS (2021), the PKS commissioners should state whose turn they think it is to be mayor and save everybody – particularly the voters – the energy of expressing their preference. You wouldn’t even have to fill in a vote on the ballot. It would just state who the commissioners had selected.

That way we could actually plan out for years in advance whose turn it is to be mayor next. This could go out as far as say 2040? Save the money for a campaign; save the personal engagement expended by candidates in the hot summer months knocking on doors to understand people’s issues and save the LTEs and emails to the town manager and commissioners by the voters.

As voter preference has no bearing….wait….wait…. I’m wrong! Commissioner Alicia Durham was appointed by the current PKS commissioners with the encouragement of Mr. Brodman to fill Mr. Brodman’s position – so I am wrong. Voter preference was applied in her case, but not in this case. As explained to me by Commissioner Durham, she was appointed because she represented the young female vote. That’s

interesting, because I also represented in the mayor’s race a very strong young female vote. Many of them voted for Com-missioner Durham…..but now their vote doesn’t count if they voted for me…… I digress.

Last thought: I was informed there was no room for me in the town hall meeting at which I would be considered for appointment, with the room al-ready being full…..to include the already selected John Brod-man. Apparently, the Commissioners had already voted, and since there was no possibility of me being appointed, there was no reason to make room for me.

It was clear the BOC had made up their minds, without following the rules of requiring public comment to allow full consideration before any decision was made. Noting this obvious revelation that a decision had already been made and not wanting to be overtly obvious about it, Mr. Brodman was asked not to attend either. We do want to keep up appearances. And so it goes in PKS.

At the end of the day, there is a quote from a famous gangster movie: “ It’s not personal, it’s just business;” in PKS, it’s not public servants, it’s just politicians.

ROBERT COX

PKS 2019 Mayoral Vote Runner-Up

(1) comment

ps201fall

As a supplement to Mr. Cox's comments, little time was allowed by the town to include comments from second home owners. The majority of these families would learn about the pending event and the opportunity to comment through the News Times. The town made no effort to stimulate input from tax payers. Normally (pre Covid) tax payers simply show up at a Commission meeting and present their comments. Due to Covid, Commission meetings are presented in listen/observe only mode via electronic access. When requested to allow written comments to be submitted up until the day of the meeting (a one day extension) Acting Mayor Clark Edwards would not approve the request. The town should be promoting access to citizens during this time of duress, rather than using Covid as an excuse to stifle citizen input. Needless to say, three quarters of the town's tax payers were not made aware of the opportunity to provide input, the comment period was compressed to a few work days and the town refused to extend the comment period by one day - which would be the normal duration allowed for comment. In sum, don't tell your tax payers what you are going to do, give them as little time as possible (legal minimum), and stifle any request to extend comment. That is a great way to stack the board with no opposition.

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