Morehead City, N.C.
May 24, 2021
TO THE EDITOR:
At the City Council’s Starling / Osteen rezoning hearing on Wednesday, Councilwoman Diane Warrender stated that she was voting to support the rezoning request, as her primary duties were to the tax-paying residents of the town, and not to those who chose to live outside of its borders in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ).
She stated, with some measure of distaste, that “these people” (those in Spooners Creek opposing the rezoning) had chosen to live outside of the town borders, and were receiving free services from Morehead City like police and fire protection, without paying taxes. I would like to quote her directly, but she has not responded to my request for a copy of her written remarks.
For the record, we do not receive any free services from Morehead City. Policing for Spooners Creek and others in the ETJ is provided by the Carteret County Sheriff’s Department, and while our fire and rescue services are provided by Morehead, a portion of our property taxes – an amount clearly indicated on our bills – is used to reimburse the city for these services.
Shame on you, Diane – you’ve been on the town council for 10 years and you haven’t figured out how this works?
Make no mistake, the people of Spooners Creek and other neighborhoods in the ETJ love Morehead City. Some of us work there, own businesses in Morehead that pay property taxes, and we do the majority of our shopping and dining out in the city. All of the Spooners Creek people that spoke in opposition to the rezoning last Wednesday volunteer and contribute to a number of organizations working to make Morehead City a great place to live.
I am surprised a long-time councilwoman and former Planning Director for the Chamber of Commerce does not understand that incorrectly painting all of those that live on the outskirts of town as a bunch of freeloaders can be very bad for business.
(The facts in this letter were verified by the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office and Carteret County Fire Commissioner’s Office.)