Beaufort, N.C.

Mar.29, 2021

TO THE EDITOR:

I have been following the pending sale of the Carteret County Water System in the area north of Beaufort. It appears this decision was made in secret.

I have reviewed all the available formal meetings of the Carteret County Board of Commissioners (BOC) including closed sessions of the last 15 months and compared these dates with available emails concerning sale of the water system.

There is a peculiar clustering of the closed meetings and emails related to the sale of water system. This is particularly so around the BOC meetings of June 1, June 15, October 19, and November 16. For several days before and after these meetings emails concerning the water system were sent or received.

Unlike the sale of all other properties, no conversation about the sale of the water system could be found in the open meetings. Therefore I am left to assume these conversations either occurred during the closed sessions or did not occur at all which would beg the question as to whom is making decisions for the county.

Going back to the closed meetings, the excuse given for these closed meetings were not clearly compatible with the North Carolina General Statute rules except for one meeting September 21 which interestingly had no temporally associated emails concerning the water system.

The public is very concerned that they have not been informed about this process and in trying to track down some information have been left totally empty-handed.

The public continues to feel that it is imperative for the government, any government, to communicate effectively and transparently with the public who placed them in the position to deliberate and govern. To date this has not happened.

Let me re-ask the question once again. How did Carteret commissioners come to the view that the water system needed to be sold and who made that decision, was it by the staff or by the board of commissioners? Without knowing which of these the public is left to conclude that perhaps a third group of people are making these decisions. And that group is remaining silent.

The appearance is that there is a concerted effort by the staff and/ or the board of commissioners to keep the public in the dark concerning the financial aspects of the water system and its sale.

Only a few scattered details are apparent. In the March 15,2021 BOC meeting at 3:16:12 Mr. Chadwick stated “We elected to go out and seek bids.” When and where was that action taken? It isn’t in any of the minutes availabe to the public.

At the same meeting 2:31:44 the manager Tommy Burns was directly asked by Mr. Mansfield if the county solicited bids. Mr. Burns avoided a direct answer. When and where these conversations occurred is hidden from the public.

It is imperative that his cloak of secrecy be lifted to allow for an open conversation so that we can move Carteret County into the future in an honest transparent way. Tell us what you are doing. We can handle it.

ROBERT HARPER

(3) comments

David Collins

The numerous signs that your commissioners have allowed to proliferate up and down the highways might lend a clue . Ie Paddy buys homes and this and that . A real class act by them indeed . With this in mind , why not a less than above board decision to shed responsibility to a private , for profit ,oh yeah profit from what people have to have, company . Yes ,those concerned and beyond need to be heard . Legal avenues need to be considered . Names on the board might well need to be changed , following legal action . Yeah , I hate the legal part but in these days what else works ?

DeadBolt

Despite the actual event, ie: the blatant hiding or lack of telling, etc, i honestly don't know which , if either, would be a more 'competitive' rate in the end? The government locally still has authority to monitor, and fine ultimately , if the company gets out of hand . So, despite the 'lack of knowledge part', which is a separate issue, simply binding this topic it may be something the community in question asks the 3rd party for their benefit? ie: what exactly are the possible new terms, and increase/decrease possibility's? (benefits, and loss?) Dunno?

beachmami13

I'd love to know where the profit from the sale will go as well. Will it be spent honestly or frittered away at pet projects who benefit those who made this happen in the first place?

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