Governing is not easy. But voters elect people to positions of government to make tough decisions in a timely way. What happens when the government fails to act on a major decision?
The New Hanover County Commissioners voted on January 10th of this year to table a proposal from a development group that is looking to build a massive project known as Battleship Point on the West Bank of the Cape Fear River. Tabling a discussion is a way for a governing body to allow more time to gather information about a potential vote and is not uncommon. Unfortunately, the New Hanover County Commission failed to have any more public conversations between January 10th and March 31st.
From flooding to traffic to infrastructure, there are many important questions about development on the West Bank of the Cape Fear River. It is a very complicated situation and our county commissioners should take the time needed to understand and address these issues.. The development of the West Bank will add beauty, housing opportunities and business expansion areas that can only benefit New Hanover. It should be studied carefully.
Yet, how much time is too much time? That is an important question, because while the New Hanover County Commission was failing to move forward in any meaningful way, the development group looked for another option. They turned their attention to the Brunswick County town of Leland. That could be a problem.
What does Leland have to do with land in New Hanover County? Precedent exists in the state of North Carolina for a neighboring municipality to annex property. The Battleship Point development group submitted a request to the Leland Planning Board to do just that – annex property in New Hanover County. Battleship Point is an estimated $487 million development that could bring apartments, condos, a hotel and other commercial space. If Leland annexes that area New Hanover County would lose out on all decisions and tax revenues in relation to that land.
We need strong leadership on the New Hanover County Commission. Republicans have the opportunity to take two seats on the commission in November. Chairwomen Julia Olson-Boseman and Rob Zapple – two liberal progressives – are up for reelection. It is critical that Republicans elect two strong leaders to the New Hanover County Commission in 2022. Two more seats on the commission would give Republicans a 4-1 majority. As New Hanover County and Southeastern North Carolina continue to grow, we need these strong leaders that can make tough decisions in a timely manner,.
The only way to guarantee Republican control of that board is to get involved NOW! Consider volunteering with the New Hanover County Republican Party.