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Fri September 29, 2006
Delair and Hearne Square Off
By Catherine M. Welch
Wilmington, NC – Wilmington City Council candidate J. C. Hearne says he thinks it's too early to tell if the proposed convention center design is on the right course.
Hearne made the remark last night at a WHQR, Star-News city council candidate debate with challenger Pat Delair.
Hearne says the city has the city has to wait on the contract with Armada Hoffler to see where exactly the next steps will lead. He says by the time the convention center is built there will be between 8 and 10 million dollars banked to off-set operating losses.
And I will remind everybody that we are in the convention center business right now. About three blocks from here we have a place called the coastline convention center. The city subsidizes that operation. And I wish the same amount of interest were enthralled in that entity.
Challenger Pat Delair says her issue with the convention center is that she believes the city is gambling with taxpayers' money on an enterprise that may or may not make a profit.
Delair says she thinks Wilmington needs more parks downtown. She says she wants to see more softball fields around the city and that she's behind the idea to turn Thalian Hall's parking lot into a park.
Hopefully we can negotiate with the county on the purchase of that property, and there's also been some discussion on buying back the parking deck on Water Street near Bijou park. I think that's a priority.
Current sitting council member J.C. Hearne says he's a supporter of Thalian Park and the next step is to get the county behind the idea.
The special election for the Wilmington City Council seat is October 10th.