New Hanover County Commission

New Hanover County’s Board of Commissioners has three open seats this year.  Here are the three Republicans vying for those spots – which carry four-year terms.

Guests in order of appearance:

Derrick Hickey, seeking first term

Patricia Kusek, seeking first term

Woody White, seeking second term

Segment 1

Campbell Dodd

There are seven Republicans hoping to win one of three spots on the November ballot for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners.  One of those candidates, Campbell Dodd, is taking his second run at county office.  As this Wilmington-based real estate appraiser explains, he has his eye on bringing more industry to the region and quelling the very public divides on the Board. 

www.patriciakusek.com

Patricia Kusek is running for one of three seats in the Republican primary for New Hanover County Commissioner.  

Cape Fear Community College

In the March 15th primary, Republican John Babb is hoping to win one of three spots on the November ballot for New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. 

New Hanover County

Woody White is seeking a second four-year term as a New Hanover County Commissioner.  He’s competing against six other Republican candidates for one of three open seats in the March 15th primary. 

The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners has a new chair:  Beth Dawson takes the helm after a narrow three-to-two vote at Monday's meeting. 

Skip Watkins nominated Woody White for Chair; White seconded the motion. 

Jonathan Barfield nominated Beth Dawson – as he promised publicly that he would a year ago.  This was widely expected after Dawson helped Barfield to the Chairmanship in a three-to-two vote last year.   The local Republican Party blasted Dawson last December for that move.

New Hanover County Commissioners have rejected a proposed limit on travel expenses for Board Members. 

At Monday's regular meeting, Commissioner Woody White suggested travel decisions be shaped by the answers to three questions.

"Is the travel, whether it’s by a commissioner or particularly by employees or department heads and so forth, is it necessary for licensing and certification?  Secondly, is the topic of the conference relevant to an issue we’re addressing?"

photographer: Billy Hathorn

New Hanover County residents will see a two-cent property tax increase in the next fiscal year. 

Cape Fear Community College

Does this region need a new facility on the Cape Fear Community College campus – built courtesy of New Hanover County taxpayers? 

Tri-County Economic Alliance In The Works

Aug 26, 2014
Isabelle Shepherd

It has oft been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are banding together to create a marketing alliance between Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties. 

New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger--who was charged with a DWI in February--is likely looking at a four-month prison sentence. Following Berger’s arrest in Avery County this week for violating his parole, and possessing numerous weapons and drug paraphernalia, the commissioner made an appearance in court this afternoon—via video from the county jail.

New Hanover County could finally adopt a less stringent special use permit—or SUP—which is what industrial businesses need in order to operate. Tonight, after several months and multiple drafts, the county planning department is bringing its final version—which was unanimously approved by the planning board--before the county commission. But before they vote on it, citizens will be granted a public comment period. And, both champions and opponents of the new draft are anticipating big crowds and vehement participation.

Industrial businesses looking to call New Hanover County home may soon be required to hold public meetings as part of the special use permit -- or SUP – process. And the SUP is what they need to launch or expand operations. This is one among several changes that the county planning board unanimously recommended at last night’s public hearing on the most recent SUP draft—an update of a version that was tabled in January. And community stakeholders on both sides of the issue—business leaders and environmental advocates—say this new draft presents a compromise they can live with.

Local Legislators Support Higher Teacher Pay

Feb 4, 2014

North Carolina’s public schoolteachers have a new advocate. The group Aim Higher N.C. formed last year around a single objective: Raising educators’ salaries to match the national average. On Monday, affiliated teachers and parents gathered for a rally at Wilmington’s downtown library. And the mission has already gained local legislative support.

Berger Pleads Guilty, Keeps County Commission Seat

Feb 3, 2014
New Hanover County

New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger will spend the next year under supervised probation—or, failing that, 120 days in prison. This morning, Berger pleaded guilty to December charges, including his second DWI, and a first for drug possession. While he will have to do community service and undergo formal drug and substance abuse evaluation, Berger can no longer legally be removed from his seat on the county commission.

New Hanover County

Woody White is hoping to represent North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District in Washington. 

WHQR

New Hanover County is on the verge of out-sourcing its trash operations.  

Wilmington's Hillcrest Community is a medium-sized public development. / WHA

For the first time ever, the Wilmington Housing Authority is applying for a competitive, thirty-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD—and they want to make it a community affair. Today the Housing Authority gathered city and county leaders at the Hillcrest development to strategize on winning a Choice Neighborhood Grant. It’s part of an effort, as WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports, to transform housing projects into areas indistinguishable from the surrounding city.

WHQR News / Data provided by Wave Transit

Over the summer, New Hanover County cut WAVE Transit’s funding significantly from the previous year, resulting in the likely closures of routes serving northern New Hanover County and Pleasure Island. However, WAVE was granted slightly more state funding this year for its Rural Operating Assistance Program. But since WAVE won’t be able to use that money to help salvage the routes in question, it will likely extend their current closure date—September thirtieth—until after WAVE’s board meets with the New Hanover County Commission to make final decisions in October.

Live Oak Bancshares opened its corporate headquarters in Wilmington five years ago. 

New Hanover County

Brian Berger will be left to serve out his term on the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners with no further effort to oust him. 

NHCo. Sheriff's Office

Throughout recent legal battles concerning New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger’s fitness for public office, mental health has been a central topic. At a news conference last week, Commission Chairman Woody White said the commission had heard nothing from Berger regarding whether he needed or had received mental health counseling. White cited Berger’s incoherent emails, conspiracy fixations and erratic behavior as grave concerns that responsible leaders could not ignore.

The elections for New Hanover County Commissioner don’t happen until next year, and the filing period for candidates doesn’t open until February, but the race is already getting underway. 

In a Facebook posting over the Labor Day weekend, Democratic Candidate Rob Zapple announced his candidacy and updated his campaign website. 

New Hanover County

Embattled New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is likely on his way out. 

Chairman Woody White called for Berger’s resignation last month after a series of actions over the last several weeks by Berger that alarmed the Board – including the public accosting of Governor Pat McCrory during a ceremony at Cape Fear Community College. 

The Board voted last night to censure Berger and to file an amotion.  Just before the vote, Commissioner Thomas Wolfe castigated Berger for refusing to step down.

" I think the best you could do is resign.  You’ve brought shame and dishonor upon this council.  And I'm mad about it and I don't want to put up with it anymore."

Brian Berger interrupted, saying, "We're going to have to disagree on that, and..."

Thomas Wolfe fired back.

"Well, of course we are.  You can't see where you've done anything wrong.  You think you're a white knight on a shining horse.  Well, I got news for you Mr. Berger.    You're not.  You're a disgrace.  Do the community the right thing.  Stand up like a man and resign."

At a news conference Friday afternoon, New Hanover County Commission Chair Woody White called for Brian Berger’s resignation.  The call came after a series of recent incidents that have heightened concerns about the safety of county staffers and what some are calling Berger’s deteriorating mental condition. 

NHCo. Commission approves group to study HB 438

Jan 23, 2013
New Hanover County

New Hanover County will begin looking at whether or not it should consolidate two major agencies: the departments of health and social services. The board of commissioners approved the creation of a committee to study the many options of House bill 438.

The group will consist of a patchwork of county interests, including existing boards of health and human services, UNCW, and the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Chairman Woody White voted in favor of the group but says there’s no need to rush into a decision.

After proving to be an especially hot topic during election season,  economic development now tops the agendas for national, state, and local leaders. 

Spirited public debates on the issue recently centered on whether a baseball stadium would revitalize downtown Wilmington or if Titan Cement should operate a facility in Castle Hayne.

In a recent interview, Woody White, newly-appointed as Chairman of New Hanover County’s Commission, offered his strategy for growing the local economy. 

New Hanover County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution last night to request port enhancement zones in the county.  If approved by the Secretary of Commerce, the three zones would provide higher tax incentives to businesses willing to expand or relocate in those areas. 

One potential zone is near the Port of Wilmington, one is in Castle Hayne, and the third is near U.S. Highway 421 – east of Castle Hayne.

New Hanover County

When New Hanover County Board Chairman Woody White took office December 3rd, he had a slew of issues he planned to address as a new community leader. 

NHCo. Sheriff's Office

Embattled New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger is facing yet another legal issue after his arrest early this morning on a DWI charge.   

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