During the seventies and eighties, Felix Cooper served as New Hanover County’s finance manager and later, its county manager. Following those sixteen years of local service, a subsequent stint as city manager of Key West in Florida, and several years of retirement, the Democrat is throwing his hat in the ring again. This time, he’s vying for a seat on Wilmington’s City Council. And, Cooper is a major proponent of increased synergy between the city council and the county commission.
Skip Watkins says he’s dreamed of serving in public office his whole life. A father, financial advisor and longtime volunteer with the Cape Fear Festival and Expo and the Azalea Festival, Watkins cites frustration over Wilmington City Council’s recent efforts to acquire a minor-league baseball stadium as the catalyst that ultimately spurred him to run for a seat on the Council. If elected, Skip Watkins hopes to provide the City with a dose of what he describes as “fiscal guidance.”
Four years ago, Kevin O’Grady, a retired lawyer and then president of Residents of Old Wilmington, decided to bring some of his neighborhood association’s priorities into the limelight by running for City Council. Since then, the incumbent Democrat says he’s accomplished what he set out to do—enhance public safety, historic preservation, and forestation initiatives throughout downtown Wilmington. But O’Grady, who’s up for reelection, has a host of related civic projects he hopes to see through during a second term.
As City of Wilmington officials prepare the budget for the next fiscal year, nonprofits and arts organizations are working hard to make their case for the well-documented link between economic development and the arts.
The long-debated fate of downtown Wilmington's Water Street parking deck will stretch out another week. On Tuesday, the city council approved $670,000 to repair the parking garage but the vote failed a second reading, which means it will have to be voted on again at next week's city council meeting.
A resolution to spend the money to repair and continue generating revenue from the city-owned deck, located on Water Street between Grace and Chestnut, was on the table.
Wilmington City Councilman Kevin O’Grady held a press conference at City Hall yesterday afternoon to offer an update on negotiations to bring professional baseball to the city. WHQR’s Andrew Jarachovic reports on the progress.