September 2012 Letters To The Editor
New Letters to the Editor....09.20.2012 11:30 am
How to vote for a write-in candidate
Many voters are asking for information about the ins and outs of a write-in candidate.
On the ballot, there are lines for voters to write in a name only in the races in which there is a candidate who has been qualified by the local Board of Elections as being electable. To receive the designation, 100 signatures of voters have to be submitted and certified by the Board of Elections as being legitimately registered Dare County voters.
I accomplished that process in August and am the only valid write-in candidate in any of the local races. The ballot will include a line to write my name in for the District 1 seat on the Dare County Board of Commissioners. There will not be a place to write in names in any of the other races for this board.
One of my chief concerns when deciding whether to attempt to run in this manner was the question of what happens if someone spells my name incorrectly or doesn't use my entire name. I asked the State Board of Elections to answer that question and its response is that this is "intent" that matteras and as long as it is obvious that the voter intends to vote for me, that will be counted. Because I'm the only qualified write-in candidate and therefore the only candidate named Sandy Semans Ross, writing in only "Sandy" will show intent and thus will be counted.
And for those who vote a straight party ticket instead of casting votes race by race, that can be done and still allow writing in my name under District 1. Writing in a name leaves the rest of the votes in place and only overrides that one choice.
You can click here to see a sample ballot for the election.
On Nov. 6, I hope you will vote for open government by writing in my name, but, regardless, I encourage you to vote.
Sandy Semans Ross
Dare County Board of Commissioners, District 1
Dare County continues push against illegal signs at businesses
(Editor’s note: This is a letter sent to Warren Judge, chairman of the Dare County Baord of Commissioners.)
Thank you for your response and for providing me with the details on how this ordinance came to be and its timeline. There was obviously a great deal of energy put into its development more than 11 years ago. One has to question why this has been on the books for all this time, was never implemented, and why it has become a necessity to do so this year with such apparent force and zeal and without regard to the real impact on a weakened business community struggling to survive.
This ordinance was put together prior to Hurricane Isabel, the closing of our beaches, the recession of our countries economy, clogged inlets restricting access, the continuing downward spiral of the value of all real estate, the near death of the construction industry, Hurricane Earl in 2010, Hurricane Irene in 2011 breaching the island, taking away our commerce for the last four months of the year, and the continued weak economy and high unemployment that plagues our county and its economy today.
In light of what has transpired since the sign ordinance was approved in 2003, it is clear that this ordinance is not relevant to the communities that it is being enforced upon 10 years later. This needs to go back to the drawing board if it is to be representative and serve in today’s environment.
While the removal of the sandwich board signs may seem minor to you, the county attorney, and the planning staff, these signs draw customers off the road and into our shops. They do it so effectively that their removal will threaten the viability of some businesses.
In an attempt to placate your first threatening letter and on the advice of my county commissioner, we moved the sign off the right-of-way. We market our wine tasting events on this sign. We do two a week, Wednesday and Thursday evenings through out the season. The week prior to moving the sign, we had 30 people each night. The week after we moved the sign, we had 0 each night. Yes that’s a zero.
From the exposure at the wine tastings we see folks coming back to shop our store and the others in the complex and we have many being referred to our shops. If you don’t think that these signs are important to the survival of our businesses, you are dead wrong. If you continue to pursue striping the businesses of the ability to attract customers, you must be willing to accept the responsibility for their demise.
Warren, I know you to be a bright, compassionate and honorable person who takes responsibility for providing guidance to our communities through your work as a county commissioner and on the many other boards that you have served. It has been a pleasure to serve with you in the past in doing the community’s work. I appeal to your good judgment and the reality of the effect that this decision will have on the business community of Hatteras Island.
If you have waited 10 years to implement a now out-dated ordinance, surely you can stall its enforcement while it is being revised and updated to match the environment and community in today’s reality. I understand it is a lot of work to redo this ordinance, but it is the right thing to do.
The Beacon Shops
Hurricane Irene: One year later
Thank you for sharing the slide show from Hurricane Irene last year. We came to your beautiful island, as always, last year in October, just before the bridge was finished.
We must all be reminded that your fragile island sees the best of nature -- and also her temper!
Guest Column: Special interest groups are destroying Hatteras Island
The assertions made would gain much more support if the writer did not try to sound like he was a framer of the Constitution. I agree with most that was said, but the self-aggrandizing language is a real turnoff.
Mid-Currituck Bridge: Build it and they will come -- and come and come
If you want to "save" the place, head down to Hatteras and grab yourself a few dozen piping plovers and a loggerhead turtle or two. Scatter them around up in Carova and call the Audubon Society and the Southern Environmental Law Center. Tell them that you've seen a guy with a Bud Light, smoking a Marlboro Light and kicking sand on a plover and shining his flashlight on turtle hatchlings. In no time at all, there will be bulldozers knocking down all the houses in Carova, and miles of rope and paper signs forbidding all but Audubon Society members from setting foot anywhere north of Corolla.
Guest Column: A family’s safety for the birds?
What a lot of hoo-hah from the NPS. Birds (not even endangered birds) over people. Just another reason I'll never support NPS or the EPA in any of their endeavors again!
Newport News, Va.