The Dare County Board of Commissioners (BOC) covered a wide range of issues at their January 22 meeting in Manteo
Topics which pertained to the island and/or the local community included the following.
Continued Support for Commercial Fishing
Commissioner Steve House presented a Resolution opposing the effort that is underway by the Marine Fisheries Commission to redefine who is a commercial fisherman. House reported that the agency is in the process of redefining commercial fishing and is considering a move that, among other things, would dictate a percentage of personal income that must be derived from commercial fishing. He explained that this would be devastating to the industry and make fresh, locally caught seafood less accessible to the public. The Board unanimously adopted a Resolution opposing any change in the definition of commercial fishing and Commissioners strongly voiced their objection to this latest move by the Marine Fisheries Commission.
Those in support of our local fishermen are encouraged to submit written comments opposing the proposed changes by Feb. 9 to CommercialLicensesComments@ncdenr.gov. In addition, a public comment period will be held at the NC Marine Fisheries meeting and is scheduled for 6 p.m. on February 14 at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach.
Annual Report from Trillium Health Resources
Dave Peterson, Central Regional Director with Trillium Health Resources, provided an overview about the mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance abuse services provided to the people in Dare County and the other 24 counties that are part of Trillium’s service area. Peterson reported that Trillium’s mission is to transform the lives of people in need by providing ready access to quality care. He noted that last year, over 1,200 people in Dare County were served by Trillium.
Peterson expressed appreciation to Vice Chairman Wally Overman and the local Saving Lives Task Force for their efforts addressing substance abuse in Dare County. At the end of the meeting, Vice Chairman Overman reported that the first in a series of 2018 Town Hall meetings is scheduled for Wednesday, February 7 at the First Flight High School Auditorium. For more information, visit SavingLivesOBX.com.
Dare Soil and Water Quarterly Report
Ann Daisey, Community Conservationist, reported on cost share programs currently being implemented throughout Dare County including stormwater runoff projects, marsh sill projects, rain gardens, a permeable pavement project in Nags Head, and a land smoothing project near East Lake. In addition, she updated the Board about work with ditch clean ups, the Soundside Road Watershed Restoration Project, the 12th annual 5th Grade Bookmark Contest, and technical assistance that has been provided to landowners and municipalities.
Public Information Officer Dorothy Hester and Channels Manager Bobby Dobbs updated the Board about recent CurrentTV initiatives and upgrades that have made high quality local programming available to anyone in the world with an internet connection. The channels are streamed live 24 hours a day, seven days a week and programming is also available on demand via www.currenttv.org.
Support for Protecting the Rights of North Carolina Crime Victims
Commissioners unanimously adopted a Resolution Supporting HB551/SB595, also known as Marsy’s Law. This law will ensure that victims of violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary and larceny receive the same rights that are afforded to criminals and have rights to notification of release, hearings, appropriate restitution, and the right to speak at criminal proceedings.
Community Meeting Scheduled for Monday evening, March 19
The Dare County Board of Commissioners will host a Community Meeting on Monday, March 19 at 7 p.m. in Manteo. Citizens are invited to attend and discuss any topic of interest or concern. Unlike the more formal public comment periods at the Board’s regular meetings, Commissioners will be able to engage and have open dialogue with citizens. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend.
Next Meeting of the Board of Commissioners
The Board of Commissioners’ next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 5 at 9:00 a.m. For more information about the Dare County Board of Commissioners, including full agenda packets and the video of entire meetings, visit darenc.com/boc.