11 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Special Meeting 10/29/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet » click here

Supplemental Information:
Rives & Associates Response Letter
Jay Sharpe, Rives & Associates Response Email
Transcript of the Town Attorney’s Oral Report

Audio Recording » click here

1. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3)
. a)
Town Attorney Report with Respect to Allegations of Fraud and Professional Misconduct by the Town’s Auditor, Rives and Associates, LLP, Raised by Mayor Holden at October 15, 2019 Regular Meeting of the BOC and in Subsequent Public Statements (the “Fraud Allegations”) – Commissioners Butler & Freer
. b)
Discussion and Possible Action with Respect to Public Release of Town Attorney Report and Related Materials – Commissioners Butler and Freer

2. Public Comment with Respect to Special Meeting Agenda Items

3. Discussion and Determination with Respect to the Creditability of and / or Possible Further Action Required with Respect to the Fraud Allegations – Commissioner Butler

4. Discussion and Possible Action Directing the Audit Committee (or a subcommittee of the Audit Committee) to: (i) Review the Sources of the Fraud Allegations and Report to the BOC; (ii) Recommend Any Appropriate Sanctions; and (iii) Recommend Remedial Policies or Procedures with Respect to Obstruction, Interference or Non-Cooperation in Connection with Audits, Investigations or Reviews of the Town’s Financial Affairs – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –

Anonymous Letter

September 26,2019

Town of Holden Beach
110 Rothschild Street
Holden Beach, NC 28462
Attn: Mayor J. Alan Holden

Dear Mayor Holden,

After reading Lou’s Views, regarding the selection of an External Audit Firm, I am writing as a concerned citizen. If you conduct an Internet search for “Rives & Associates, LLC Law suits”, here are a few examples of what was revealed: their firm was found guilty of fraud by PCTEL, sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.

An external audit conducted by Rives & Associates would not be viewed with credibility, due to the number of law suits and dishonest business practices listed.

According to Lou’s Views the vote was: A decision was made- Approved (3- 2)
Commissioners Kwiatkowski and Sullivan both voted against retaining Rives as our auditor.

I’m certain the Commissioners that approved retaining Rives & Associates LLC as the External Audit Firm are apparently unaware. Please share the information with the Commissioners and reconsider.

Peter Freer / Joe Butler
Town of Holden Beach Commissioners

October 22, 2019

Subject:  Special Meeting of the Board of Commissioners – Request for You to Attend

Dear Mr. Richardson:

As you are aware, last Tuesday evening, October 15, 2019, at the end of the Town of Holden Beach Board of Commissioners Meeting, Mayor Alan Holden read an anonymous letter that he received by mail in his capacity as Mayor. Although he proposed to introduce the letter into the minutes of the meeting, he did not provide a copy to you or any of the Commissioners. We requested a copy from the Town Clerk and received it today.

The anonymous letter states that the accounting firm of Rives & Associates, the Town’s Auditor has “been found guilty of fraud by PCTEL [SIC], sued by former partners, and scheduled to go to trial in December 2019 for dishonest business practices.”

The subject matter was introduced under the Mayor’s Comments at the end of the meeting and was therefore not subject to debate. The Mayor did not provide copies in advance, even though  the  letter is dated September  26,     It  seems apparent that the purpose of the Mayor’s statement and the introduction of his “anonymous  poison pen letter” was to  discredit  the  reputation  of  the Town’s auditor and three of the Commissioners currently standing for re-election, Butler, Fletcher  and  Freer.   It is expected that the audit will again find a Material Weakness and a Significant Deficiency.

Inappropriate conduct and political considerations aside, we believe that the Mayor’s accusations must be taken very seriously and must be fully investigated as expeditiously as possible. When he read from this letter, he was clearly doing so in his official capacity as Mayor during the conduct of a Regular Meeting of the Board of Commissioners. The allegations read by the Mayor are on their face libelous and defamatory of a professional firm whose business depends largely upon its reputation for professional and fiduciary propriety.  Since the Mayor claims the letter is anonymous and he does not know the author or source he endorsed its contents with the full weight of his office, as Mayor.

While the underlying facts are still not completely known, it appears that the allegations were false.

We propose to schedule a Special Meeting of the BOC for the earliest feasible date and time to review and, if appropriate, take action with respect to this matter.

Your presence as Town Attorney at this meeting is, of course, essential. We are writing to determine your availability before we call for the Special Meeting. Given the time sensitivity, and the fact that the Mayor continues to repeat these allegations in public, this is a matter of urgency. Please let us know by reply email your earliest availability.

So that you may be more fully prepared for the meeting, we are attaching a copy of the letter read by the Mayor. We think it would be very helpful if you could review the Mayor’s statements and be prepared to advise the BOC as to the status of any claims made or criminal or civil cases pending against our auditor. At a minimum please check with the LGC as they approve our Audit contract as well as the final audit. Please also be prepared to advise the BOC with  respect to appropriate   actions  to   protect   the  Town,  both   in  the  event  that  Rives & Associates is, in fact, guilty of fraud and professional misconduct as the Mayor has claimed, or in the event that the Mayor’s claims are unfounded and/or  libelous.

Finally, we believe it is important that as Town Attorney  you contact the Mayor immediately  and take custody of the  original letter  and any related  emails or other  documents; these are, of  course, public  records  delivered  to  him  in his official capacity — not correspondence of  Mr. Holden’s in his private capacity. Given questions that have already been raised about this letter, its authenticity and the Town’s potential liability, it is critical that we preserve all relevant evidence.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please advise us of the dates and times you would be available by reply email. If you should have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to call either of us.

Commissioner Peter Freer, Executive Secretary
Commissioner Joe Butler

CPA Verify Firm Report Results







License/Permit/Certificate Number:

Registration Number:

License/Permit/Certificate Status:

License/Certificate Status Details:
A person who possesses a North Carolina certificate of qualification and who has not otherwise been granted Retired, Inactive, or Conditional status.

License Type:

License Type details:

Basis for License:
Entity created by CPA’s for the practice of public accounting.

Issue Date:
2008 11-19

Expiration Date:
2019 12·31

Enforcement, Non-Compliance or Disciplinary Actions:
None Reported To This Site By The Board

Mayor’s Comments

Previously reported – October 2019
Mayor Holden received and read an anonymous letter about the Town’s auditor Rives & Associates alleging fraud and pending lawsuits which he asked to be entered into the minutes and also asked that the BOC’s members be provided a copy.  The bombshell letter references Lou’s Views as the source of information that the firm was selected, and which Commissioners voted for that auditor.  This is another election campaign false narrative. What they neglected to say is that this did not come up during the selection process, the audit committee recommended that firm and the Commissioners that voted no did so based on past performance and cost. In general, Rives & Associates is a well-known and respected firm. It appears that they have their firm set up with what looks like separate “franchises” and the one from Raleigh that we are using is not involved in any litigation – other than being a “franchise” of the firm.  In other words, it has nothing to do with them.

A Special Meeting has been scheduled to address the issue

Let’s be clear about this, the lawsuits are not against the firm we hired but rather other franchises. This is a red herring designed to make some of the Commissioners look bad. Let’s put this in perspective, it’s like saying that if a Re/Max anywhere in the state is involved in litigation then we shouldn’t do business with the Re/Max at the beach.


Mayor Holden disclosed the anonymous letter concerning the town auditor without confirming the veracity of the allegations made in the letter. The Mayor really should have contacted the Town attorney before reading the anonymous letter at a public meeting, for the attorney to determine if the allegations were true, but he did not do so. The Town attorney undertook a review of the allegation made against Rives in the letter. Our attorney researched the issue and reported no finding of any wrongdoing. All three lawsuits were civil not criminal. In addition, none of them involved J Sharpe the auditor in charge of the town audit. There are no disciplinary actions taken against the firm or any of the partners by the NC CPA Board.  In other words, our attorney completely refuted what was said in the letter. The Town attorneys summary supported the written denials submitted by Rive’s lawyer and from Jay Sharpe too.

I don’t think the Mayor should have read the letter, it was inappropriate and should not have happened. Letter was simply part of a disinformation campaign. In today’s vernacular it was a big nothing burger.

BOC’s Regular Meeting 11/19/19

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

1. Presentation of a Smart Rural Community Award to the Town of Holden Beach – Victoria Bellamy, ATMC Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –
Smart Rural Community Award
Lat year, ATMC received a national award as a Smart Rural Community provider by the NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association. With this recognition. they get to recognize town’ across their service area that benefit from their high-speed internet.

Now that ATMC has finished the fiber optic construction on Holden Beach, Victoria Bellamy, ATMC Marketing & Public RelationC6ordinator has contacted the Town and would like to present the Town with a Smart Rural Community award.

Promoting Rural Broadband Networks and Applications
Smart Rural Communities Are Building a Brighter Future for Small Town America
From the Pacific Ocean to Georgia’s coastal plains, a nationwide effort is underway to bring high-speed internet to small-town America. Rural broadband providers are taking lead to bring advanced digital infrastructure to the regions and the people they serve. Their goal? To enhance quality of life by creating Smart Rural Communities, which utilize a robust fiber network to jumpstart economic growth and improve access to first-rate education, healthcare, and government services.
For more information » click here

ATMC completes fiber optic upgrade on Holden Beach
ATMC has announced that it has completed a $5.5 million-dollar project to replace the copper network serving Holden Beach with FOCUS fiber optics. Residents and bus-nesses on the island, as well as many located on the causeway, now have access to fiber optic-delivered phone, digital cable and high-speed Internet with speeds of up to 1Gig.“We are excited to announce the completion of the FOCUS fiber optic upgrade on Holden Beach,” said Keith Holden, ATMC CEO. “Prolonged exposure to the harsh marine elements on the island made our current copper facilities susceptible to corrosion, requiring more upkeep. By replacing these facilities with a new fiber optic network, we are able to provide much faster Internet speeds, greater reliability, and a better user experience for more than 2,500 residents and businesses on Holden Beach.” Fiber optic technology is extremely reliable and capable of delivering voice, video and un-shared bandwidth all through one connection. Businesses who take advantage of FOCUS fiber optics will have greater opportunities for cloud-based applications and will benefit from symmetrical upload and download speeds. In addition, a recent study conducted by the national Fiber to the Home Council reported that access to fiber optics has be shown to increase a home’s value by as much as 3.1 percent. “We are grateful that ATMC has made this investment in our town by installing fiber op-tics,” said Mayor Alan Holden. “We know this technology will greatly enrich the lives of our residents and businesses and allow us to provide those who vacation here with the same quality Internet access that’s found in larger cities.” ATMC crews have also begun work on a $9 million project that will replace the copper network currently used to serve Boiling Spring Lakes residents and businesses with FOCUS fiber optic service. Once the two-year project is complete, residents and businesses there will have access to a full line of services including digital cable TV and symmetrical Internet with speeds of up to 1 Gig. ATMC has also begun construction to expand fiber optics to the town of Caswell Beach and residents there will have access to the new fiber optic network in the coming weeks. Holden Beach residents and businesses are encouraged to sign up for FOCUS fiber optics by calling 754-4311. ATMC is in the process of moving all services on Holden Beach from the old copper network to new fiber optic network. Customers with ATMC services are encouraged to contact ATMC to schedule their conversion appointment. For more information on ATMC FOCUS fiber optics, go to iwantATMC.com.
Beacon 11/14/19

Update –
Keith Holden ATMC CEO made a brief presentation, which was followed by photo-op.

3. Presentation of Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 Audit Results – Jay Sharpe, Rives and Associates (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet –

Supplemental Information: Draft audit

Previously reported – July 2019
Fiscal Year 2017 – 2018 Audit Results
Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2017 – 2018 audit was presented. Normally the audit report which is due by November 1st and is given at the November meeting. The audit report presentation was the most thorough that I’ve experienced. Jay said a that they use a risk-based approach. He explained everything utilizing visuals in a clear, concise, easily understandable format. The auditor Rives & Associates was able to render a clean opinion.

Report –
Finding 2018-001 / Significant Deficiency
A significant deficiency is a deficiency in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.
Criteria: The Town should have someone who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately.

Finding 2018-002 / Material Weakness
A material weakness is a deficiency in internal control such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis.
Criteria: The Town is not accounting for its finances on a full accrual basis.

Material Weakness deficiency makes it a higher risk audit and puts us on Local Government Commission “watch list”. What that means is it probably going to cost us more to have audit done this year.

Update –

Fiscal Year 2018 – 2019 Audit Results
Auditor’s report for fiscal year 2018 – 2019 audit was presented. Jay said that they use a risk-based approach. Audit was submitted to LGC timely and approved with no changes. Same findings a repeat of 2018, no surprise there. Revenues outpaced expenses the last three years. Congratulated them for a really healthy balance sheet. Jay explained everything utilizing visuals in a clear, concise, easily understandable format; really good audit report presentation. The auditor Rives & Associates was able to render an unmodified opinion (Which is the best possible opinion that you can receive).

Report –
Repeated findings: 2018-001 & 2018-002

Finding 2019-001 / Significant Deficiency
A significant deficiency is a deficiency in internal control that is less severe than a material weakness, yet important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.
Criteria: The Town should have someone who is familiar with governmental accounting principles that can review its financial statements each year and determine if they have been prepared accurately.

Finding 2019-002 / Material Weakness
A material weakness is a deficiency in internal control such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity’s financial statements will not be prevented or detected and corrected on a timely basis.
Criteria: The Town is not accounting for its finances on a full accrual basis.

Important takeaway is that there has been a change in the standards regarding creating the financial statement. Auditor must ask – does the Town have the skills, knowledge and education for the preparation of the financial statement. If not, we will probably have to pay a third party to create the document.

Audit Committee met earlier today and in a unanimous decision recommended to approve the audit as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3. Discussion and Possible Action to Permit a Request for a Banner, to Allow Vendors and for One Free Beer Ticket at Run Holden Beach, David Hutnik (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Race Production Requests
Coastal Race Productions is requesting a banner, vendors, and a beer garden in the same manner they did last year as part of the January 18, 2020 race. I have spoken with the police chief and to our knowledge there were no issues with the proposed items at last year’s event.

Previously reported – July 2017
Run HB Requests – Coastal Race Productions                                                                         . a) Banner Approval
. b) Beer Garden Request

Agenda Packet –
Coastal Race Productions will be conducting Run HB on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The Town of Holden Beach will be a sponsor for the event.  Coastal Race Productions is here this evening to speak to you about both the possibility of a beer garden and to get permission to hang their signs and banners for the event.

Sales and Consumption of alcoholic beverages in the Town of Holden Beach is covered in the Code of Ordinances,130.03. It states Board of Commissioner approval is required as an exception to the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages being prohibited. Coastal Race Productions brought it to the Town’s attention that they are allowed to have a beer garden in neighboring municipal venues where races like this are held.  They would like to offer that to the runners of legal age here as well. The access to the area would be controlled by Coastal Race Productions. They have additional information regarding how the system has worked at other beach communities and why they think it would add to the event.

Coastal Race Productions had a scheduling conflict, so Shoreline Protection & Recreation Programs Manager Christy Ferguson made the presentation. Discussion was over allowing the beer garden. The other three communities that sponsor the race – Oak Island, Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach already gave their blessings.

Banner Request / A decision was made – Approved unanimously
Beer Garden Request / No decision was made – No action taken

Are you kidding me? The Board really made a big to do over nothing when they discussed the beer garden request. All we are talking about is each runner that is over 21 years old gets a free beer at the end of the race. Singular, UNO, ONE stinking beer.  They went with the combo platter of we are a family friendly beach and it would set a precedent rap. Apparently, some of them must not go on the beach strand where beer is consumed all day long on our family friendly beach.

Previously reported – July 2018
David Hutnik, Guest Speaker – Discussion and Possible Action to Allow Vendors and One Free Beer using Ticket at Run Holden Beach on 9/15/2018 – Commissioner Fletcher and Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet –
David Hutnik is one of the owners of Coastal Race Productions. They are a local Brunswick County company that manages all of the larger marathons and 5K’s in the area.  This will be the 5th year for Run Holden Beach event coming up on 9/15 and they already had over 1,000 runners pre-register from 24 different states.  They are expecting a record crowd again with over 1500 runners that bring a total of around 4,000 people here including family and friends of runners.

Coastal Race Productions are requesting:

– Permission allowing them to have vendors sell during the Run Holden Beach event from 7am- I 2am on 9/15/2018.  Most larger races sell sponsorships and these sponsors like to sell their race related shirts/nutrition after the event to participants.  Much like a festival but geared toward runners. This would take place and be contained to the area surrounding the amphitheater and Jordan Blvd only.

– Permission to host a contained area where runners only (over the age of 21) will be given a beer ticket and will not be selling or giving out additional beer.

Plans for the contained beer garden:

-Coastal Race Productions check ID’s at packet pickup when runners receive their shirt, bib and beer wristband with over 21 ID.

-Coastal Race Productions will contain the beer garden to a limited area, proposed next to amphitheater ­ see diagram below.

-Coastal Race Productions will have volunteers serving this from a trailer with beer taps provided from our vendor RA Jeffries that they use at all of our other events.

– Coastal Race Productions obtain a special event permit through the ABC commission, hold the required insurance and are happy to list the town as additionally insured.

* It’s important to note that this is a family friendly event and they take pride in offering the best runner experience possible. They keep this controlled and contained and monitor it very closely.

Other notes about the race this year:

1) Coastal Race Productions have been working closely with town officials, DOT, & sanctioning to make major changes to our route with increased traffic control and coning with less impact on roads for

2) Coastal Race Productions work closely with the town businesses to make this great for them. The local merchants association is a sponsor of the event and we look forward to bringing a large economic impact to the area.

3) Coastal Race Productions partner with several local Holden Beach area non-profits to raise money for their organizations in fundraisers, donations and utilizing over 100 local volunteers to put on this event.

This is the fifth annual fun family race day on Holden Beach. They had @1,300 participants last year and expect over @1,500 participants this year. All the other towns that the race is held allow both activities. They expect to have only five (5) to ten (10) vendors in a contained area. They don’t sell beer, they give one (1) free beer to runners over twenty-one (21) years old at the end of the race. In addition, donations are made to a local non-profit which in our case is to the Turtle Patrol. We are the only beach that has not given them permission.

Police Chief – no problem with it
Town Manager – need to establish protocols anticipating similar requests in the future

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Update –
Coastal Race Productions requested approval for a banner, vendors, and a beer garden. These are the same three items that were approved last year. Permit request has been submitted for the January 18, 2020 race.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Run Holden Beach – 2020
The sixth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 18th. Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5K walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.
This annual event includes three races –
Half Marathon         – 7:00 AM
5K                                  – 7:15 AM
1 Mile Turtle Trot    – 8:30 AM

For more information » click here
Register » click here

4. Police Report – Chief Jeremy Dixon

Police Patch
So far so good, not a lot going on. We are not experiencing any major crime wave at the moment. The Police Department will be participating in the Booze It and Lose It safety campaign.


Recognized as one of the nation’s most effective anti-drunk-driving campaigns, Booze It & Lose It has created increased awareness of the dangers and the consequences of drinking and driving through innovative education campaigns and extensive enforcement of impaired-driving laws. During each campaign, law enforcement agencies increase the number of patrols and officers in an area, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to drivers. Motorists caught driving while impaired could face jail time, lose their driving privileges and pay an average of $10,000 in fines, towing fees and other expenses associated with a DWI. That’s not a small price, and it doesn’t even count the heftier price: the potential cost of a lost life. Even with the success of Booze It & Lose It, more than 9,000 people have lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina since the program’s introduction in 1994. During enforcement campaigns, law enforcement agencies increase the number of saturation patrols, set up checking stations and use local news media to reach out to all drivers.
For more information » click here

It’s that time of year, rental season ends, and break-in season officially starts.
Requested that we all serve as the eyes and ears for law enforcement.

If you know something, hear something, or see something –
call 911 and let police deal with it.

Neighborhood Watch

  • Need to look out for each other and report any suspicious activity
  • Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
  • Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
  • Submit completed Property Registration Form
  • Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

Crime prevention 101 – Don’t make it easy for them
. a) Don’t leave vehicles unlocked
. b)
Don’t leave valuables in your vehicles
. c)
Lock your doors & windows – house, garage, storage areas and sheds

Keep Check Request Form
. a) Complete the form and return it to the Police Department
. b)
Officers check your property in your absence
Property Registration Form
. a)
Record of items in your home that have a value of over $100
. b)
Complete the form and return it to the Police Department

5. Discussion and Possible Direction on a Proposed Policy Regarding Board of Commissioners’ Requests for Opinion and/ or Recommendations to Advisory Boards or Committees – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
Draft: Directive for Town of Holden Beach (THB) Board of Commissioner
Requests for Opinion/Recommendation to Advisory Boards or Committees

The Board of Commissioners (BOC) is responsible for policy making as well as decisions on administrative matters (School of Government publication “County and Municipal Government in North Carolina”, Chapter 3, County and City Governing Boards). The BOC performs its duties when convened in legal meetings, addressing items contained in the meeting agenda. There are occasions when the BOC may determine that a recommendation or opinion from a THB Advisory Board or Committee on an item related to the Town’s current operations or future development would assist the BOC in making the best possible decision for the Town. When seeking Advisory Board (AB) or Committee (AC) recommendation/opinion, the following steps shall be followed:

.   1) The directive for a recommendation/opinion from a specific Board or Committee shall be made by vote at a Board of Commissioners regular meeting;

.   2) Specific charge questions for the opinion will be finalized and agreed by vote at a Board of Commissioners meeting;

.   3) A proposed deadline for receiving the recommendation/opinion will be included in the directive.

For recommendations/opinions having potential implications on Town finance, Town capital projects, Town contracts or Town departmental processes, the AB/AC shall provide its recommendation/opinion in a report to the BOC, such report to contain:

      1.  The original BOC directive and charge;
      2. The AB/AC recommendation/opinion;
      3. The AB/AC vote tally;
      4. A synopsis of the discussions leading to the recommendation/opinion of the AB/AC, said synopsis to be discussed and approved at an Advisory Board/Committee public meeting;
      5. Copies of presentations or written positions given by staff or external experts during the evaluation process;
      6. References to supporting documents or publications used in the decision­ making process;
      7. Copies of minutes of public meetings at which the directive for opinion was discussed.
    1. In order to normalize the process and improve the quality of public records of recommendations/opinions, a form entitled “Town of Holden Beach Advisory Board/Committee Recommendation/Opinion” will be used. A suggested format is provided below.

Town of Holden Beach Board Advisory Board/Committee


From the BOC to the Board/Committee

Date of BOC Meeting When Directive was Made:

Agenda Item #:

Directive to:(specify AB/AC)

Issue and Action Requested:

Background and Potential Implications:

Charge Questions:

Proposed Deadline:

To the BOC from the Board/ Committee

AB/AC Recommendation/Opinion:

Completed by Town clerk after BOC takes action

Date of BOC Meeting When Decision was Made

BOC Decision:

BOC Vote Tally:


Update –
Pat explained that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. To codify this directive, it will be issued as an administrative document adopted by resolution, not an ordinance.

No decision was made – No action taken

6. Discussion and Possible Direction on a More Formal Procedure for the Board of Commissioners’ Requests for Actions to the Town Manager or Town Attorney– Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet –
BOC Meetings often result in requests for Town Manager or Attorney action. There are times when the full ask is not clearly expressed by the Board, leading to confusion and time loss by Staff as they try to get clarity from meeting tapes or follow-up discussion with Commissioners.

A written form for BOC requests made to the Town Manager or Town Attorney that result from discussion and agreement at BOC Meetings could reduce the level of uncertainty that sometimes results, particularly after a lengthy debate.

Below is a draft of what a form might look like.

THB Board of Commissioner Requests for Town Manager/Attorney Action

      1. Date of BOC Meeting
      2. Agenda Item #
      3. Issue:
      4. Request to:
      5. 5. Motion:
      6. Action Requested:
      7. Vote Tally:
      8. Proposed Deadline:

If an agenda item owner anticipates a BOC decision could lead to a work request (e.g., ordinance  or policy change, plan of action presentation, request for an outside study, etc.), the agenda item owner would submit a form for the meeting packet with items 1 and 3 already completed and possibly  a proposal for what they think the action could be and who the request will be made to (to be finalized after discussion and vote);Items 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 can be completed by the town clerk or BOC executive  secretary following discussion and vote. The form would become part of the meeting minutes.

Update –
Pat explained again that this was simply a proposal. She said that it was being put out there for review and feedback. The gist of her position is for them to clarify: What exactly are we asking for? The action is to develop a specific ask so it can be properly actioned.

No decision was made – No action taken

7. Discussion and Possible Action on Cost Sharing Request Made by Brunswick County for the Dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet – Assistant Town Manager Ferguson
. a)
Ordinance 19-18, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 19-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020 (Amendment No. 6)

Agenda Packet –
Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging – County Reimbursement
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners voted on October 21 , 2019 to contribute $149,903.00 as the entire local share of the total project cost of $440,890.00 for the pending maintenance dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet with the USACE Dredge Merritt  The county is asking Holden Beach and Oak Island to each reimburse $37,476.00 as a fair share for the activity. Two-thirds of the project cost will be funded by the NC Shallow Draft Inlet Fund.

Letter from Chairman Frank Williams to Mayor Holden

October 24, 2019

The Honorable Alan Holden
Mayor Town of Holden Beach
110 Rothschild Street
Holden Beach, NC 28462

Dear Mayor Holden:

I know you are aware that subsequent to Hurricane Dorian the Lockwood Folly Inlet has again been experiencing significant shoaling. This clearly is a hazard both for commercial and recreational boaters and is a significant public safety issue for our residents and visitors.

Though there are no federal funds available to dredge the inlet at this time, the NC Division of Water Resources does have funding available in the Shallow Draft Inlet Fund to pay 2/3 of the estimated total cost of $440,890.00 for a dredge operation of the inlet.  To facilitate the prompt dredging of the channel, the County has made available the $149,903.00 local match needed for the USACE to schedule the operation. While the County would prefer an opportunity for beneficial sand placement, the only dredge available at this time is the Merritt, and, given the urgency of the need, we believe that we should proceed with the project as soon as possible. The USACE plans to begin the operation as soon as possible but does not have a precise start date.  USACE staff anticipate an approximate 15-day operation.

As the County has done on some prior Lockwood projects, we are asking that the Towns of Holden Beach and Oak Island share the local portion of the project cost with us. The County asks that each town consider reimbursing us for $37,476.00, or one-quarter of the local cost.

Thank you for your consideration of our request. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Update –
The County is asking us to pay $37,476, the local portion for the dredging project
Ordinance 19-18 is transferring just $4,600, that leaves a $32,876 shortfall
We previously budgeted $33,000 for one dredge event for this year
There just isn’t enough money in the budget to cover the entire request from the county
They are transferring $4,600 which increases the dredging line item to $37,600
We have spent $56 already, leaving a balance of just $68

Amendment was made based on FEMA requirement change that they were informed about this morning. Apparently, FEMA is requiring additional surveys for Dorian to go to depth of closure. This will require not only the survey work but additional analysis from ATM. The staff therefore recommends amending budget ordinance from $4,600 to a total of $30,000. This budgets $4,600 for the LWF maintenance dredging project and $25,400 for surveying and engineering services.

Depth of closure (DOC) is an important concept used in coastal engineering. The DOC is a theoretical depth along a beach profile where sediment transport is very small or non-existent, dependent on wave height and period, and occasionally, sediment grain size.

Moved funds of $30,000
From Revenue account #50.0398.0300 to Expense account#50.0710.7200

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

8. Discussion and Possible Action to Recommend Remedial Policies or Procedures with Respect to Obstruction, Interference or Non-Cooperation in Connection with Audits, Investigations or Reviews of the Town’s Affairs – Commissioner Freer

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Plan was to ask Town attorney for some direction. Since the attorney was not in attendance, they delayed discussion until the attorney is present at the next meeting.

No decision was made – No action taken

10. Town Manager’s Report

LWF Bend Widener Navigation Maintenance Project
The Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging low bid contractor has been cleared by the Small Business Association and the contract should was awarded the week of October 25th.  That will include the Bend Widener option. No date yet for starting the project. 

Beach Nourishment
The sand search continues.  The hydrography survey and vibracores have been completed. However, we were told that an archeological side beam scan is required, which will be done over the next few weeks, before we can submit for permit modification. 

FEMA / Storm Events
The Town is currently working reimbursements from five (5) federally declared storms simultaneously. Each of the five (5) projects are treated separately, we may be able to achieve economies of scale if we can combine them. We will be going through the bid process for the estimated $25 million in sand reimbursements. The Dorian declaration raises the total up to $30 million if it is added into the mix. Because of our experience working with FEMA we are serving as a guinea pig; reimbursement will be through new digital FEMA Grants Portal.

Matthew / Irene
Revisions made and submitted, still have @$300,000 on the table

Florence / Michael
FloMike hurricane projects both cleared the EHP.
They are now in the Office of Legislative Affairs queue.

Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) refers to FEMA’s review process for ensuring the protection and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources, as required by Federal environmental and historic preservation laws and Executive Orders.

Federal declaration was made for Hurricane Dorian that includes coastal communities in Brunswick County.
Town has estimated approximately $4.6mm for Cat G FEMA reimbursements.

Holden Beach Bridge Repairs
Previously reported – October 2019
The work on the bridge will not be finished until at least March of 2020 due to the decorative guard rail we selected.
Contract was awarded October 29, 2018 with the completion date for the contract to be October1, 2019.

Lift Station #3
Lift Station #3 is progressing as follows:
Advertise for Bids         10/24/19
Contract Award            01/21/20
Construction Start       03/23/20
Closeout                         12/31/20

Upcoming Town Sponsored Events
Turkey Trot                     November 28th at 8;00 am
Tree Lighting                  December 6th at 6:00 pm
Sandy Paws Parade,      December 7th at 10:00 am
Holiday Social                December 20th at 12:00 pm

Registration is required for all of these events

General Comments –

There were thirty-five (35) members of the community in attendance

The BOC’s Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, December 17th

Municipal Elections –

Congratulations and thanks

to our elected officials for their service to the community.

Election Results

Candidate                              Position                      Term              Votes

Alan Holden                            Mayor                          Sixth                241      (unopposed)

Gerald Brown                         Commissioner             Second            246

Woody Tyner                          Commissioner             First                230

Brian Murdock                       Commissioner             First                225

Mike Sullivan                          Commissioner             Second            182

Patricia Kwiatkowski            Commissioner            Second             168

John Fletcher                           Commissioner            Third               155

Peter Freer                              Commissioner             Third               144

Joseph Butler                          Commissioner             Second            138

Gina Martin                            Commissioner             Second            127

As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms. Mayor Pro Tem is elected by the Board, not necessarily the person with the most votes. 

To see Holden Beach election results through the years, go to –
Town Department / Election Results

Reflections on Elections
Elected officials have significant impact on our daily lives. For democracy to work, people have to vote. Going to the polls on Election Day is one of our core responsibilities in a democratic nation. Voter turnout has been a big problem for decades. Increased voter turnout can dramatically alter election outcomes and resulting public policies. Holden Beach has approximately 746 registered voters, 374 voters participated in this election. So, the voter turnout was 50.1%, which is significantly higher than usual.

This was the most acrimonious election that I can recall. The takeaway here is that voters sent a pretty clear message that they are unhappy with the status quo.   

Loose Ends –

  • Development Fees                            June 2018                   
  • Commercial District                       February 2019            
  • MAPS / Pay Study                            September 2019         
  • Land Use Plan                                 October 2019             
  • Parking                                             October 2019             
  • Mega-Houses                                   October 2019             

Budget Calendar –
Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:
.     1.
Raising taxes
Cutting spending
.     3.
Operating more efficiently

The Town Manager’s proposed budget is due by June 1st
Commissioners must adopt budget no later than June 30th for the next fiscal year

Adopting the annual budget is a primary responsibility of the Board.

This is what I’d like to see the budget process look like starting in January –
.     1.
Monthly Meetings / Workshops
.     2.
Board Goals
Review Capital Improvement Plan
Staff presentations – wants / needs / revenue streams / cost cutting measures
.     5.
Review Towns current level of services provided – change /add / delete
.     6.
Review staffing and compensation package
.     7.
Line by line review of the budget
.     8.
Appropriate funds for the following:
.         •
Beach Nourishment
.        • Dredging
Infrastructure Reserves – Water System / Sewer System / Roads & Sidewalks

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with family, friends

and all of the memories that make you thankful!

November 28, 2019

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