A town hall building with white roof

01 – Town Meeting

Lou’s Views

“Unofficial” Minutes & Comments

BOC’s Regular Meeting 01/17/23

Board of Commissioners’ Agenda Packet click here

Audio Recording » click here

1.   Update on Bulkheads – Shane Lippard, Right Angle Engineering (Commissioner Murdock)

Agenda Packet – pages 12 – 14

Previously reported – October 2022
Delineation study was completed, now we need to act on it. Brian stated he was looking for the Board’s thoughts on protecting those properties. This is a necessary step if we want to make use of these Town owned parcels. Timbo recommended proceeding by applying for CAMA permits for bulkheads there. David suggested Right Angle Engineering could give us the probable cost of construction. The motion was made to have the Town’s engineer, Right Angle Engineering, pursue getting CAMA permits and also to determine height of bulkheads that are needed with the estimated cost. 

Update –
The discussion was on whether we want to bulkhead the town properties in the 700 and 800 blocks of OBW. If we do it will require bulkheads on approximately 700 linear feet at a cost of $350 per linear foot. The preliminary cost estimate is  $298,925 just for a continuous bulkhead with tiebacks. Pat suggested that we still need to know how many parking spaces could be put there. Brian stated that we have no plans to put parking there now. He also made the point that the area was delineated in order to preserve property, bulkheading is a way to do that. In addition, they pointed out that USACE may require parking in that area, so it is important to minimize erosion and maintain the land there in case it is needed. David said that we will need to submit design in order to get a CAMA permit. Shane was asked to report back additional information regarding the permit process.

No decision was made – No action taken

My Two Cents illustration for the Simpsons

The Town owns ten (10) parcels in the 800 block which we obtained on 04/21/13 ostensibly to be used for parking. Let me get this right. The argument against doing this is the public does not want parking there. The public did not want to buy the pier property, but we did anyway. The public does not want parking in the rights-of-way on their property, but we allow it anyway. The public did not want the speed limit to be 35mph year-round, but we did it anyway. Wait so now we care about what the public wants?  I get why Commissioner Smith objects to parking across the street from him, NIMBY, because that’s exactly how the rest of us feel about parking in rights-of-way. Commissioner Smith should recuse himself from the vote that decides this issue because of how this affects him personally.

NIMBY - not in my backyard

2. Discussion and Possible Action on Delineation of Parcourse Area – Commissioner Murdock

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

Same topic as last agenda item, erosion is happening in this area. Brian would like to establish baseline delineation there. The board agreed to have delineation done for that area too.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

3.   Discussion and Possible Approval of Resolution 23-01, Resolution Declaring Cost and Ordering Preparation of Preliminary Assessment Roll and Setting Time and Place for Public Hearing on Preliminary Assessment Roll for the Improvement of Seagull Drive – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 15 – 16

Seagull Drive was paved recently using the special assessment process of North Carolina General Statute Chapter 160A, Article 10. All costs are in and total $222,630 . The next step required is for the Board to adopt the assessment resolution (Attachment 1), which will direct the administrative actions needed to begin the collection process.

It is recommended that the Board schedule the required public hearing for Tuesday, March 14, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. This date will provide the necessary time for the tax collector to prepare the assessment roll and for me to meet the advertising and notification deadlines.

The suggested motion is to approve Resolution 23-01, Resolution Declaring Cost and Ordering Preparation of Preliminary Assessment Roll and Setting Time and Place for Public Hearing on Preliminary Assessment Roll for the Improvement of Seagull Drive.

Resolution 23-01 » click here

Update –
The Board approved assessment resolution as submitted in order to begin the collection process. A Public Hearing is required and is scheduled for March 14th.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

4.   Discussion and Possible Action on 796 Ocean Boulevard West Preliminary Plans – David Wood, David Wood Inc. Home Designs (Assistant Town Manager Ferguson)

Agenda Packet – pages 17 – 20

David Wood developed some preliminary plans based off previous discussions of uses for 796 OBW for the board’s review prior to engaging an engineer to conduct an engineering analysis of the  proposed plans. The staff provided Mr. Wood with an initial round of feedback and the proposed design (attached) is in front of you for review. Request the board proceed with any recommendations for changes prior to seeking an engineer’s input.

Previously reported – September 2019
Ordinance 19-15, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#3)
.    1) Provide funds for purchase of property at 796 OBW – approved $349,000
   2) A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering.

Previously reported – January 2022
The Parks & Rec Master Plan lists a number of options for this facility. The Board is requesting that the Parks & Rec committee prioritizes them and recommend what they envision the building be used for. They would like a response from the committee by the BOC’s scheduled February meeting.

Previously reported – February 2022
PRAB Chair John McEntire made the presentation. He addressed the issues as the tasker required them to do. He went through the process that they took and briefly reviewed all considerations. They focused on the potential intended use of the property. They identified and explored several options. The PRAB determined that the property is optimally located to serve as a community center recreational facility as envisioned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Previously reported – November 2022
Joel homeowner at 798 OBW talked about the condition of 796 OBW a town owned property. He had a slide presentation; the pictures are in the agenda packet. A picture is worth a thousand words, it was an effective way to show how neglected the property is and that it currently is an eyesore. He is simply requesting that the Town of Holden Beach take actions to address the deteriorating conditions there. Commissioner Kwiatkowski reminded everyone that we purchased the building and need to keep it because of noise abatement issues with the adjacent lift station. Regardless of the plans for the building, basic maintenance needs to be performed periodically. Commissioner Dyer said that we need to revisit the master plan and decide what we are doing with that building. The staff is working to get an engineering analysis for the property  done. Christy said we don’t have funds allocated and it doesn’t make sense to spend any more money on the property until we decide what we are doing there. They agreed to clean it up, so it was presentable and not an eyesore without spending any significant funds. The Board asked staff to take care of any maintenance possible while the analysis is being completed .

Previously reported – December 2022

Discussion points:

    • Possibly direct the Town Manager to solicit bids for painting the outside of 796
    • Possibly direct the Town Manager to solicit bids to repair A/C platforms, steps and remove antenna from 796
    • Discuss the possibility of requesting bids from local realtors for possibly providing weekly rental

The Board directed Town Manager Hewett to solicit bids to clean up 796 OBW. Work is to include bids for painting, HVAC platforms and back steps. They also would like to explore renting the property on a weekly basis throughout the summer until a permanent use is determined for the building.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
Currently the building is designated as a water asset which would need to change if it became a recreational facility. Architect David Wood conceptual architectural drawings were presented, and he walked the Board through the proposed preliminary design plans. The Board requested some minor modifications be made to the plans. The restraining force is that there is only eleven (11) designated parking spaces on site. Without additional parking in the 800 block, see agenda item one regarding bulkheads there, that significantly reduces the options to utilize this town property. Not to mention we do not have adequate funds to implement plans at this time. They decided to put the entire project on hold for now. The plan is to delay doing the engineering report with those funds being utilized to repair and maintain the facility. They also discussed potential renovations that are necessary regardless of their decision on what they are going to do with the building. It did not seem that they could reach a consensus regarding how the short-term plans align with their long-term plans for the facility.

No decision was made – No action taken

A Person Saying See You Next Month

My Two Cents illustration for the Simpsons

Begin with the End in Mind
The Board needs to decide what they are doing with this property before they get started on any renovations.

5.   Request from the Tri-Beach Fire Department to Upgrade Station #2 on Holden Beach – Fire Chief Doug Todd (Town Manager Hewett)

Agenda Packet – page 21

The Tri-Beach VFD has been using the four bay Town owned building at 572 Ocean Boulevard West for a number of years to house fire apparatus that is used for firefighting, emergency medical calls and rescue calls on the island and off the island as needed. Housing the equipment on the island has been beneficial to Town of Holden Beach residents and vacationers on the island. Currently, staffing by the department is in place twelve hours a day (7:00 AM to 7:00 PM) during the summer months typically from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The rest of the year, 24-hour staff responds to calls on the island from the off-island fire stations. Due to the increase in permanent residents and renters staying on the island, before Memorial Day, during the summer, and after Labor Day, emergency calls on the island are on the increase. Tri-Beach is working on a plan to provide sufficient staff to man Station 2, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week all year. This will improve the response time to calls on the island during the entire year. To safely house staff 24 hrs./7 days a week, upgrades to Station 2 will be necessary. The Board of Directors of the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department is formally requesting the Town  of Holden Beach to put a plan in place to upgrade (or replace) the existing Station 2 building to provide the necessary facilities (such as a bunk room, kitchen, flood resistance, etc.) to support safely housing onsite staff for 24 hours a day. The Tri-Beach Chief officers and staff stand ready to assist Town personnel in the planning and execution of upgrading the Station 2 building to provide enhanced fire, emergency medical and rescue services to the residents and vacationers in the Town of Holden Beach. Please respond back to the Board of Directors as soon as possible so that we can all move forward on this plan.

Fire Department Presentation » click here

Update –
Assistant Chief David Ward of the Tri-Beach Fire Department made the presentation. As a representative of the fire department, he was there to justify the request for them to either upgrade or replace the existing fire station. Call volumes have significantly increased, and they would like to staff the fire station on the island around the clock all year long so they can adequately provide protection to the public. Timbo pointed out that this is a critical facility and impacts our Community Rating System score which reduces our homeowners insurance costs. The Board members agreed that they need to create a committee so they can make an educated decision about what they should do. Mayor Holden requested additional information from the fire department to know what their options are before they proceed.

No decision was made – No action taken

6.   Police Report – Lieutenant Frank Dilworth

Agenda Packet – pages 22 – 25

Police Report » click here

Police PatchFrank reviewed the actions that were taken by them last month

Normal amount and type of activity for this time of year

They responded to approximately sixty (60) water calls, when we had the cold snap, due to broken pipes.

The police department currently has only eight (8) officers of the ten (10) they are budgeted to have. 

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 the 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

7.   Inspections Department Report – Inspections Director Evans

Agenda Packet – pages 26 – 28

Inspections Report » click here

Update –
Timbo briefly reviewed department activity last month, the department still remains very busy.  

8.   Discussion and Possible Action on Response to Parking Program Tasker – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – pages 29 – 32

Inspections Director Evans, Chief Dixon, Assistant Town Manager Ferguson, Budget & Fiscal Analyst McRainey, Town Clerk Finnell and I met with Jim Varner and Jack DeSantos from Otto Connect to discuss the Board of Commissioners tasker from the December meeting. Below are the group’s recommendations.

1) Discuss making possible changes to the way we handle boat trailers with no Possibly make contract adjustments.

Implement the following proposal:

Citation specific wording:
Non-registered trailer pursuant to N.C.G.S. §20-4.01(23), §20-50, §20-111 and §20-118.3 and parking a trailer without a paid parking permit – Code of Ordinances, Section 72.03(A). – $50 fine

Citation will be written on the towing vehicle with the designation “TR” following the license plate number.

        • Example: ABC1234-TR
        • State of Registration will be entered on a separate line of the citation

An update to the Otto contract would be required in either Exhibit A (Statement of Work) or Exhibit E (Policies).

2) Discuss a possible 24-hour limit to authorized right of way paid parking.

 Staff is not aware of this being an issue.

3) Discuss possibly having free parking for the two festivals and in the area of any permitted event.

It is recommended that paid parking be suspended townwide during festival weekends. Other Town sponsored events are already addressed in Code of Ordinances Section 72.02(0).

4) Discuss giving each homeowner (not empty lot owners) one free yearly pass and apply before April 1st of each year.

Our parking vendor can accommodate this, but the group does not recommend issuing a free yearly pass. The Board would need to consider the economic impact of implementing this suggestion. It would be an extra administrative step that seems to reduce the inventory of sellable spaces. In theory, if 25% of the 2,400 homeowners used their free passes, it could take up all of the paid parking spaces.

5) Discuss asking for a more detailed breakdown of the first year’s revenue (annual and weekly passes, daily parking, ticket revenue and % of collections).

 This information is currently available (Attachment 1).

Revenue:                     $455,181
Parking Vehicles:         64,280
Citations:                    2,291
Citations Paid:            78.99%

6) Discuss possibly increasing fees ($4 per hour, $20 per day, $80 per week and $150 yearly).

The Board made a conscious decision to reduce the recommended rates when paid parking was implemented. Ocean Isle Beach currently does not have a paid parking program. Oak Island is in the process of developing the rates for their program. It is recommended to continue the upcoming season at the current rate to see the impact from the implementation of Oak Island’s paid parking program. Current fees are included for your review (Attachment 2).

7) Discuss possibly changing the paid parking dates of (Apr. 1st to Nov. 30th).

This would take a contract change but would work if the Board chooses to  extend the end date from October 31st to November 30th .

8)  Discuss the possibility of having our parking contractor install signage where necessary to reduce confusion (no parking signs on marsh streets and side streets and all areas where parking is not allowed).

This has not been an issue. If an issue is found, Otto Connect will alert me, the Public Works Department and Police Chief so the problem can be rectified.

9) Discuss eliminating all unauthorized right of way parking.

This would create more problems than it is intended to solve. The ordinance was amended to accommodate the occasions when homeowners may require additional visitor parking for private events. The current ordinance seems to be working.

10) Discuss the possibility of having the parking contractor and town staff do a street-by-street review of parking and suggest sign placement.

Street-by-street review is not necessary. Staff and Otto Connect will monitor signage as needed. Any issues will be addressed between Otto Connect, the Public Works Department, Chief Dixon and myself.

It is suggested to remove the no parking from here to corner signage

Previously reported – December 2022
I would like to discuss possibly having the BOC direct the Town Manager to review this information and suggestions from citizens on the first year of paid parking and return staff suggestions to the BOC for the January BOC meeting.

Commissioner Smith requested that the Town Manager Hewett and his staff review these suggestions and consider making changes to the paid parking program. They would like staff suggestions to be presented to the Board at their January meeting.
A decision was made – Approved unanimously 

Update –
David assembled a staff group which met with Otto Connect to discuss the recommendations that were submitted. Commissioner Smith went through each item on the list and discussed the recommendations that were made. He asked what the Board wanted to do moving forward. The Board by consensus made a decision on each item. The primary takeaway was to leave most things as they are for the time being. The only significant change that was made is that they increased the paid parking rates, they agreed to set the fees for the 2023 season at $4 per hour, $20 per day, $80 per week and $150 for an annual pass. Despite the increase the fees are still less than Otto Connect recommended and also less than what Oak Island just implemented.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

9.  Discussion and Possible Action on Proposed Budget/Quarterly Meeting Schedule – Town Manager Hewett

Agenda Packet – page 33

Per the Board of Commissioners’ direction at the December meeting, I have established a preliminary calendar for budget and quarterly meetings. It is proposed that the meetings be held at 5:30 p.m. on the suggested dates.

Please review the dates below and be prepared to discuss alternate dates at the meeting if you are not available during the proposed dates.

Thursday, February 23rd                    Goals & Objectives Workshop
Thursday, March 16th                         Budget Meeting #1 / Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, April 20th                            Budget Meeting #2
Thursday, June 1st                                Budget Meeting #3
Thursday, June 15th                             Budget Public Hearing / Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, September 21st                  Quarterly Meeting
Thursday, December 21st                   Quarterly Meeting

Previously reported – December 2022
Commissioner Murdock requested that they schedule an additional four (4) quarterly special meeting dates. He feels that they are going to need them based on everything that they are working on now. David suggested they also schedule budget meetings. The decision was to discuss and establish a schedule at the next regular meeting.

Update –
David prepared a proposed meeting schedule and it was approved as submitted.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents illustration for the Simpsons

The Town Manager is charged with establishing an actual schedule based on everyone’s availability. Once again, the goal is to avoid the annual rush at the end to get things done. In the last few years, the Board did not really start working on the budget until the eleventh hour. Almost every year we talk about starting the process earlier, this year we have actually moved it up in a meaningful way. It’s a good start that they have already established the budget meeting schedule.

Budget Calendar –
Local governments must balance their budget by a combination of the following:

      • Raising taxes
      • Cutting spending
      • 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

  • 10.  Discussion and Possible Action on Setting Board of Commissioners’ Objectives for Fiscal Year2023 -2024 – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – background information not provided

BOC Objectives for Fiscal Year 2021/2022

18 Ensure funding for hurricane related FEMA projects and proceed with necessary steps  for target commencement of sand on beach in Fall 2021(TM)
17 Ensure contracting, budgeting and funding for sewer lift station 2 to allow completion in 2022 (TM)
17 Make decision on and implement new THB development fees (BOC & TM)
17 Ensure funding for 2022 DOT bike lane project, including any grant money (TM)
17 Address increasing stormwater issues with a study followed by appropriate actions    for recurring problem areas along Ocean Boulevard (in advance of bike lane project) (TM)
17 Request help from Brunswick County for a second water tower (after completing a needs assessment) (TM)
17 Ensure advocacy resources are given to limit expansion of the IHA (TM)
16 Support and participate in beach and inlet related advocacy efforts at local, state, and federal level (TM)

a. Become more involved in and lead where possible regional advocacy groups and committees
b. Develop advocacy strategy, plan and material for county and state efforts and implement the plan
c. Review and as appropriate amend directions to Poyner Spruill for federal advocacy; ensure funds are designated for the three-year Corps study (1.5 million total)
d. Support and participate in advocacy efforts at any level as appropriate
e. Greater involvement in coastal community advocacy

16 Ensure definition and implementation of new water rates for January 2022 (TM)
16 Determine if paid parking is economically viable; if so, implement paid parking (BOC & TM)
15 Oversee progress on internal control plan for fiscal year 2021/2022 completion (TM)
14 Ensure adequate resources to undertake enforcement compliance objectives decided by the Board (Increase enforcement of ordinances) (BOC & TM}
14 Request help from Brunswick County to establish an off-island parking and trolly/bus service to the beach 100 days or more a year (TM)
14 Purchase all or a portion of Holden Beach Pier (BOC & TM)
14 Maintain an up-to-date strategy to protect the beach and dune system and ensure adequate budget for implementation of plans, including soil sampling and plant modification where appropriate (TM)

Evergreens (mostly financial)
18 Balance the budget while preserving the minimum fund balance as defined by the Board; Balance the budget without raising taxes
18 Ensure the Town meets or exceeds annual financial budget goals
18 Work together for the good of Holden Beach
17 Raise revenues
17 Continue to support LWI access to ocean
16 Ensure the Town achieves an unmodified opinion rating on annual fiscal audit and     addresses noted deficiencies
16 Ensure qualified resources are available to perform audit and accounting   procedures to ensure there are no material deficiencies noted in the annual fiscal audit
14 Ensure an updated capital project budget sheet is included in final budget documents

Update –
They will follow the same procedure that they have used in the past. Each Board member will submit a list of objectives to the Town Clerk by February 9thso they can be compiled before the objectives workshop. Pat recommended that everything that they have already delineated as a priority will be the core of this year’s objectives. She asked that they only submit items that are extremely important to them that they want to add to that core list. They will then attempt to create a coherent list of objectives for this year at the scheduled budget meetings.

 A decision was made – Approved unanimously

11.  Discussion and Possible Action on Proposals Received in Response to the Town’s Request for Qualifications for Water System Asset Inventory and Assessment – Public Works Director Clemmons

Agenda Packet – pages 34 – 42, plus separate packets

As directed by the Board of Commissioners, staff solicited qualifications from firms for engineering services to develop a systemwide asset inventory and assessment of the Town’s water system, with the specific goals of evaluating the adequacy of distribution, fire flows, storage and the need for a second water tank (Attachment I ). The submission deadline was January 4, 2023.

The Town received three responses to the Request for Qualifications, McGill Associates, Green Engineering and WithersRavenel (Attachments 2 – 4), which are included for your review. In accordance with federal uniform guidance, staff prepared a ranking sheet (Attachment 5). If the Board makes the selection of a firm, they can direct staff to bring a contract back for consideration.

 RFQ – WithersRavenel » click here

RFQ – McGill » click here

RFQ – Green » click here

Update –
Chris reported that staff solicited qualifications from firms for engineering services to develop a systemwide asset inventory and assessment of the Town’s water system. The staff then prepared a ranking sheet for the Board to make a selection of a firm. The Board selected Green Engineering and directed the staff to bring a contract back for consideration.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

12.  Discussion and Possible Action on Items Necessary to Implement Recommended Changes to Personnel Pay Plan – Town Manager Hewett

a) Authorization of New Position – Finance Officer
Classification and Pay Plan
Salary Adjustments
Ordinance 23-01, An Ordinance Amending Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance for Fiscal Year 22 – 23 (Amendment No. 9)
Town Manager Contract Amendment

 Agenda Packet – pages 43 – 79, which is too large to include here

This memo outlines the results (Atch 1) of an analysis performed by direction of the Board at its September meeting the topic of which was the separation of Town Manager/Finance Officer duties and subsequent October tasker to perform a MAPs type study for all positions.

Salary data (Atch 2) has been compiled for a separate Finance Officer position (Atch 3) in addition to each Town full-time regular position covered by the pay plan. This per position data (i.e., “market)  was acquired from local governments  with regional, functional and job similarities. Market ranges were subsequently established with minimums, maximums and midpoints for comparison to the Town’s existing pay plan. The Town’s current pay ranges were generally found to be below current market ranges; some more so than others.

Each employee’s current salary has been compared to their individual market range to ascertain their relative placement within the “new” pay plan.

Criteria/methodology used to calibrate existing employees’ salaries is based on:

    • Below minimum salary employees brought up to the new market minimums
    • Above minimum but below mid-point salaries brought up to new market midpoints
    • Employees above new market midpoints but below maximums not adjusted

Recommend approving at the regular January Board meeting with an effective date of 1 January 2023

Previously reported – August 2019
The MAPS Group / Management and Personnel Services
The study updates the classification and pay plan for THB as well as making recommendations concerning personnel policies and fringe benefits. Recommendations are being made for salary schedule, position classification plan, and costs for implementing the salary plan. Salary data determined by prevailing rate in geographic area as well as with employers who directly compete for the same pool of workers with those job skills. The salaries represent the local market which provides a reflection of the actual cost of living in the geographic area. Implementation strategy offered three options; the recommended option had an additional annual price tag of $80,327 in just salary cost. An additional cost of roughly 20% for benefits brings the total cost to implement at almost $100,000 annually. Interestingly, we offer significantly higher family health insurance coverage than the rest of the local market, yet we didn’t seem to get any credit for that in a total compensation package. Recommendations for THB are based on meeting the market, not leading the market. Takeaway was that we were in pretty good shape considering we hadn’t done a study in a very long time, but adjustments need to be made to stay competitive in the local market. Staying competitive in our total compensation package will allow us to recruit and retain employees. Presentation was a very pragmatic approach to the subject and clearly directs us on how to proceed.

Ordinance 23-01 » click here

9Customer Services Rep$29 – $37 – $44$31 – $39 – $47$36 – $46 – $56
10Public Services Tech$32 – $41 – $49$34 – $43 – $52$37 – $47 – $56
11Police Admin Assistant $31 – $39 – $47$37 – $47 – $57
12Permit Specialist $33 – $41 – $49$40 – $50 – $60
13Utility Billing Specialist $38 – $48 – $57$40 – $50 – $61
14Senior Public Services Tech$36 – $45 – $54$38 – $48 – $57$40 – $51 – $61
15Development Services Officer$38 – $47 – $56$40 – $50 – $60$45 – $56 – $68
16Public Services Crew Leader$40 – $50 – $59$42 – $53 – $63$45 – $57 – $68
17Police Officer$38 – $47 – $56$40 – $50 – $60$47 – $58 – $70
18Plan Reviewer/Inspector $40 – $50 – $60$48 – $61 – $74
19Fiscal Operations Supvr      $50 – $63 – $76$53 – $67 – $80$52 – $66 – $79
20Police Sergeant/Detective$42 – $52 – $62$44 – $55 – $66$54 – $67 – $81
21Public Services Supervisor $48 – $61 – $73$54 – $68 – $82
22Town Clerk/HR Officer $48 – $60 – $72$51 – $64  – $76$60 – $76 – $91
23Police Lieutenant$48 – $60 – $72$51 – $64 – $76$61 – $77 – $92
24Codes Administrator$53 – $66 – $79$56 – $70 – $84$69 – $88 – $106
25Finance Officer $59 – $74 –  $88$73 – $92 – $111
26Public Services Director$58 – $73 – $88$62 – $78 – $93$74 – $94 – $113
27Police Chief$61 – $77 – $92$65 – $81 – $97$78 – $98 – $117
28Assistant Town Manager$53 – $66 – $79$56 – $70 – $84$82 – $103 – $124
 Min – Mid – MaxMin – Mid – MaxMin – Mid – Max


Police Chief80,03297,57117,53921.9
Budget & Fiscal Analyst56,61272,60215,99028.2
Assistant Town Manager66,58782,28415,69723.6
Police Officer43,76758,25214,48533.1
Codes Administrator77,02087,86110,84114.1
Public Services Supervisor57,28368,07810,79518.8
Town Clerk / HR Officer66,21675,6549,43814.3
Public Services Director85,67293,6798,0079.3
Police Officer50,77858,2527,47433.1
Police Officer50,99658,2527,25625.5
Permit Specialist32,78139,6796,89821
Police Officer39,84746,7006,85317.2
Police Officer39,84746,7006,85317.2
Public Services Crew Leader50,46156,7566,29512.5
Customer Service Rep31,22136,4315,21016.7
Police Officer41,69346,7005,00712
Police Officer41,69346,7005,00712
Administrative Assistant34,11236,9302,8188.3
Public Services Tech34,42236,8262,4047
Public Services Tech34,42436,8262,4027
Public Services Senior Tech39,20840,2331,0252.6
Utility Billing Specialist39,81140,0312200.6
Fiscal Operations Supervisor74,05274,05200
Plan Reviewer/Inspector49,71249,71200
Development Services Officer61,38161,38100
Public Services Senior Tech41,16341,16300

¯\_()_/¯ Yikes!

Update –
Heather is now our Human Resource Officer but since she was tallying votes David addressed the recommended changes to the personnel pay plan. A salary analysis was done for all of the town positions, he presented proposed updates to the classifications and pay ranges. The cost of implementing the plan as proposed has an annual total cost is $238,400. The general consensus was that we have been grossly underpaying our people. Pat said that this is a mini reorganization, a catch-up and well-deserved increase for our employees.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

My Two Cents illustration for the Simpsons

Apparently this was a done deal, probably decided in all of those executive sessions since they approved this without further review or discussion. Meetings were held and the pay plan was negotiated behind closed doors. Some of the discussions should have been done in public. At least that’s the way it was done in the past.  

Just to be clear, I am all for a competitive compensation package for our employees. We need to be able to attract and retain the best qualified people that we can. It was just a little over three (3) years ago that we paid a consultant firm that specializes in personnel matters to do this analysis for us. It’s hard to imagine that things have changed that much in job classifications in such a short time. We just pooh poohed the consultant’s report and arbitrarily determined these new pay grades which significantly changed the pay ranges for a number of employees. The analysis that was just done only looked at the salary portion of the equation. They did not look at the total compensation package, and that we have significantly higher family health insurance coverage than the rest of the local market. To reiterate I agree that we need to adjust salaries to reflect current market conditions. That said, I didn’t think the pay grade changes should have been done the way they were.

We now have an Assistant Town Manager with a salary of $82,284 with zero (0) subordinates. Despite the reclassification change of her title and salary in May of 2018, she basically continued to do what she was doing before. In essence we’ve given Christy the title of Assistant Town Manager with the corresponding salary pay range without any of the duties or responsibilities that comes with that position. She is still doing the same job, still doesn’t supervise anyone, and has no administrative responsibilities.  Sorry, but I simply don’t know in what universe that this makes any sense.

In 2014 the max salary for Recreation Director position was $39,395
In 2018, just four (4) years later, the max salary after reclassification was $74,063
In 2023, just five (5) years later, the max salary is now $123,821

Just nine (9) years later we have increased the max salary by $84,426 or 314.3%

For a small beach community this sure seems like a lot of money spent on exempts.

We have a Town Manager that makes $141k, with just twenty-eight (28) employees

We have an Asst.Town Manager (Grade 28) that makes $82k with max salary of $124k

      • An increase of $15,697 or 23.6%
      • With zero (0) subordinates

We have a Police Chief (Grade 27) that makes $98k with max salary of $117k

      • An increase of $17,539 or 21.9%
      • With ten (10) subordinates

We have a Public Works Dir (Grade 26) that makes $94k with max salary of $113k

      • An increase of $8,007 or 9.39%
      • With six (6) subordinates

We have a Finance Officer (Grade 25) that makes $73k with max salary of $111k

      • An increase of $15,990 or 28.2%
      • With zero (0) subordinates

We have a Codes Admin (Grade 24)  that makes $88k  with max salary of $106k

      • An increase of $10,841 or 14.1%
      • With three (3) subordinates

We have a Police Lieutenant (Grade 23) that makes $77k with max salary of $92k

      • An increase of $11,500 or 17.62%
      • With zero (0) subordinates

We have a Town Clerk/HR Off (Grade 22) that makes $76k with max salary of $91k

      • An increase of $9,438 or 14.32%
      • With zero (0) subordinates

We have a Fiscal Operations Sup (Grade 19) that makes $74k with max salary of $79k

      • An increase of $0 or 0%
      • With two (2) subordinates

Nothing to see here meme from the Simpsons

 13.  Discussion and Possible Action on Establishing a Regular Schedule for a Facility Condition Inspection of Town-Owned Properties and Facilities which are Primarily Used by the Public – Commissioner Kwiatkowski

Agenda Packet – page 80

An effective facility condition assessment that thoroughly evaluates the important aspects of the facility, done on a regular schedule, can identify issues before they become a problem and provide information for maintenance and repair budgeting. Templates can be developed from existing online examples that will facilitate assessment and reporting on the physical condition of a building/facility to include as appropriate structural, mechanical and electrical systems. An assessment can also be done on recreational “equipment”.

The Board should request that the Town Manager organizes a list of relevant properties/facilities and equipment and suggested frequency of assessment for discussion at the April Board of Commissioners’ meeting.

Update –
Pat is recommending we put together a list and develop a formal assessment process. David agreed that they could do that in order to better organize our management efforts of those facilities and equipment.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

14.   Discussion and Appointment of Commissioner to Serve on the Audit Committee – Town Clerk Finnell

Agenda Packet – pages 81- 83

Per Section 30.26 of the Code of Ordinances, the Audit Committee is comprised of a member of the Board of Commissioners and not less than two or more than four residents or property owners of the Town of Holden Beach as full members, plus one alternate member. The commissioner shall be appointed to the Audit Committee by the Board in January of each year (Attachment 1).

Commissioner Kwiatkowski is currently the commissioner serving on the Audit Committee. The Board may choose to extend Commissioner Kwiatkowski’s term or select a different commissioner to serve on the committee.

The Board can vote by ballot or verbally to fill the position. If ballots are used, please make sure to sign your name on the ballot.

Update –
Commissioner Kwiatkowski was selected to continue to serve as Audit Committee Chairman for another year.

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

  • 15.  Town Manager’s Report

Financial Report

Budget Report » click here

David did a budget report slide presentation for our second fiscal year quarter as of the end of December. He briefly gave an explanation of the fund balances. All the funds are in the black. It’s all good!

Budget is posted on the Town website –
Statement of Actual & Estimated Revenues » click here

Federal Budget
Appropriations totaling 3.8 million earmarked for Holden Beach. The three earmarks are as follows: $1,00,000 for the General Reevaluation Report, $2,669,867 for the Greensboro Street Lift Station #2 Hazard Mitigation Project, and $100,000 for the Ocean Boulevard Stormwater Mitigation Project.

FEMA storm damage repair project (CRP2)
Still awaiting the final inspection for the FEMA beach project. Six hundred thousand dollars ($600k) in eligible project expenses reimbursement is still pending until final inspection is completed. Responded to FEMA request for specific additional information. We still don’t know what the final timeline for reimbursement will be.

Ocean Boulevard Resurfacing/Bike Lane Project

DOT Bike Lane Report Presentation » click here

Previously reported – November 2022
Caitlin did a brief recap for the proposed bike lanes. The plan includes bike lanes of 5’ on each side of Ocean Boulevard. It will be an asymmetrical widening, that is 7’ on the south side and only 3’ on the north side where the sidewalk is.  They had some issues/challenges with permitting that have been resolved. They successfully got the permit issued on November 9th. In order to do so they agreed to monitor their work for any drainage issues and committed to address them after the project is completed. At the end of this month, they will advertise the project. One month later they will open bids and know what the actual prices for the contract are. At that time, they will decide whether or not to proceed with the project. The date of availability is at the end of January, with a finish date of Memorial Day.

Previously reported – December 2022
Not good news. Recently had a conversation with the project engineer Caitlin. Only one (1) bid was received, which was 40% above their estimate. The bid was also above five (5) million dollars, which automatically triggered a review. The result was that the bid was rejected, and they will need to resolicit the bid. It is expected that the project will be pushed off for at least another year. The most likely scenario is that construction won’t start till the end of 2023. The project will then  have a completion date by Memorial Day 2024.

Update –
Catlin confirmed they will resolicit the bid, construction to start September 2023 with a completion date by Memorial Day 2024.

796 OBW
Painting and repairs are underway. Informal solicitation for rental property management services to get projections for what rentals might be for this property.

NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant project application for the pier property. Last month we were informed of an administrative requirement to get a second appraisal. The appraisal is currently underway, will be submitted once we have it.

Staff has reviewed and revised the site plan . He anticipates that the final site plan review will be available for the Board at the next scheduled meeting.

Block Q
Awaiting revisions to the site plan, review will be available for the Board at the next scheduled meeting.

Canal Dredging
Survey is underway, which is done every other year. David reminded them that we still don’t have an area to put the spoils.  

In Case You Missed It –

National Flood Insurance Program flyerNational Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 23, 2022, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to September 30, 2023.

Upcoming Events –

Birthday Cake

THB officially established on February 14, 1969

Celebrating our 54th Anniversary

16.   Mayor’s Comments

From the Mayor’s Desk 01/03/23

Happy New Year!!

Now that 2023 is here, we need to be thankful for the goodness of the past and pray for an even better future as we work together.

2022 finished with extreme cold days. A thorough check of your property for possible wind and frozen pipe damage would be a good idea.

Yes, NCDOT has again postponed the bike path project. Rebidding and a proposed start date will begin soon, I hope. I was surprised!

I believe this year there were more people on the island for Thanksgiving and Christmas than ever before. Kids were playing in the park with temperatures in the low thirties. Some only wore t-shirts and shorts! Oh, to be young!

The Brunswick County officials continue to caution me that property tax values are going up and rates will have to be adjusted. The county beaches have enjoyed values rising more than the mainland. As more information is available, Holden Beach officials will find themselves in a squeeze. Operating costs are rising like crazy and the competition to hire more good help is challenging.

The Police Department still finds itself short of a full staff.

Sales inventory is still low, and sales reflect less activity. Construction is slowing while prices of materials and availability are not as desired.

The Holden Beach Chapel provided a wonderful Christmas concert and a prayerful, moving Christmas Eve service. Both events “packed” the beautifully decorated sanctuary.

Professionals have been hired and they are working on proposals for the Block Q property besides the bridge and the fishing pier property. The commissioners will need to make decisions in the near future. Though there is not any physical work evident, there is work being done on both projects.

The Town is also heavily involved in plans for handicapped access and parking needs as required by the state and federal requirements. This is a priority topic.

Volunteers and the Town staff did a wonderful job in decorating for the holidays again this year. It will be sad seeing them removed but more celebrations are ahead!

Boaters that are storing their boats on their property should check their lines to be sure they are securely tied to docks, lifts or trailers. Wind and tides can do strange things.

Keep in mind that many supplies and parts are still available on a limited basis. If you are planning repairs and improvements this spring, it may be a good idea to contact your contractor so that supplies and parts can be ordered now.

Spring will be here before you know it!

17. Executive Session Pursuant to North Carolina General Statute 143-318.11(a)(3), To Consult with the Town Attorney

No decision was made – No action taken

  • General Comments –

Commissioner Gerald Arnold – was not in attendance

Yet another marathon session, the meeting ran for almost three (3) hours.

The Town has been live streaming their Board of Commissioners meeting on Facebook and later posting the audio to YouTube. I believe more people participate in virtual meetings than those that physically attend the meetings. It still is difficult to listen to the meetings on Facebook since the audio is so poor, it’s really hard to hear what they are saying. Virtual meeting protocols prescribe them to talk into the microphone, have speakers say their name before commenting, and to take roll call votes, among other suggestions. By far, this meeting had the best compliance with protocols. With just a few exceptions people identified themselves and also spoke into the mike. Kudos!

A town hall building with white roof

BOC’s Meeting

The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, February 21st

In the works illustration on the website


Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
1) Block Q
2) Pier Properties
3) Water Tower
4) Stormwater
5) Sailfish Park


A satellite view of the dangerous hurricane


Hurricane Season
For more information » click here

    • Be prepared – have a plan!


No matter what a storm outlook is for a given year,
vigilance and preparedness is urged.

 Board of Commissioners’ – Scorecard

NYC Mayor Koch used to ask – How am I doing?

Imagine if the BOC’s asked you – How’d they do?

The goal of government is to make citizens better off.

Action Taken – 2022

Ordinance 22-01, revisions to outside lights
Ordinance 22-03, public-rights-of way
Adoption Resolution 22-02, personnel policy
Adoption Resolution 22-03, recognition GFWC 15th anniversary
Adoption Resolution 22-04, pier Plan Version #2
Adoption Resolution 22-01, changes to fee schedule to add paid parking
Ordinance 22-02, Traffic Code, designated paid parking program
Ordinance 22-04, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#10)
Budget appropriation of $92,204 (funding on-street and off-street parking)
Ordinance 22-05, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#11)
Budget appropriation of $43,000 (transfer funds between accounts)
Adoption Resolution 22-05, pier financing contract
Ordinance 22-06, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#12)
Budget appropriation of $100,000 (additional funding for the Seagull paving contract)
Ordinance 22-07, Traffic Code, revisions to designated paid parking program
Ordinance 22-08, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#13)
Budget reduction of $21,336 (reduced number of days charging for parking)
Ordinance 22-09, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#14)
Budget appropriation of $57,150 (increased borrowing due to costs of closing)
Ordinance 22-10, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#15)
Budget appropriation of $1,000,000 (initial portion of funding to purchase Block Q)
Ordinance 22-11, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#16)
Budget appropriation of $16,775 (transfer funds between accounts)
Ordinance 22-12, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#17)
Budget appropriation of $1,029,880 (provide funds for Ocean Boulevard bike path)
Adoption Resolution 22-06, request state assistance for Vacuum Sewer Pump Station
Ordinance 22-13, Chapter 92: Nuisances
Outside Lights
Ordinance 22-14, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance / Budget Ordinance
Approved the town’s $96.6 million-dollar Budget Ordinance
Ordinance 22-15, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#18)
Budget appropriation of $102,461 (transfer funds between accounts)
Ordinance 22-16, Traffic Code, revisions to designated paid parking program
Ordinance 22-17, Amending the Code of Ordinances
Chapter 112: Peddlers
Ordinance 22-18, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#19)
Development Fees Revenue / $141,210
Adoption Resolution 22-07, permanently close portion of Carolina Avenue
Ordinance 22-19, Chapter 71: Traffic Schedules
Lowering the speed limit on Ocean Boulevard to 35 miles per hour year-round
Ordinance 22-20, permanently close a portion of Carolina Avenue
Ordinance 22-21, Amending the Code of Ordinances
Requirements of Chapter 160D NC General Statutes
Ordinance 22-22, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#1)
. • Budget appropriation of $425,609
Move outstanding appropriations from fiscal year 2022 to the current fiscal year
Adoption Resolution 22-08, Truist Signature Card
Accepted the PARTF  $500,000 grant and approved the contract for the pier properties project
Ordinance 22-23, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#2)
Budget appropriation of $38,000 (provide funds for Block Q contract)
Ordinance 22-24, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#3)
Budget appropriation of $35,000 (provide funds for Pier Properties contract)
Ordinance 22-25, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#4)
Budget appropriation of $44,900 (provide funds for Federal Advocacy contract)
Ordinance 22-26, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#5)
Budget appropriation of $27,448 (transfer funds between accounts, CAMA Grant )
Ordinance 22-27, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#6)
Create separate interest accounts
Ordinance 22-28, Amending the Code of Ordinances
Frontal Dune Policy and Regulations
Ordinance 22-29, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#7)
Budget appropriation of $37,112 ( insurance claim funds for Public Works truck)
Ordinance 22-30, The Revenues and Appropriations Ordinance (#8)
Budget appropriation of $5,000 (provide funds for Pier Properties repair)
Resolution 22-09, Recycling Fee Schedule

Happy New Year

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Lou’s Views . HBPOIN

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