December 11, 2018

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Randy Martin, Interim Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Comments from Interim Town Manager - Monthly Statistical Report

I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide my first Town Manager’s Monthly Report to the Board of Commissioners in my interim capacity since officially assuming the duties and responsibilities on November 26th after a two week orientation with former longtime Manager Frank Rush.  I appreciate the confidence the Board had in me to allow me to continue in public service in such a fine municipality.

It has been a genuine pleasure to work with the excellent staff of the Town and I offer my thanks for the support and assistance I have received thus far.  Particularly noteworthy has been the willingness on the part of the administrative staff to assist me in the transition.  As I expected, Town Clerk Rhonda Ferebee has proven a tremendous resource in orienting me to the Town’s technology systems and I give her credit for making sure the preparations for this meeting, specifically the agenda materials, remained consistent with the standards and practices established for previous regular Board meetings. 

I also appreciate the support outside the organization that I have received from Greg “Rudi” Rudolph and Moffitt & Nichol consulting Engineer Johnny Martin and his associates as we have worked diligently to prepare for the discussion planned for this meeting concerning the Eastern Emerald Isle Post-Florence Beach Nourishment Project.  Everyone including the Board and citizens have been most patient as I have tried to prepare for this important meeting, and I thank all. 

As for the citizen contacts to date, particularly the feedback resulting from public communications including my first newsletter effort, I have received considerable positive comment and overwhelming encouragement and support.  This further validates what I already knew and have confirmed that Emerald Isle has its act together.

In terms of specific updates to the Board, I offer the following:

  1. The enclosed reports from the departments offer the usual insights into daily operations of the Town particularly concerning citizen engagement and public service delivery.  Also included in the statistical section is data provided by all departments.  Please note that some aspects of the statistical data compiled and included in the past by management is not updated in its entirety this month.  The administration intends to provide these updates in future meeting information, but time did not allow for 100% completion at this time.  Management recognizes the historical value of the information and desires to make this a goal for the New Year. 
  2. I have attended a number of meetings in the area and community thus far.  I was particularly impressed with the citizen engagement at the recent neighborhood watch event.  The Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and I attended.  The Police Department did a fine job coordinating.  I have also been actively engaged along with our staff and neighboring jurisdiction representatives in several interactions with FEMA representatives and others concerning hurricane disaster assistance/ reimbursement discussions.  This is a labor intensive process and can be challenging, but I am confident the Town interests are being well served.  Taking the lead for much of this effort has been Laura Rotchford, Finance Director.  She is doing an excellent job and is putting in a lot of time on this crucial activity.  The Town has already invested much of our reserves in paying costs incurred for cleanup activities and Laura is on top of vigorously pursuing timely reimbursement from the feds and state.  In the months ahead, you will see the impact of these expenditures and subsequent reimbursement progress on the Town’s financial reports.
  3. I have previously distributed to the Board the updated Town Manager’s message now displayed on the website and a copy of the current edition of the monthly newsletter.  The newsletter contained updates on several projects, so I will not repeat those here, but I will be glad to respond to any questions or concerns Board members have about these items.  A copy of the newsletter is attached for your easy reference.
  4. According to Police Chief Tony Reese the Town’s authorized Coyote Trapping season began on December 1, 2018 and extends through February 28, 2019.  The Town will again utilize licensed trappers to trap coyotes on Town owned property during this season, and residents and property owners are also authorized to utilize licensed trappers on their own private property.  Residents interested in this program should contact Police Chief Tony Reese for further information.
  5. Parks and Recreation Director Alesia Sanderson recently brought to my attention that Emerald Isle Woods Park property is still closed and is not safe for people to enter due to damage following Hurricane Florence.  In addition, as this is also Town owned property there are places where traps are currently in use as part of the Town’s authorized Coyote Trapping program.
  6. Mayor Barber and I recently attended an event held by the Carteret County Tourism Development Authority.  This gave me an opportunity to meet the new executive director.  I plan to follow up with him on potential future mutually beneficial opportunities for the TDA and Town to collaborate.  Frank and I had a chance to brain storm on this topic before he left.  If individual Board members have ideas, I would love to discuss those as well.
  7. Commissioner Normile and I recently attended the Beach Commission meeting at which Rudi gave an excellent presentation on some things coming down the pipe from regulatory agencies.  To avoid confusion with current more pressing beach nourishment project activities, I will not elaborate on this information in this space at this time, but I will be sharing information provided to the Commission in a separate communication on the topic of Inlet Hazard Area Delineation and Policy discussions.  The science panel has done extensive work on this topic.  Our preliminary staff assessment is that the proposed changes will not have a significant impact for Emerald Isle, but we intend to further evaluate the matter and keep everyone informed as the discussion progresses.  Commissioner Normile may want to add his thoughts on the matter.