I was fortunate to be part of two important award ceremonies. The first was the Local Leadership Award presented to Emerald Isle Town Manager Frank Rush by the East Carolina Council of Governments at their annual awards banquet in December. Over the years, there have been many projects for which Frank could/should have been nominated. Projects like beach nourishment, channel relocation, storm water management, bicycle paths, etc. The most recent accomplishment and the one for which he received the ward is the boat launching facility that will be built next to Chapel By The Sea.
Frank identified land that was suitable for the project which was not easy. However, the hard part was bringing together 6 different funding sources for a total of $4,250,000, the environmental agencies, the Emerald Isle Commissioners and Mayor, the Town Attorney, and the three sellers to an agreeable set of terms. That is a lot of people to get on the same page.
The end result will be a boat ramp owned and operated by the Wildlife Resources Commission with four launching ramps and parking for 120 or so vehicles and trailers. This will be a facility that will be enjoyed by many generations to come. Thank you Frank for your extraordinary efforts on this project.
The other ceremony was the presentation of the Long Leaf Pine Award to Pete Allen at the County Commissioners meeting on December 14. Pete served as Emerald Isle Mayor, Administrator, Town Manager, and Commissioner; County Manager and Commissioner; and as Atlantic Beach Town Manager. He began his public service career as County Administrator in Franklin County in the 1970s. The award was a surprise for Pete, so the event was not widely publicized. However, there were a significant number of friends/coworkers from Emerald Isle , the County, and Atlantic Beach in attendance.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers, and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award.
When Pete was elected Emerald Isle Mayor in the mid 1980s, he said he “was the best PR man Emerald Isle ever had”. As he moved on to the county and Atlantic Beach, he expanded that to all of Carteret County. Pete lives in Emerald Isle and as the weather warms up, I know we will see him out and about. Thank you Pete for all of your years of public service.
I wish everyone the best life has to offer in 2010.