Under the Dome

Dome: Coastal Resources Commission short on members, long on work

Staff writersOctober 8, 2013 

The Coastal Resources Commission has been pretty much a shell of itself since the legislature voted to reduce its members from 15 to 13 and end the terms of 11 members as of July 30.

The four members lawmakers opted to keep on until June 2014 met in August to respond to a court case but canceled a meeting in September because of the lack of membership.

“Essentially the commission is out of business for the moment,” said Frank Tursi, a spokesman for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, an environmental advocacy group.

Bob Emory, the commission’s chairman from New Bern, said the legislature’s action placed a cloud over the group. “That has had an effect on what the commission has wanted to take on, knowing it could be replaced at any time,” he said.

The commission’s next meting is scheduled for December, and the agenda should be packed – variances to coastal rules, an update on the sea level rise report and a feasibility report for the Cape Fear region are among the items to be taken up – so a full house could be helpful. How likely is that?

Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is expected to announce new appointments in the coming days, said spokesman Ryan Tronovitch.

In addition to McCrory’s appointments, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate leader Phil Berger both get to name two members. Berger named his two choices in the budget bill, but they have not yet gone through the ethics clearance process.

The Coastal Resources Commission was created under the leadership of Republican Gov. Jim Holshouser in 1974 to adopt rules and policies for coastal development along the 320 miles of oceanfront and 2 million acres of sounds, creeks and marches.

Stevens gets young challenger

Rep. Sarah Stevens, one of the key Republicans in the state House, will apparently have at least one challenger in the GOP primary next year.

George Wass, 19, says he will run against the three-term incumbent for the seat that covers Wilkes and Surry counties, according to The Mount Airy News. He will be 21 by the November election.

The paper reports that Wass is a recent graduate of the Surry Early College High School of Design. He said he’ll need all the time he can get to mount a successful campaign against the incumbent lawyer.

Stevens chairs or co-chairs several judiciary committees in the legislature, and has been closely allied with the GOP leadership in the House. She ran unopposed in 2012.

McCrory met with boos in Charlotte

For his 69th birthday party, Charlotte lawyer Bill Diehl rented out The Fillmore at the N.C. Music Factory, hired rockers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, and invited around 400 of his closest friends. Among them: Gov. Pat McCrory.

When the band took a break, Diehl grabbed a microphone and introduced McCrory, who was greeted with a loud smattering of boos. It wasn’t the first time the former Charlotte mayor – elected and re-elected seven times – has heard boo birds in his hometown. In Charlotte, at least, the popular mayor has been a less popular governor. This summer he appeared at a concert at the Bechtler Museum. When he was formally introduced, many in the audience booed.

Staff writers Rob Christensen and Craig Jarvis, and Jim Morrill of The Charlotte Observer

Send tips to dome@newsobserver.com.

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service