Letter to the Editors: Thanks to All Who Went to Raleigh! Next Stop: Ocracoke!

Congratulations to everyone who travelled to Raleigh for Monday night’s Public Hearing on the ferry tax issue.  

Pamlico County Commissioners and other interested citizens met early with Senator Norman Sanderson, Rep. Michael Speciale, Rep. Charles Jeter of Mecklenburg County, and Gen. Jim Trogden of the NC Dept. of Transportation. Rep. Paul Tine was meeting in Dare County with the Governor and DOT officials regarding Highway 12, and thus could not be in Raleigh.

Kudos to you who came:  25+ from Ocracoke and Hyde mainland, 25+ from Pamlico and 10+ from Beaufort counties and elsewhere. Thank you for driving to Raleigh.  All 3 county managers, commissioners present and past, business people, retired military personnel, and a wonderful cross section of coastal residents spoke of the hardships created by the proposed tolls. 

Thank you for your time and energy.  We had an excellent turnout, despite having few bus riders!

The many reasons to oppose ferry tax were heard through our coastal voices. Excellent speakers declared, “NO FERRY TAX.”  Connie Leinbach of Ocracoke was the first citizen to speak.  Hyde County’s new Manager Bill Rich discussed various aspects of Ocracoke’s dependence on tourism.  Clayton Gaskill and other Ocracoke businessmen spoke of the difficulties facing tourist related businesses when Highway 12 is impassable and the ferry tolls are set to increase in the middle of tourist season.

Pamlico Chairman of the County Commissioners Ann Holton read a portion of her Board’s resolution opposing any tolls on the Hwy. 306 ferries across the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.  Greg Piner and Jim Barton gave excellent, detailed analyses of why the increases in tolls will have disastrous effects on tourism.  Minnesott Beach Mayor Josh Potter and Kennel’s Beach owner Bob Kennel spoke of the anticipated blow of such ferry tolls.

Beaufort County Manager Randell Woodruff voiced the opposition of Beaufort County citizens.  Many other eloquent speakers added variations on the theme of NO FERRY TAX.  Ray McKeithan of PCS Phosphate spoke on behalf of the hundreds of PCS employees who ride these ferries.  Paul Spruill of Tideland Electric explained why increased tolls will hurt economic development in the region.

Many other citizens voiced concerns for the victims of these increased tolls, including school children, laborers, and retired veterans. There are few things more effective than citizens speaking from their hearts.  This Public Hearing was the best yet!

The next Public Hearing will be in Ocracoke on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at 7:30 pm.

The final Public Hearing will be at Pamlico Community College in Grantsboro, NC on Monday, March 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Please attend and let your voice be heard.

Join us in fighting this legislative effort to tax our ferries.  The answer is to remove ferry tolls and use proactive techniques to boost tourism revenue and cut costs within the Ferry Division.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Keep up the good work.  Thanks! 

Henri and Joe McClees

McClees Consulting, Inc.

PO Box 430

Oriental, NC 28571-0430

office (252) 249-1097; fax (252) 249-3275


Joe’s mobile (252) 671-1585

Henri’s mobile (252) 671-1559

Comments powered by Disqus