Monday, July 22, 2024

Municipal Elections 2023: Jerry Maggio runs for election to Bald Head Island council

Retired finance professional Gerald (Jerry) Maggio is running to retain his seat on Bald Head Island’s Village Council. (Courtesy photo)

BALD HEAD ISLAND — Retired finance professional Gerald (Jerry) Maggio is running for a seat on Bald Head Island’s Village Council.

Maggio, registered as unaffiliated, is an incumbent up against incumbent Ginnie White and newcomer Scott Thomas for two open seats.

PCD asked candidates to address issues pertinent to their municipalities, covering issues such as balancing growth and infrastructure, traffic and tourism, and climate change impacts.

Maggio’s answers are included in full; responses are edited only for grammar, spelling and clarity. 

The paywall has been dropped on candidate questionnaires to help voters make informed decisions ahead of Election Day.

To prepare, here are a few dates for readers to keep in mind:

  • Absentee ballots can be requested through Oct. 31 and must be returned Nov. 7 (or post-marked as such).
  • Registration to vote will be open until Oct. 13; afterward, according to the state board of elections, same-day registration will be available only during one-stop early voting.
  • Early voting begins Oct. 19 and remains open through Nov. 4 (3 p.m.).
  • Election Day polls open Nov. 7, 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

In Brunswick County, voters can cast ballots early at the Brunswick County Cooperative Extension (in lieu of the Board of Elections) at 25 Referendum Drive, Building N, in Bolivia.

Once early voting closes, voters will need to go to the location listed on their registration cards, verified here.

To see a sample ballot for the upcoming election, fill in voter registration info here.

A photo ID is required to cast a ballot in 2023; more information can be found on the state board of elections website.

The candidate’s opinions and statements are not a reflection of Port City Daily. 

Port City Daily (PCD): Why run for village council now?

Jerry Maggio (JM): Our island is at an inflection point where the rapid growth of residential and commercial properties, combined with the transition of BHI Limited owned assets, must be carefully overseen to ensure our island maintains its unique character.

PCD: Name three issues you think are most affecting the village currently and describe how you would work toward tackling them.

JM: Island Accessibility/Ferry System: As the key access point to the island, the transportation system (ferry and tram, parking, and barge operations) must provide high-quality service at a reasonable cost. Until December 2022, only the ferry and tram operations were regulated by the North Caroline Utilities Commission (NCUC). The parking and barge operations were not.

Village Council worked to successfully petition the NCUC to:
1) Ensure that ferry and tram, parking, and barge remain as one consolidated transportation system; and

2) Ensure that the NCUC provide jurisdiction and regulatory oversight for parking and barge operations.

Commercial and residential growth: The island needs growth, but not to the extent of maximizing the construction on all potential land. This would allow over building, which will cause congestion and change the islands current esthetic.

Shoreline Protection and Beach Renourishment: The council and I are currently working on the 2025 plan for sand placement at the “east” end of South Beach in front of the Shoals Club to mitigate ongoing chronic erosion. The plan also calls for sand placement at the West end of South Beach as this area is also dynamic.

PCD: Where do you stand on ownership and regulation of the Bald Head Island ferry system?  

JM: Answered above.

PCD: As evidence shows, climate change is increasing the intensity and frequency of storms and hurricanes, along with sea-level rise. What should the village do to protect residents, property and infrastructure?

JM: Storm preparation is in place and has been used several times. The procedures are written in general for all disasters but with a bias toward hurricanes. The major
categories (with much detail not described here) includes setting up the command/decision making structure, the communications plan for information coming in, the same for communications to go out, stages of evacuation and re-entry,
coordination with the Coast Guard, ferries, etc.

The council is currently developing the 2025 plan for sand placement at the “east” end of South Beach in front of the Shoals Club to mitigate ongoing chronic erosion. The plan also calls for sand placement at the west end of South Beach as this area is also dynamic. T

he council has chosen to specifically target these needy areas unlike our previous two renourishments when sand placement was determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

PCD: What is your vision for long-term residential and commercial development on Bald Head Island?

JM: It is the council’s responsibility to manage growth consistent with the feedback island residents have continuously provided. Various surveys received from island residents provide common desires, such as additional food and beverage services, park and common area seating, seasonal housing for our employee population, shopping, parking, and landscaping.

As a councilor, I will strive to address the relevant zoning and ordinance codes necessary to achieve the growth desired as indicated in survey results, while limiting the potential impact of the construction maximization in the commercial master plan.

PCD: How do you think Bald Head Island can better support local workers, especially those in the tourism industry? Do you have any creative ideas on how to help businesses thrive on the island? 

JM: Bald Head Island enjoys some of the most beautiful beaches which is always a natural draw of tourism. In addition, locations like the Bald Head Conservancy and the Old Baldy Foundation are major attractions for visitors. The island also offers shops and restaurants to round out the day.

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