Wednesday, February 8, 2023

2021 Election: Vince Losito is running for Carolina Beach Town Council

Vince Losito is running for Carolina Beach Town Council (Port City Daily/Courtesy photo)

CAROLINA BEACH –– Vince Losito is vying for one of the open seats on the Carolina Beach Town Council.

Port City Daily has sent a questionnaire to every candidate running in municipal elections, which are nonpartisan, and has dropped its paywall on the profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of the 2021 election year. (Though, your support of local, independent journalism is appreciated through a monthly subscription. Also, consider signing up for Port City Daily’s free newsletter, Wilmington Wire, to get the headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.)

As a reminder, the early voting period begins Oct. 14, with the registration deadline on Oct. 8. Voters may partake in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period, which ends Oct. 30 (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Election Day is Nov. 2.

Losito’s stances on local issues are discussed below. Port City Daily has included all responses in full, and only edited responses for grammatical and spelling errors.

READ MORE: Catch up on all elections coverage

Vince Losito — Republican

  • Education:
    • B.S. in Accounting from St. John’s University
    • MBA in Finance from St. John’s University
  • Job title: Corporate Control for Autism in Motion Clinics, LLC
  • Experience: Career of over 30 years of increasing responsibility in Corporate Finance
  • Family: Kim, my wife is a CPA and also a highly successful finance professional. We have 7 children between us and 7 grandchildren.

Port City Daily (PCD): What are your top three priorities, if elected?
Vince Losito (VL): #1 — Fiscal responsibility — This means identifying the areas that would have the most impact on the community, communicating those issues clearly and working closely with stakeholders to reach consensus on the best path forward.  Given the property increases that we have seen I feel we need to do a better job of showing our taxpayers that we have identified the critical projects and that have a way to fund those projects.

#2 — Infrastructure — We need to make those investments that we have been deferring for years in water, stormwater, wastewater, etc.  We need to invest in our roads to make the “user experience” of coming to Carolina Beach the most enjoyable that it can be. This goes hand in hand with #1 as these are very high dollar projects and we need to clearly identify these projects and explain with transparency how we are spending the town’s tax dollars.  We also need to be more accountable to the town’s residents for giving them project timelines and measure against those timelines.

#3 — Work to maintain Carolina Beach’s identity as a family friendly tourist destination as well as a small-town family-oriented community — We need to make those investments that will continue to make Carolina Beach the destination place of choice for people seeking the small beach town experience.  We need to do this by focusing on our downtown boardwalk district and the businesses that are located in that area.

PCD: Stormwater flooding and runoff present a persistent concern for the island. Is enough being done to address these issues? Why or why not?
VL: As stated above, we are not doing enough to address these issues as a town.  We have been doing a good job of talking about them for years but never actually fixing the problems. We need to be stronger about identifying the wants and needs of the community and prioritizing the important projects.  In recent years we have undertaken some dubious projects that have taken resources from these projects.  We need to stop doing that and address these issues head on.

PCD: How will you influence the future of land use and development at Carolina Beach? As an elected official, what would be your guiding principles when it comes to deliberating on planning and zoning decisions?
VL: I think the town has done a good job of gathering a very talented group of citizens who created the land use plan.  As we can see from the recent text amendment related to Proximity, there will be projects that were not contemplated by this group.  That being said, I think that plan is an excellent template for growth, but we must remember that we may need to exercise some flexibility.  I think each project must be judged on its own but needs to fit into the aesthetics of our community.  My guiding principals will be the wants of our town residents.  I will look at each project and receive feedback and look to make the best decision for all of Carolina Beach.

PCD: What development practices, that you might have recently seen on the beach, do you think should be discouraged and encouraged?
VL: I think that, for the most part, developers in our community have the best interests of the community in mind when they develop.  We have seen instances where new development has led to flooding on adjacent properties.  I believe that our developers do there best to with those involved and the town to come up with the best solution.  I think we need to do more diligence before the permitting process to try and anticipate and mitigate these events before they happen. 

PCD: Council is slated to review a new tree ordinance soon. How far should the ordinance go? What specific provisions do you want to see included?
VL: While I understand the passion that some have shown about this, this is not something that I can get strongly behind.  If a buyer purchases a piece of land that property is his or hers and they should be able to decide what does on that land so long as it fits within the guidelines as set by the town.  I just believe we have so many more important issues to address.

PCD: Are you comfortable with the town’s parking policy and setup? What, if anything, should change?
VL: I am comfortable with the town’s policy but agree with the need for more accessible parking options.  Unfortunately, the only real way to add parking in the areas that need the parking will be costly.  The only 2 options that I can see are; 1) add vertical parking in the form of a parking deck or 2) try to purchase the lots near the boardwalk to turn into town owned lots.  We have little oversight over the privately owned lots but need to put them on a level playing field with town owned lots.

PCD: Freeman Park has been a source of legal controversy and natural erosion. Do you have any stance on the future of this access point as it pertains to the town’s control and maintenance of it?
As I understand it, the town only owns the strip of land where the access point is.  I would like to see the town look to monetize that asset by looking for a buyer that can invest in, and manage, the entrance.  I just think that, as it stands now, Freeman park will become more of a financial liability over time as the town will have to invest more resources to support Freeman Park while continuing to see the revenue source decline.

PCD: Are you comfortable with the current short-term rental ordinance and would you like to see these properties regulated further?
I think that, to the extent that some short-term rentals become a public nuisance, I am in favor of the ordinance. I believe that, while we are a tourist community, we also have a large year-round resident community. The town has made great strides in removing non-desirable elements from town but the fact of the matter is, they still remain and are enabled by the sort of short term rentals that we are talking about.

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