Election Watch 2015: Race for North Topsail Beach mayor heating up

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – 9 On Your Side continues our coverage of several big races in the November election and Wednesday WNCT focused on the North Topsail Beach Mayoral Race.

With election day less than two weeks away, the race for Mayor on the island continues to be heated.

WNCT asked all three candidates what sets them apart from the competition and why they ran.

for incumbent Dan Tuman, he said, “I’ve been here for a while, okay, and I’ve got a lot of experience and understand municipal government.”

Former mayor of the island, Don Martin, says he’s not happy with how things are being run in recent years.

“I wouldn’t be here today running for mayor, so we need to listen to the citizens more,” said Martin.

Newcomer Fred Burns says it’s time someone with more business experience steps in.

“What’s going on down here isn’t working. We know that we’ve given them eight years to come up with a plan, they’ve tried to implement their plan and their plan’s not working,” said Burns.

One of the biggest issues in the town surrounds the need for a terminal groin to stop beach erosion, as well as restoring the north end of the island.

The candidates agree these are ongoing issues the town will face for the next several years, but they have different approaches as to how they plan to make a difference.

“The final solution at the north end is a terminal groin that’ll be in 2018,” said Tuman. “Later this year, we’ll put sand there and if necessary 15 months or a year and a half later we’ll put some more sand there.”

For Martin, he said, “They’re paying thousands of dollars to an engineering company to see if we need a terminal groin. I say pay those thousands of dollars to get a terminal groin and then if we get the state approval then we can hire an engineer to see if we need it or not.”

And for Burns, “It’s time to get a different perspective, a different engineering company…whatever…to get in here and give us a different perspective on what might work, there’s new technologies out there & we haven’t tried any of them.”

All three candidates said growing tourism in the town was important.

They called for a push to attract the visitors, but say without the sandy beaches that North Topsail is known for there could be future potential problems.

The election for this race will be held at Folkstone Free Will Baptist Church on 133 Old Folkstone Road in North Topsail Beach from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm on November 3rd.

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