Southport, NC- Southport Mayor Joseph Hatem and the Board of Aldermen announced that Chris May will serve as Interim City Manager while the search process for a new City Manager is underway.

“Mr. May’s experience and knowledge of city government makes him a great choice to serve as Interim City Manager,” said Mayor Hatem.  “He has facilitated at previous Southport City retreats, knows our City well, and will keep us moving in a forward direction while we pursue a permanent replacement.”

Chris May brings with him, over 40 years of North Carolina local government experience.  He began his government career as Assistant Manager, Watauga Co., 78-79, became the Manager of Seven Devils, 79-85, and eventually, Manager of Blowing Rock, 85-95.  Most recently, he was the Executive Director Cape Fear Council of Government, 00-19.  He is a frequent guest lecturer at the University North Carolina Wilmington.

May did his undergraduate work at Appalachian State University and in 1981 he received his MA from the University.

He is inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

May has had a distinguished military career as a retired Commander US Coast Guard, has served 40 years in USCG Reserve, and is a past Certified Marine Environmental Protection and Law Enforcement Officer and MOTSU ELS Supervisor.

The Interim Manager is not an applicant for the City Manager position.  Applications for Southport City Manager will be taken until the position is filled.

As storms ravished the North Carolina coast last night, an old Southport landmark twisted in the gale force winds and collapsed.  Welcoming visitors for over 100 years on the Fort Johnston Garrison lawn, the 1901 US Bureau Coastal Warning Display Tower, fondly known by locals as “The Weather Tower” will be missed by many.

Mayor Hatem was on location early in the morning, “An iconic Southport historic relic that has been part of our lives for as long as we can remember, was severely damaged last night during the storm.  It is important to our citizens and to our city that the weather tower of Mrs. Jessie Taylor be preserved.  I have asked the City Manager, Mr. Bruce Oakley, to contact a structural engineer to give us our options.”

Early this morning Police Chief Todd Coring protected the site, “Officers secured and folded the flag, then shut power off to the structure.”  He requested visitors to “please avoid the area as assessments and removal efforts begin.”

“This is an important restoration project for the City, and we must salvage our heritage. There will need to be private funds involved and this process is already underway. For now, anyone who would like to donate may deliver a check to City Hall marked for “Weather Tower Restoration Fund,” stated Mayor Hatem.

Southport City Manager Bruce Oakley has announced his resignation, effective February 17th, to accept a new position as Carolina Beach Town Manager. Mr. Oakley has served Southport as City Manager since September of 2017.

“I have enjoyed my time in Southport and am honored to have had the opportunity to serve this community.” Oakley said.  “I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my life and will assist in a smooth transition.”

“We wish Mr. Oakley all the best in his future endeavors. He will be missed, however we have a great team in place, and employees who will make the transition successful,” said Mayor Hatem. “We will hire the person who will continue to move Southport in the direction of an even greater place to live.”

Mayor Hatem said that he is working on a transition plan for an interim City Manager with the City Council, as well as beginning the search for a permanent replacement.

Are you having trouble paying your utility bill?  You spoke and your Board of Aldermen listened!  The Board has established a new program, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, to assist residents struggling to pay sewer bills.  If you need assistance, please contact Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) to see if you qualify at 4600-10 Main Street, Shallotte, NC  28459.  In addition, an Intake Specialist with BFA will be available in Southport every Wednesday from 9:30 to 11:30 AM at Trinity United Methodist Church, 209 E Nash St.  For more details call our office at 910-457-7900, option 1.

Or, if you would like to donate to the program to help us assist more residents, please click on the button below or call us.  You can make a one-time donation or a monthly pledge.  Every dollar will make a difference!

Neighbors 4 Neighbors

The City is partnering with the other communities in Brunswick, New Hanover, Onslow, and Pender Counties to update the multi-jurisdictional Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Updating this plan will help make us less vulnerable to natural disasters. This survey is an opportunity for citizens to share opinions and participate in the hazard mitigation planning process. Can we share the link to this survey on the Website/Facebook sites?

https://s.surveyplanet.com/HOFD76fsq

 

The ferry system is developing a Long-Range Plan that will chart a course for sustainability and success. This plan will look 30 years into the future and help craft a vision for the system.  It will consider how the system can better meet the needs of customers, as well as the region’s residents, communities, businesses and visitors, using new tools, new technology and new ideas.

To make the plan a success, we need your help.

Please visit publicinput.com/NC-ferry-plan to complete our survey and help shape the future of the North Carolina Ferry System.

You can also access the survey by texting FerryPlan to 984-205-6615 or emailing NC-ferry-plan@publicinput.com.

AARP and YMCA volunteers are working with the City of Southport, NC, to make busy streets and intersections safer for walking and biking.

Check out this video!

Please take this short survey and let us know what you think of this project.

If anyone is in the need of woodchips, you are welcome to help yourself to the pile in Taylor Field. Gates will be open Monday- Friday, 9 am – 4 pm. It is self-serve.