There’s still some ice and snow on the ground, but we were able to make it in to bring you the stories that matter. Chad starts out with his excitement over the Panthers win. He shares some of the sports reporter’s statements prior to the season about how Cam Newton would play. So, who do you trust? Cam Newton has proven he’s the man to beat on the football field. What about politically? Do we know?
Next, Chad speaks to Shallotte Mayor Walter Eccard. Mayor Eccard says some of the challenges the town faces are establishing an identity within such a large coastal county like Brunswick. He explains while the town is coastal, it’s not on a beach, it’s on a sound. Mayor Eccard says being halfway between Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, the riverfront was ignored for almost a hundred years. When looking at what was special about the town, they decided to enhance Main Street and the riverfront. Then 2008 hit. But, they were able to purchase about 20 acres of waterfront without putting any additional taxes on citizens and they hope to start construction of a Riverwalk, home, shopping – a real destination location to continue the growth in population they’ve seen in recent years. Chad asks about the numbers of people who’ve been moving into the area. Mayor Eccard explains the majority of them have been retirement age which means catering not so much to children and parents, but to restaurants, shops and entertainment. He tells Chad when he was on the planning board, he met with the established families of the town who shared the histories of the town, why it has been so important to them, and what the river meant to the growth of the town. The Mayor says, “While Shallotte River is a small river, it’s a tidal river which means it changes constantly giving a different view each time people pay it a visit.” Chad asks how he sees the town’s relationship with the County and State Government. Mayor Eccard says his relationship with the County is very good. With the State, he says in the monthly meeting of area Mayors and Representatives, the sales tax issue has been brought up each time. He tells Chad a cut in sales taxes will hurt Brunswick County and many small towns. He says needs have to be met and redistribution is always going to hurt someone. He believes it’s the responsibility of the legislature to find some other way besides sales tax redistribution to figure this out. It’s an interesting conversation about a beautiful town you should definitely visit.
In the second hour, Civitas President Francis De Luca joins Chad. Chad shares that he’ll be guest host at the Poll lunch this Thursday at the Wilmington Marriott. Francis shares that the race between Cruz and Trump is close, but the results aren’t exactly like the PPP poll that is much less balanced and more left-leaning. Chad asks Francis whether Senator Burr could have said what he did about Senators Cruz and Sanders. Francis recounts what Senator Burr stated about Cruz during one of the government shutdowns and thinks that there is no love lost between the two. This leads to a discussion over a divided government and whether the Attorney General should be an appointed instead of elected position. They also discuss the CSX debacle. Francis says he’s never seen politicians run so fast from something as this issue – even ones that originally came out in support of it. Chad agrees and says they spanned from local to federal politicians. Francis also shares that CLC will also probably be moving from the Crabtree Marriott to a new location that will be disclosed in the next couple of days.
Finally, Chad shares his thoughts on the I-77 toll road issue and what it means to the Governor’s race. He says Governor McCrory’s Campaign Manager’s words on the issue should have probably been chosen more carefully so as not to leave a bad taste in some voter’s mouths. Chad says this is an explosive issue in an area where the Governor needs votes and could cause him a problem this election cycle. He says the only way he feels the Governor will be hurt is if his challengers are capable of making him seem less “cool” than he actually is because if you’ve ever met Governor McCrory – you know he’s pretty darned cool.
Tomorrow AFP’s State Director Donald Bryson and Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler join us.