Sunset Beach 2021 City Council Candidates Discuss City Problems


At Sunset Beach, seven candidates will compete for the three available city council seats.

Incumbents John Corbett and Charles Nern will be joined on the ballot by William Boe, Richard Dysinger, Michael Hargreaves, John Shirk and Lewis Townsend.

Brunswick County voters have three options to vote in this year’s municipal election. Residents can vote before polling day by sending a mail ballot or voting during the one-stop-shop or early voting period, which begins October 14 and ends October 30.

Voters can also vote on polling day, which is November 2.

Editor’s Note: Candidates William Boe and John Shirk did not submit responses. Richard Dysinger did not submit a photo.

John F. Corbett Jr.

  • Age: 72
  • Address: 1313 Canal Drive, Sunset Beach, NC 28468
  • Profession: Retired (Colonel, US Army; National Security Analyst)
  • Family: wife Carol, married for 48 years; daughter Amy, son Sean, five grandchildren
  • Education: BS, United States Military Academy, 1972; MA, Asian Studies, University of Hawaii, 1974; MA, International Relations, University of Hawaii, 1974; Army War College, 1994
  • Political affiliation: Unaffiliated

Richard Dysinger

  • Age: 71
  • Address: 704 Fairway Drive E. Sunset Beach NC
  • Profession: retired. Digital marketing manager and consultant
  • Family: Married for 37 years
  • Education: BA In English Literature UMBC
  • Political Affiliation: This is a non-partisan office, but to quote Will Rogers: “I do not belong to any organized political party. I am a Democrat. “
Michael Hargreaves is running for one of three available seats on Sunset Beach City Council.

Michael hargreaves

  • Age: 74
  • Address: 612 Deacon Court, Sunset Beach, NC 28468
  • Occupation: Retired from the Education Administration in New York State
  • Family: wife, Judy; two sons, Todd and Katherine (three children), Matt and Laura (three children)
  • Education: BS in History and Education; MA in education; Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Administration
  • Political affiliation: No answer
Incumbent Charles Nern is running for re-election to Sunset Beach City Council.

Charlie nern

  • Age: 74
  • Address: 647 Oyster Bay Drive, Sunset Beach NC 28468
  • Occupation: Retired police officer and director of high school safety and security.
  • Family: Susan, wife of 53, son, Brian, daughter Abby, two grandchildren, Avery and Ryan
  • Education: Attended American University, Washington DC, Prince Georges CC, Largo, MD, Fairfax County CC. Fairfax Virginia.
  • Political affiliation: Republican
Lewis Townsend is running for one of three available seats on Sunset Beach City Council.

Lewis Townsend

  • Age: 68
  • Address: 226 Rice Mill Circle, Sunset Beach, NC 28468
  • Profession: Obstetrician / gynecologist, retired
  • Family: Married to my wife Linda for 42 years, three daughters and seven grandchildren.
  • Education: George Washington University BS 1975, MS Physiology 1977, MD 1981, Georgetown University Ob / Gyn. Residence 1985
  • Political affiliation: Independent

What are the biggest challenges Sunset Beach faces and how would you approach them?

Corbett: Work together as a community to continue programs to responsibly manage the rapid development underway while maintaining our coastal beach atmosphere. Ensure that we have adequate infrastructure, safety and security, stormwater protection and the environment, and meet the challenge of de-annexation.

Dysinger: The pace of development in Brunswick County threatens to destroy the unique quality of Sunset Beach that I often call Big Beach, Small Town. As the only independent candidate who stands, I am not associated with any list of developers or any list of incumbents. I intend to provide independent leadership to ensure that the city manages a future development that allows us to welcome new neighbors while preserving the essence of this wonderful place that attracts them in the first place.

Hargreaves: The city of Sunset Beach has many assets that bring people to visit and / or settle there, as my wife and I did years ago. I support, encourage and welcome new developments that adhere to the parameters of the city’s future growth, which have been developed with community input into the CAMA Land Use Plan 2017 and our United Development Ordinance. City council needs to advocate at the county and state levels for the infrastructure needed to accommodate the tremendous growth we are experiencing. We must also continue to prioritize public safety and emergency preparedness, while maintaining a favorable tax rate that helps provide essential municipal services to our growing population. Perhaps the biggest challenge to responsible development is the developers’ attempt to de-annex approximately 1,400 acres of our city. I strongly oppose this decision to physically divide our city and the resulting loss of significant tax revenue and development oversight.

Nern: De-annexation that would tear a big hole in the middle of Sunset Beach. We are working with the developer to come to a deal that will work for everyone. City’s 10-year stormwater project completed on or under budget. Infrastructure needed to cope with increased development by working with the county to avoid possible traffic jams on our roads.

Townsend: The lack of reasonable growth in housing, businesses, infrastructure, the loss of young people in surrounding towns and the pending de-annexation of about 50% (minus Bird Island) by the state of NC Development has been stalled during the past 10-20 years, leaving us far behind to follow the influx of people to the beaches of Brunswick County when it comes to housing, tax revenues and professionals looking to establish practices here for our aging population.

What makes you the best candidate?

Corbett: “Best” is a subjective term. With nearly five years on the board, my active involvement in community affairs, and my history of advocating and implementing many important local projects, I have demonstrated dedication and service to the Sunset Beach community. I wish to continue this service.

Dysinger: My family has owned a property in Sunset Beach since 1991, so I have seen the long arc of its growth. However, I am also an out-of-state transplant who has a sense of trends outside the community that are going to impact its future over the next four years.

Hargreaves: I believe my career in education administration and my background as a past president of the Sea Trail Master Association gives me the experience I need to be the type of board member that voters would rate it positively. I think people who know me would describe me as someone who seeks out and listens to the concerns of others, recognizes that there can be different perspectives on an issue, and works hard to develop an inclusive plan of action. I am a person who is motivated by helping others and solving problems, and ready to devote the time necessary to achieve it.

Nern: I served the city as a council member for four years. I have worked with my fellow council members and city staff to improve public safety, continue the city stormwater project, get final approval for our much needed dredging project, and started a dredging program. capital improvement to replace city vehicles and equipment while maintaining our low tax rate of $ 0.16.

Townsend: I would support the end of the de-annexation, the development of responsible business growth with controlled density, the creation of a year-round community, better stormwater management and the growth of our community. I want to listen to all perspectives, support our local police and firefighters, spend money wisely, and try to keep taxes low. I also think it is important to bring resources from Brunswick County to improve Sunset Beach and to come together to develop a comprehensive land use plan.

How would you rate the current board and what would you do differently?

Corbett: Over the past two years, the board has done an outstanding job of trying to identify, work for and serve the best interests of Sunset Beach. Like any business, there is room for improvement and the current board works diligently to meet the needs of the community.

Dysinger: Less contention. We need to sit down with the development community and design solutions that are not one or the other, but that represent the wants of the community and the interests of the developers. Not easy, but unless you find this balance, Sunset Beach will lose its unique quality.

Hargreaves: I give the current council a boost in their approach to the issues they face. Two years ago, two people who ran on the theme “Restoring Civility and Trust Through Positive and Productive Leadership” were elected to the board. Since then, the board has gone from confrontational to cooperative. The five members are all individuals and have their own opinions, but they discuss issues, compromise and make decisions in the best interests of the voters. If elected, I would embrace this style of leadership while advocating for increased and improved written and verbal communication between city officials and the community. Open and continuous communication is necessary for effective and responsive government, especially in a small town like ours.

Nern: The current council has done an incredible job. We work well together to make the tough decisions necessary to keep Sunset Beach the perfect place to live, work and play.

Townsend: My feeling from the current board is that they are listening to the minority and have blocked the required growth of Sunset Beach. We all want a quaint seaside town, but the reality is that without reasonable growth and continued de-annexation, Sunset Beach cannot be self-sufficient. Taxes will have to increase and services could be affected. The current board has been in place with the same philosophy for a very long time. It’s time to make a change.

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