Of the five Wrightsville Beach boards and committees accepting applications for 13 appointments, the Wrightsville Beach Planning Board is the most popular with seven applications to fill four seats.
The Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen will choose the new members on Thursday, Jan. 23, following a meet and greet with applicants at 5 p.m., before the regular meeting.
Alderman Hank Miller III, a former planning board member, vacated his seat when he was elected as alderman.
“In the history of Wrightsville Beach, I think people have seen that as important to have some experience serving boards and especially the planning board,” Miller said. “… If you live at the beach and are willing to serve, we’re going to take a strong look at you.”
Mayor Pro Tem Darryl Mills said the popularity of planning board comes from dealing with matters of real substance and items that regularly come before the board of aldermen.
“We like a diversity of experiences and abilities and backgrounds,” Mills said.
All seven candidates own Wrightsville Beach homes.
Janice Clark is reapplying for her seat on the planning board after serving one term. Clark is a teacher who likely will be retiring soon and has been a lifelong resident of Wrightsville Beach.
“I’ve spent two years what I feel like being trained,” Clark said. “... I have a vested interest in the beach and the community.”
David Culp, who previously served on the planning board for six years and is a kit car manufacturer and pilot, has been a Wrightsville Beach resident for about 10 years.
“Everything that comes before the planning board is important to somebody,” Culp said. “We just take our time and our diligence to try and bring what we feel is a good answer for the problem and/or the development to the board of aldermen, because we know that they don’t have time to delve in as deeply.”
Culp’s desire to return to the planning board is to help maintain the lifestyle at the beach and look toward the future.
“To keep from being a bedroom community, we’ve got to have the businesses at the beach and keep them there without impeding on anyone’s lifestyle,” Culp said.
Ken Dull, president and owner of McKinley Building Corporation, has lived in Wrightsville Beach for about 20 years, and previously served on the New Hanover County Planning Board and Wilmington City Council Planning Commission.
“I’ve always taken an active role in my community,” Dull said. “It’s my way of giving back. I’m a civil engineer by schooling. I’m just involved in economic development. … You’re going to have growth, you just want it to be the right growth.”
Michael Edmonds, a utilities mechanical specialist with Elementis Chromium, has lived in Wrightsville Beach for three years.
On his application, Edmonds stated that he would be devoted to good attendance and being well informed.
“I am interested in seeing balanced growth while maintaining the character of a small family beach town,” Edmonds stated.
Dr. Andy Hall, an interventional radiologist, has been a Wrightsville Beach resident for about five years.
“I ran an unsuccessful bid for alderman and at the advice of sitting aldermen and subsequently elected aldermen, it was suggested that I serve on the planning board to provide me with some necessary experience before obtaining a seat as an alderman,” Hall said. “So I am following that advice and hoping to put my best foot forward and help on the planning board.”
Alex Sprunt Murchison, owner and manager in A&N Roofing Inc., has been a Wrightsville Beach resident in a seasonal residence for more than 60 years.
He stated he would enjoy being involved in the management and protection of the community and its natural resources while bringing previous experience with zoning and ordinance issues from his business to the board.
Todd Schoen, owner and operator of Perma Ceram Bathroom Refinishing and Supplies, has been a Wrightsville Beach resident for 20 years and also in the remodeling business for 20 years. He first lived on Greensboro Street and now resides in Harbor Island.
“Seeing Wrightsville Beach through different eyes, from somebody that was 18, 20 years old here as just having fun on the beach to actually now being a parent and a family person is a really unique perspective,” Schoen said.