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Technical difficulties mar Dare Board of Commissioners meeting; public comments made online

Dare County Board of Commissioners met on Monday, April 6, in its customary meeting room in Manteo.

Due to unidentified technical difficulties, the meeting was not broadcast or streamed over CurrentTV.

A video of the meeting was posted on April 6 around 12:45 p.m.

At the meeting, commissioners Robert L. Woodard, board chairman; Wally Overman, board vice chairman; Steve House and Rob Ross were spread out around the dais. Attending the meeting remotely were commissioners Jim Tobin, Danny Couch and Ervin Bateman.
Staff present included county manager Robert L. Outten, board clerk Cheryl Amby and deputy county manager/finance director David Clawson. Technology director Matt Hester was at the controls.

After frustrating minutes, a message was posted on the county’s and CurrentTV’s websites indicating technical difficulties had washed out remote access to the commissioners’ meeting.

Woodard started the meeting with an invocation written by Rev. Tanta Hendricks, the Pledge of Allegiance and opening remarks from Woodard.

The official notice of the meeting said to submit public comments by email to dcboc@darenc.com, the address to reach all commissioners at the same time. Woodard gave the commissioners time to review the comments.

Six of the ten emails received were from non-resident property owners, expressing dismay about the “hatred being directed at us” and anger about not being permitted to enter Dare County. Four emails commented on the broadcast.

Michele Hintz, who owns property in Kitty Hawk, wrote in one of her two emails, “it is inconceivable that we are locked out physically and now also denied virtually.”

Owners identified properties in Currituck, in Avon and South Nags Head. Rodger L. Smith, an attorney from Luray, Va., wrote “I do not think it is legally or logically correct to ban nonresident property owners. We contribute more financially in taxes and beach nourishment than resident property owners.” He suggests “real estate taxes and beach nourishment contributions should be abated proportionally to the period of non-access.”

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