Dare issues statement on death of county commissioner Jim Tobin

Published 3:18 pm Thursday, October 19, 2023

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The Dare County Board of Commissioners announced the death of commissioner Jim Tobin in a statement issued Thursday, October 19, 2023. Tobin, who died Wednesday, October 18, was a longtime resident of Manns Harbor and served county commissioner since May 1, 2017.

“Commissioner Tobin will long be remembered for his passion and leadership in keeping Dare County’s waterways navigable for the commercial and recreational fishermen who depend on them as their highway to work,” noted the Dare County statement. “He served as chairman of Dare County’s Oregon Inlet Task Force for many years, and during that time he worked tirelessly with local, state and federal officials to keep local waterways safe and navigable.”

In remembering Tobin, Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert Woodard fondly recalled, “Jim had a vision, and he accomplished something that was thought to be impossible. He was the driving force in putting together a public-private partnership that resulted in Dare County having a dredging vessel operating under local control and direction.

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“This was a game changer. Before Jim made the Miss Katie dredge a reality, we used to have to hope and pray that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would have the time and resources to keep our inlets open,” Woodard added. “Thanks to Jim’s incredible leadership and perseverance, we now have a dredging vessel that is the envy of coastal communities across America.”

In addition to the Oregon Inlet Task Force and Dare County Waterways Commission, Tobin also served on the Manteo Rotary Club, NOAA Monitor Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council, North Carolina Marine Industrial Park Authority, Cooperative Extension Advisory Council, Older Adult Services Advisory Council, Transportation Advisory Board, Children and Youth Partnership for Dare County Board, and the Nursing Home Community Advisory Board, where he was an outspoken advocate for citizens’ needs and rights.

Many young people also benefited from Tobin’s public service. For many years he was a vital part of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, where he took an active role in 4-H activities to create a positive environment for youth to develop their head, heart, hands and health. Tobin was an encouraging voice for young people to take on proactive leadership roles, benefitting their peers and community.

“Chairman Woodard and the Dare County Board of Commissioners urge everyone to remember Commissioner Jim Tobin’s legacy of dedicated public service and the memorable way he was quick to share a smile and offer a word of encouragement to all he encountered,” noted the county’s statement. “Dare County extends its heartfelt condolences to Commissioner Tobin’s family as they grieve their loss.”

A celebration of life service will be held on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 3 p.m. at The Pavilion at Pirate’s Cove Marina in Manteo. A reception will take place immediately following the celebration of life.