November 28, 2017: I was shocked to learn of tonight’s “November Surprise” vote by the H2GO Board of Commissioners to turn H2GO’s assets over to the Town of Belville, and the manner in which this transpired raises a number of serious concerns.
First, this is a major move that directly impacts many thousands of Brunswick County residents, myself included, and tonight was the first time I have heard it even suggested, much less seriously discussed. Such a major change should be enacted with greater transparency than what we have seen here.
Second, it is important to note that, in situations where the county has assumed the assets of another utility, it does not happen overnight. The process typically begins with a mutually adopted memorandum of understanding and plays out over an extended period of time, typically six months or more, in order to ensure that all important details are considered and properly addressed. Either that did not happen here, or it did so out of the public eye.
Finally, over the past year I have heard numerous citizens express their belief and concern that a group of candidates running in this year’s election planned to turn H2GO over to the Town of Leland. While I never believed that to be the case, I assured the Mayor of Belville and others on multiple occasions that I would never support putting any part of Belville, Navassa or unincorporated Brunswick County under the jurisdiction of the Town of Leland’s public utilities. Similarly, I do not support putting any part of Leland, Navassa or unincorporated Brunswick County under a utility system controlled and operated by the Town of Belville. Neither town should use this as an effort to expand its territory and bring citizens outside of its boundaries under their influence.