June 1 – The colors red and green identified those in favor or opposed to Corolla incorporation at the public hearing held regarding the issue at the Currituck Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education. The majority of the standing-room only crowd wore red clothing and conspicuous “No to Incorporation” buttons to let the panel of NC General Assembly representatives know that they do not favor efforts to have Corolla become the first incorporated area in Currituck County. Those that spoke in opposition referenced the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” and one speaker, feeling that the incorporation committee was being unreasonable and unrealistic in their request, even quoted a Rolling Stones song, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try real hard, you get what you need.” Many in the audience felt they were already getting what they needed and felt an additional five cent property tax was unnecessary and not justified.
After all comments were received, Speaker Pro Tempore Wainwright and Senator Hartsell questioned incorporation committee representatives about police protection and county services that would be provided if a referendum outcome was favorable. Although a speaker mentioned that Sheriff Susan Johnson would provide no additional deputies or service under a contract with the town, Gary McGee stated that additional protection would be provided under a contract with the sheriff’s office. The panel also asked if a memo of understanding had been provided by the County stating what services and funds would be provided should Corolla became incorporated. Gary McGee stated that the committee was not a governing body and they had no power to enter into an agreement with the County at this time. He went on to add that not one Commissioner has stated that services would cease and that he is eager to discuss the issue with the County; however, there is no incentive to negotiate at this time. Gary did mention that the Village of Corolla would include non-residents on the Planning Board.
After all was said and done, the issue of whether or not the petition is complete and reasonable will be decided to determine whether or not the incorporation bill will pass and a referendum allowed. My best guess says the referendum will be held during the November General Election.