From the Outer Banks Sentinel:
A measure in the Senate version of the state budget that would eliminate the position of Jennette’s Pier manager is meeting resistance in Dare County and has sparked speculation about the motivation behind it.
The measure — whose fate will be decided by the legislative conference committee in Raleigh — calls for the director of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island — currently Maylon White — to also serve as pier director, a job currently held by Mike Remige.
The aquarium and pier fall under the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The Dare County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution on June 6 expressing its opposition to the measure, and the Nags Head Commissioners plan to take up the issue this week at their meeting. On the N.C. House side, Rep. Paul Tine said he opposes the legislation. A petition to be sent to Sen. Bill Cook is being circulated.
Cook endorsed the move as a “cost savings” measure, but the petition raises speculation that it is in part related to allegations by Republicans that the pier gave Democrats discounted or favorable treatment for events there. Democrats say they received no such treatment.
Dare County officials said pier operations require a full-time, on-site manager.
“We need somebody on site to manage that facility,” said Chairman Bob Woodard. “It’s not just somebody parking their car, getting a fishing rod and paying six dollars. We just feel it’s important. There’s a research project going on.”
Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards called the move “… another one of those power grabs by Raleigh without any thought to how it’s going to work out.”