Carteret County moves forward with effort to secure new shore protection office manager

Doug Huggett of Moffatt & Nichol Engineers, a temporary employee in the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, talks about occupancy tax revenues Tuesday during a meeting of the Carteret County Beach Commission in Emerald Isle. (Brad Rich photo)

Posted on November 22, 2021

EMERALD ISLE — Carteret County Beach Commission Chairperson Jim Normile said Tuesday the county and panel are making progress in finding a replacement for County Shore Protection Office manager Greg Rudolph, whose last day on the job was Friday.

Speaking during a brief beach commission meeting in the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners’ meeting room on the north side of Highway 58, Mr. Normile said applications are coming in and being screened to see who will be interviewed.

The next beach commission meeting is set for Monday, Feb. 14, but Mr. Normile said the panel might hold a special meeting before then to discuss a potential hire or the continuation of the process.

The commission advises the shore protection office, or SPO, and will make a recommendation on who the county should hire to replace Mr. Rudolph.

“I think the right prospect is out there for us,” Mr. Normile said.

The commission also reviewed occupancy tax revenues under the direction interim office manager Doug Huggett, a senior environmental permit specialist and project manager from Moffatt & Nichol, the county’s contracted beach engineering firm. County officials hired him in late October to keep the office running effectively.

The temporary position is funded by the occupancy tax, like Mr. Rudolph’s salary. The tax is 6% on all rental accommodations and half of it goes to the county’s beach nourishment fund, while the other half is used for tourism advertising. The cost of the temporary position is not to exceed $30,000.

Mr. Huggett served as secretary to the beach commission during the meeting Tuesday. He thanked Mr. Rudolph for working hard in recent days to “get me up to speed” on occupancy tax revenues and related issues.

The latest report on occupancy tax revenues from the county show tourism numbers continued to break records in September.

Also during the meeting, the commission recommended county commissioners reappoint Mr. Normile to represent Emerald Isle on the panel, along with Mike Fiorini, who would represent Salter Path. The latter owns and operates Homer’s Point Marina in Salter Path. Doug Guthrie, who has represented Salter Path on the commission since 2014, asked not to be reappointed, according to Mr. Normile.

A term on the panel representing Atlantic Beach, currently held by Harry Archer, is also set to expire after the first of the year.

Finally, Mr. Normile said he is waiting for word from the Carteret County Tourism Development Authority on whom it would like to see represent it on the beach commission. That position has been held by Woody Warren of Emerald and Blue Water Real Estate.

Emerald Isle commissioners last week recommended the county reappoint Mr. Normile to the beach commission.

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