It's exciting to see so many people wanting to step up and lead New Hanover County into the next decade on the Board of Commissioners. There are 11 candidates vying for only two positions.
With such a crowded field, candidates are going to be looking for any advantage possible. Last week we discovered one advantage for an incumbent that just didn't seem right – and that's because taxpayers paid for it.
In the past month, the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners conducted a poll in the county on sales taxes. They wanted to know if voters would approve a proposed sales tax increase for the county. But they also asked extra questions, including approval ratings for each elected official on the commission and Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.
In essence, incumbent commissioner Bill Caster got a free poll on what people in the county think about him heading into his re-election attempt this May. The other 10 candidates in this race did not benefit from this taxpayer-paid poll. I don't think that's right.
Caster told WECT News he had no idea the poll included that question. For me, that just makes matters worse. That means he voted in favor of conducting this survey, and he didn't even know the questions.
A lot of self-preservation takes place in any political arena. I understand that, but this type of activity doesn't deserve a high approval rating on anybody's survey.