Brunswick Co. commissioners strike offshore drilling from agenda

Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 at 10:37 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Hundreds gathered at the Brunswick County commissioners meeting Monday night, hoping leaders would pass a resolution opposing offshore drilling.

They were quickly disappointed as commissioners voted 4-1 to strike the item from the agenda altogether. Randy Thompson was the only commissioner to vote against striking the item.

In January, the board voted to rescind a resolution in favor of offshore drilling, but because it does not agree on a stance, the county will not take a position on the issue.

On March 15, County Commissioner Frank Williams issued a statement on the issue. He reiterated those thoughts Monday night.

"I think that we should focus our county's resources on issues that are specific to county government," he said. "We need to get back to focusing on our budget, our water treatment processes. This is ultimately a federal issue. Our board is split on it, and I think we need to be very careful about issuing any sort of official agreement unless our board's in unanimous agreement on it, and we're not on this."

Offshore drilling is a federal issue, but many counties along the east coast have passed resolutions opposing it.

Those who came out in favor of the proposed resolution left Monday's meeting visibly angry. Some yelled things like "You should be ashamed" and "You're a disgrace" at the commissioners.

"Maybe some of us just need to run for the county commission seat because we come every month anyway so we might as well go ahead and get a seat on the council," said Dwight Willis, who was at the meeting to oppose offshore drilling.

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