Friday, July 29, 2011

Fuller, Fulton and Meares seek backing of New Hanover GOP members in Wilmington City Council race.

Verne Strickland Blogmaster  / July 29, 2011

Rhonda Amoroso, chairwoman of New Hanover County Republican Party, reported highlights of the organization's meeting in Wilmington on Thursday, July 28, at the Jungle Rapids conference center:

At our July meeting, we were delighted to have a packed house of Republican faithful -- over 100 in attendance, including many first-timers. This is always gratifying to see.

We discussed some business, but I think the highlight of the session was a series of brief talks by three of our GOP candidates for the Wilmington City Council. Each did a very creditable job, and those in attendance seemed impressed by the presentations.
Two other candidates were also on hand, and will shortly go through our leadership committee vetting process. They will speak at the next monthly meeting. A Republican candidate for Mayor of Wilmington was also on hand, and we will interview him in the near future through our standard vetting process.

Our New Hanover County Republicans are very excited at having such a strong field in the running for Wilmington city offices. We hope and feel that we can get some of our candidates elected, and will work hard to accomplish that.

There's a lot of energy and enthusiasm in our group at this time. Our members are organizing in the neighborhoods and precincts to support the GOP ticket at the local, county, district, state and national levels.


Napier Fuller

Napier Fuller, 37, grew up in Wilmington and attended New Hanover County Schools (Bradley Creek, Roland-Grise, and Hoggard ‘92). Napier Fuller and his wife, Sue Anne, live in historic downtown Wilmington; they have an infant son, Xavier. Fuller attended Washington University in St. Louis (BA, ‘96). He attended graduate school at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning where he earned a Master of Science degree in City Planning.

He became a Fellow at Dartmouth College’s Regional Technology Center focused on entrepreneurship. After applying for a patent, he worked on a startup in Silicon Valley where he developed new ways to help people search for information on wireless phones.

In 2008, he returned home to work at Atlantic Brokerage, his father’s firm, as a commercial real estate broker. Fuller has a great passion for solving problems related to urban growth and economic development; he will help our city fulfill its potential as one of the best places to live and to work on the East Coast.

Fuller is well qualified to serve on Wilmington's City Council. In recent years, he served on the City of Wilmington’s Tree Commission, City of Wilmington’s Sister City Commission, City of Wilmington's Board of Adjustment, Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors Legislative Affairs Committee, and represented the USA on a six month graduate internship at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium focusing on mobile phone regulation.

He is active in the community: Cape Fear Rotary Club, the Wilmington Roadrunners, the Residents of Old Wilmington, Knights of Columbus, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

These are excerpts from an interview with Napier at the New Hanover County GOP session:

The four big issues that we are going to be working on are economic development, traffic and congestion, crime rates, and lower taxes. The most important of those is improving the economy, making it drive again. And, as I mentioned in my speech, the economic development policy is very disjointed in Wilmington. We have a number of different conflicting groups fighting through press releases, and I want very much to be a unifier and develop a powerful strategy so that we can all move forward.


Joshua Fulton

This information is excerpted from Josh's campaign announcement:

Joshua Fulton is a fiscal conservative running for Wilmington City Council.

He believes that keeping wealth in the hands of citizens is key to promoting economic prosperity, and that the city of Wilmington already takes far too much of its citizens' wealth.

Wilmington currently has the 5th highest tax burden of the largest 33 cities in the state. It costs the average citizen over $1000 in taxes and fees to live here every year.

Wilmington's debt has doubled since 2004, and its expenditures have increased by 56%.  If responsibility for water and sewer service hadn't been transferred to the CFPUA, Wilmington's debt and expenditures both would have more than doubled.
The current City Council will not change its path.

Whether it's a "municipal services district" tax, longer hours for parking meters, or $1,200 fees for sidewalk cafes, the City Council will simply try to find more creative ways to tax us for their excessive spending.

The city budget can and must be cut.  Joshua Fulton has laid out a plan to show how at least $10M can be eliminated from the budget.

If there's one area of spending that can be increased, it's police services.  FBI statistics currently rank Wilmington as the nation's 97th most dangerous city.  That is far too high for anyone to be comfortable with.  Storm water infrastructure also needs improvement.

If you believe the current City Council is taking us in the wrong direction, and the things just mentioned are important to you, vote for Joshua Fulton in November! 

In remarks at the New Hanover County session on Thursday, July 28, Fulton added these perspectives:

"This year's municipal budget is over four percent higher than last year's. We spent $50 million on a convention center that is going to be in the red according to the city's own numbers. So I'm on a platform of lowering taxes, and reducing spending."


Frank Christopher Meares 

From his campaign Web site:

Frank Christopher Meares was born and raised in Wilmington, NC. He currently works for the American Red Cross. His grandfather was a small business owner - founding 218 Antiques and Armory. His father is a welder and his mother a dental hygienist in Wilmington. His roots in the Wilmington have kept him grounded in his Conservative Republican beliefs. Frank feels that government should be small and local. Not a massive, overarching bureaucracy where the creators and hard-workers are punished.  His motto is "The government should not make people, the people should make the government."

During his high school years, he was involved in teen court and had the opportunity to meet supreme court justices and different legislatures. He also spent time volunteering with the Bellamy Mansion Museum in downtown Wilmington. Since that time, he has become involved with Americans For Prosperity and a GOP presinct chair for Wrightsville Beach. With his experiences and drive he feels that he needs to step up and become part of the Wilmington City Council and truly begin the process of saving the city that he and many others love.


Rebuilding and maintaining the city’s infrastructure.   

Fiscal responsibility by the city government through proper money management and review.  

Wilmington must become more business friendly so that the free market can do what it does best- creating jobs and promoting growth.

    The following is excerpted from Frank's remarks at the GOP meeting:

    We are second generation Wilmingtonians, and we have lived in this wonderful city for over 100 years. I've been here for 28 years. During this time, I've seen Wilmington at its height, and at its lowest point, and I think we're close to that low now, with roads that are falling apart, internal water restrictions that are going through the roof, so many issues with our infrastructure that we don't pay attention to.

    One of my favorite quotes is from Winston Churchill -- "Courage is what it takes to stand and speak. And also what it takes to sit and listen." We need to sit down with business leaders, with those who want to bring business into Wilmington, and exchange ideas with them. We don't need to burden them with endless regulations. The boards and zoning boards are putting regulations out there that are strangling our economy. This needs to stop.


     Wallace Vanhoy, who chairs the County GOP's candidate development comittee, praised GOP Chairwoman Rhonda Amoroso for her leadership in attracting candidates to the race for important Wilmington City posts:

    "I can't say enough about Rhonda. She has attracted growing crowds of energized Republicans who are attending our monthly meetings. And our key elected officials show that they want to participate in our activities. Rick Catlin does a superb job, and I an looking forward to his serving in the General Assembly in the new House seat. Our City Council candidates who spoke tonight impressed the crowd, and I am certain they will wage very strong campaigns for office. We are fortunate to have them in the running."

    Contact Rhonda Amoroso