February 5, 2014. Tammy Waterfield Stilke: Thank you all for coming together as a community and supporting such an important issue. Great speeches tonight by the locals and positive feedback from our state officials. Very disappointed knowing the people that have the deciding vote only two showed up. Our RPO OPPOSES TOLLS....the other RPO would not state his decision. This is not over Islanders. We must continue to pull together to oppose these tolls! Can someone explain to me why the RPOs have all the voting power. I'm gonna start my letter but I want to know who I need to speak too. Maybe we should have a list of emails of the important ones
Vance Aydlett: Tammy- it is because the legislation that the House and Senate passed set it up that way. The legislation starts off by exempting Hatteras and Knotts Island in the first para, but then allows the tolling if the RPO group requests it. The RPO is responsible for prioritizing all Division funding. This is the money that now will be buying ferries, fixing roads etc. The region gets about 34 million dollars per year to fund these things. This will also have to buy Hatteras ferries as well. The RPO is in a bind with its decision simply because they have people they represent who will be asking why are you buying ferries when we need roads fixed and repaved. The whole deal is called plausible deniability where the legislative bunch can say we didn't toll anything the RPO asked for it. As for the question concerning who to write, I ask our consultant last night to provide a list of legislatures we should contact regarding changing the legislation. Its a two part deal. I will forward the list when I receive it. They said it would be about a week as they were out of the office this week. We have some time on the second one, the legislature does not reconvene until the spring.
Darnell Poff Gaddis: I just want to say how proud I am of my community tonight! For those of you who braved your fear of public speaking every one of you did a great job! For those who didn't speak for one reason or another you did a great job just being there to show your support and helping the voice of our community be heard. Lastly, I know there were many more Islanders who would have liked to have been there but couldn't make it for reasons such as kids and dinner etc..but you should know that all of you were there in spirit. Thanks for allowing me to be one of your community representatives.
Gary Montalbine: I received the following email from Rep
Bob Steinburg in response to one I sent him:
It was an honor and a privilege to be at the Public Hearing last
evening on Knotts Island. The folks were super including
respectful in every way. I cannot begin to tell you how impressed
I was. They made many excellent points!
I have been on the phone with DOT and Legislative leaders this
morning. While the RPO has the decision in their hands at this
moment, I want to assure you we are looking at all options to
avoid imposing a toll on your residents. Last night was a great
start. You can count on my support to help in any way I can. I
spoke with Senator Cook last evening at the conclusion of the
Hearing and am very confident he is in total agreement with me on
this, but I cannot speak for him of course.
Regarding the ride home...good grief!! What a nightmare. All members of DOT statewide should be forced to make that drive at least once on a rainy night. I didn't get home until after 1 AM and I passed Senator Cook along the way on his way home, which I'll bet was an arrival time of at least 2:30 AM. Thank you again for your hospitality last night and for your correspondence.
Gary Montalbine: The handout tonight also stated: "You may
mail/e-mail/fax your comments by February 28, 2014 to the
Mr. Jamille A. Robbins, Public Involvement Group Leader
NCDOT - Human Environment
Section 1598 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1598
Phone: (919) 707-6085 FAX: (919) 212-5785
This gives a chance for those that did not speak to state your position.
Donna Barnes McCloud: Ok I told everyone last night at the meeting I was going to have my kids do the math and they did a great job!! If the million dollar expense is just for the KI tolls then my kids determined it would take 11 years and 7 months to break even!!