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Meet the 2019 Oriental Town Board Candidates
Five candidates for election Tues Nov 5
November 4, 2019

T
here are six candidates for five Town Commissioner seats… but one of the candidates isn’t really running. But her name is on the ballot. Voting on November 5 will be at Fire Station 19 on Straight Rd.

Four of the current five Commissioners are in the running: Charlie Overcash, Allen Price, Dianne Simmons, and David White. One resident, J. Martin Barrow, is running for Town Commissioner for the third time. The sixth candidate is Sheri Rettew, director of the Hope Clinic.

On October 11, Rettew announced she is moving away from the area. Her decision came after the cutoff date to have her name removed from the ballot. Sherri Rettew explains:

I’ve unofficially taken my hat out of the ring. I can’t officially remove my name from the ballot, but was trying to get out the word to minimize confusion if possible,” she said. “It wouldn’t make sense to continue the run. If I were somehow to be elected, I’ll have to decline to serve.”

Mayor Sally Belangia is running unopposed for her third term.

Town Board elections are held every two years. In 2017, TownDock.net asked the candidates questions about the development and future of Oriental. Two years later, those questions remain pertinent. Responses have been lightly edited to reflect the changes of the past two years.

Candidate responses are grouped by question so a reader/voter can see the range of answers.

The candidates are listed in alphabetical order of last names and then staggered so that a different candidate's response starts the subsequent rounds, just as is done at live forums.

As Mayor Sally Belangia is running unopposed for re-election, her answers appear at the bottom of each question regardless of order.

How and Where to Vote
Election Day, November 5, 2019, you can cast your vote at the Southeast Pamlico Volunteer Fire Department at 182 Straight Rd, Oriental, NC 28571.

Two years ago, candidates were focusing on new projects for Oriental: a bike path connecting Dolphin Point to the Village, a grant to address the frequent flooding on Hodges Street, and the restoration of Whittaker Point.

The town has secured approximately $4 million for the restoration of Whittaker Point, however Hurricane Florence sidelined the other projects. In the next two years, what outstanding projects should the Town focus on and why?


David White: There are many plans and projects that are continuing as a result of the recent budget adopted in June for fiscal year July 2019 - June 2020; however, I feel there are three areas that will require additional planning and funding. 1) Road Maintenance – In certain areas our streets and roads need repair and resurfacing. This will be a large cost to the Town and plans need to be adopted to address urgent needs now and others for the future. 2) Continued Drainage Improvement – In heavy rain storms, water puddles in certain areas and plans will need to be developed to address these situations. 3) Continued Improvement of Town Docks & Water Access Areas – The white frame structure at Town Dock #2 needs to be refurbished and converted into a visitors’ center for all. Additionally, water access areas should continue to be updated as needed, for it is these water vistas and access that attract others to Oriental. Anything we can do to encourage visitors benefits the Town.

J. Martin Barrow: Completion of the Whitaker Point Restoration project and the dredging should be a priority. These two projects are on schedule to begin shortly and should be completed within this next year. Due to timeliness of these projects, they should take priority oversight.

However, we can manage additional projects simultaneously. One of those would be the feasibility of a greenway linking the town with White Farm Road. The most direct route will require an easement or right-of-way through at least two pieces of private property. Without it, the greenway becomes almost undoable. I recommend we task one of the town’s existing committees to explore the acquisition of an easement or right-of-way. In the event, we are successful, we can explore funding to build and complete this long discussed project.

Additionally, I recommend moving the repair of our streets to a priority footing. We need to identify those areas requiring the most timely and critical repairs based on traffic volume and the degraded condition of the road surface. Once the areas are identified, the funding and scheduling of those repairs should be undertaken.

The two latter projects should be included in what should be known as our Strategic Plan for Oriental. A Strategic Plan will identify those initiatives we could reasonably anticipate and expect to execute in a one-year, three-year, and five-year period. The Strategic Plan should be reviewed and modified on an annual basis identifying the goals met, the goals unattainable, and those needing more time. The goals unattainable would be removed and new initiatives added to the Plan going forward. If we execute a Strategic Plan properly, it will track our successes and identify the goals we could not meet. I believe if we don’t know where we have been, we cannot know our way forward.

One of the items on the Town’s long-range vision plan was reducing the speed on Highway 55. During the latter part of 2017, I welcomed the opportunity to work with Town Manager, Diane Miller, in convincing the NCDOT to not only reduce our speed limit on Highway 55 but also move the town limits to just west of Town Street. This change facilitates the use of carts to reach the Piglet and enhances the overall safety over that portion of the roadway for vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. This is the type of initiative or project identified on a Strategic Plan we can mark "completed".

Other items to accomplish during the next year should include the following: (1.) The implementation of a "My two cents worth" button on the Town’s website that populates an email to the Town Manager and each of the Commissioners. (2.) Develop and Publish an easy to understand line item budget. (3.) Promote the right of citizens to speak publicly and to be heard. (4.) I advocate for Commissioners to establish a delay between a Public Hearing and the vote on changes in the ordinances of Oriental including those in the GMO. This delay allows for the comments and additional information to be considered prior to a final vote.

Dianne Simmons: I would definitely like to see a bike path connecting the village to Dolphin Point. This is a question that will be taken up by the Parks and Recreation committee; I hope some citizen volunteers will offer their time to this committee and will help develop a plan to present to the board. The Whittaker Pointe renovation and the Whittaker Creek dredging projects are on-going and I would like to see them successfully completed. The Harbor Waterfront Advisory Committee for which I am the commissioner-liaison, is working on an ordinance concerning derelict and abandoned boats and this will be one of the issues the board will be focusing on in the coming year. Hodges Street flooding is another matter that I'd like to see addressed. Also important for the board is supporting the special events that help make Oriental the delightful place that it is: The Croaker Festival, The Old Front Porch Music Festival, Cycle NC, the boat show and the Antique Car show are just a few of those.

Why do you want to be a Town Commissioner?


J. Martin Barrow: I filed for the Commissioner’s position to partner with others to continue and improve the positive direction for the Town of Oriental. As Commissioner, I will work to ensure fiscal responsibility in managing the Town’s operations and promote safe streets and secure neighborhoods. I believe we should maintain and develop strategies to promote a ‘business friendly’ environment while maintaining the ‘village charm’.

Charlie Overcash: That is an easy question. I care for Oriental and want to continue to be a part of Oriental's growth and town administration.


Allen Price: I have enjoyed my years on the board and I would like to continue serving the town. I worked for 40+ years and most of my time was spent traveling so I had very little time to give back to a community in a meaningful way. Now I am retired with only part time work so it’s time for me to continue to give back to the community.

Dianne Simmons: I have given a lot of thought to what constitutes good government and I realize that participation of citizens is essential. Political offices in local governments are of primary importance; from these governing bodies proceed the workings of state and national government.

I believe that my experience, temperament and willingness to learn and work qualify me for this position.

David White: Oriental is an outstanding place to live. My wife Jean and I have found a wonderful community here and we are proud to call Oriental our home. We have been property owners since 2000 and started construction of our home in 2002. If there is something I have found to be true over my life, it is that change is inevitable, and I very much want to be a part of helping to manage change (whatever it may throw at Oriental) and to ensure that Oriental maintains its sense of community and quality of life for all.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): I love Oriental. I am a native of Oriental and I love all the people that live in our town along with our businesses. I have seen the Town of Oriental change during my lifetime through land development and along with many new residents moving in. I think we have done a good job of growing our town. We must make sure that we continue.


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Is there an issue you think deserves more attention than it is currently getting?


Charlie Overcash: Yes, I would like to see Oriental have more green way area. Especially along the waterfront.



Allen Price: Attention to issues is a moving target. From a high level I believe the town is well managed and the attention to issues is well planned out. The town reacts to peoples request the best they can. Unexpected issues are addressed as they arise. The town does a great job trying to keep in front of the aging infrastructure but it is difficult to predict the next issue from an aging system until something breaks. When something goes wrong it can require a lot of time that is not scheduled. This can change the town's priorities.

Dianne Simmons: The protection of our resources is an issue that deserves a great deal of attention and our constant vigilance. I am confident that those of us who moved here from somewhere else did so because of the river environment and the opportunities for fishing, boating and the sheer enjoyment of the natural beauty. Maintaining clean air and water are of prime importance, as well, to the local residents, businesses and tourists who choose to vacation here. Preserving the local wildlife and vegetation is also essential.

Unpolluted air and water are vital to local fishermen and to the businesses which rely on tourists. Taking care of what we have been given is good for all of us.

David White: As with many small cities or towns, Oriental is faced with a limited budget from which it needs to fund all Town activities, such as: current and future infrastructure; hurricane and storm preparation and recovery; storm water drainage issues; Town employees; day to day administrative work; the Water Plant; and debris, recycling and waste pick up services, just to name a few. It is very important for the Town to rank and pick the right set of activities to focus on in order to ensure that Oriental continues to function as effectively as it has done in the past. There has been excellent work done on Oriental’s Long Range Plan developed under previous administrations that needs to be referenced when discussing budgets to ensure the Town is on the right track. Additionally, each year the Town engages in a planning session, which is open to the public, to review the Long Range Plan and budget considerations and to set the Town’s priorities. I urge all to attend and participate in these meetings and all of the Town Meetings to make sure the policies and processes reflect what is in the best interest of the Town.

J. Martin Barrow: The attention to any issue varies based on urgency, impact, probable solutions, and reasonable execution.

I believe our streets are a priority. Some of our streets would benefit from permanent repairs that would replace the temporary gravel patches in several places. We need to be able to make timely repairs and improve the safety of those streets. Poorly maintained streets pose a risk to safety as much as a poor driver. Exploring all resources available for the cost of street improvements including both private and public grant funding should be a priority.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): No.








One hears it said we need more businesses in Oriental; what type of business(es) would you like to see?


Charlie Overcash: In order to stimulate year around businesses, I believe we should encourage more tourist related businesses. This would bring more visitors to our great village. Many of those may chose to move here and, therefore, that would build a larger base of residents which would, in turn, result in more year around businesses.

Allen Price: I look for small businesses in or around Oriental that will employee a few people or bring people to Oriental for a need – Examples are a car wash, laundry mat, dry cleaners drop off, pharmacy, and/or team up with PCC and see what they have to offer. This traffic would help the local merchants, the needs of the community and generate revenue year round.

Dianne Simmons: Oriental is fortunate to have so many enterprises in such a small town and I urge everyone to support them. I am not opposed to more businesses in Oriental. I am a customer of almost every business in town - a frequent patron of quite a few of them. I try to do all of my shopping in Oriental, so I would personally like a drug store if the customer base would support it. I’m sure that more businesses will open as customer support grows.

David White: The Town needs to consider all types of businesses that wish to locate or set up facilities in Oriental. What types will be allowed is governed by the Table of Permissible Uses in the GMO and our local Ordinances, which encompass a broad range of businesses and services. With that said, improvements to our infrastructure (streets, waterways, harbor, communities, water accesses, etc.) only help to attract service industries and other types of business entities. We are a small community, but we have much to offer with our water vistas, great restaurants and bars, retail stores, waterways, wonderful sense of community, grocery store, hardware store, deli, post office, theater and many other services and facilities.

J. Martin Barrow: With the litany of possible businesses that might locate in Oriental, it would be difficult for me to identify or narrow the scope of the types of businesses we could support. However, I would put a local pharmacy at the top of the list. Before Denton’s Pharmacy closed, the pharmacy was convenient and it was nice to do business with people invested in Oriental.

We should develop and maintain an active ‘business-friendly’ environment, which encourages investments by new and existing businesses. The Board’s role is to ensure the type and scope of those businesses would be a positive addition to the town.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): Yes we need more businesses. Retail and Service Industry.




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The Town has long discussed having a pedestrian/bicycle pathway near the headwaters of Whittaker Creek to connect two parts of town. What would you suggest be done?


Charlie Overcash: Since the town has a limited amount of money to spend on this project, we must actively pursue grant money to study, recommend and implement a pathway.


Allen Price: This has been on the drawing board for a long time and it is moving along very slowly. It will be very expensive for the town without a grant. I believe a TownDock article showed multiple paths that have been considered. One of these paths seems to be a good option. Recently the town manager and the Park and Rec committee reached out to the NCDOT. A representative visited Oriental and rode her bike around town. I would be glad to listen to those interested in this project to discuss ways we can help and move it forward. We have openings on the Park and Rec committee. Here is a chance for someone really interested in the bike path to get involved. I would enjoy working with them on this project.

Dianne Simmons: It’s a great idea and I support it. I am a cyclist myself and I would like to ride to Dolphin Point without having to get on highway 55 and Straight Road. I understand that there is a tentative plan in place and that some work has been done. I would suggest that a specific person or committee contact all those parties whose participation is necessary and hammer out an agreement. If that fails, we must seek a different plan.

David White: You are correct in that a bike path has been in the planning stages for many years. For this to become a reality, it needs to be elevated to a must-do project. As stated above, we have a limited budget and need to decide where those limited funds are to be spent. To make a bike path a reality, the Board, with public input, needs to vote to make this a priority, or not. If the vote is “no,” we move to other projects. If selected, the steps that need to be taken are: 1) develop a plan 2) determine the cost to complete, 3) build an implementation plan with steps or phases, 4) determine funding sources (grants, Town budget, private donations, business donations, etc.) and then finally construct.

J. Martin Barrow: I am in favor of developing bike and pedestrian trails and pathways. Like many, I enjoy both walking and biking and would like to see this project completed. The funding necessary to complete the pathway will need to be identified.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): We must get a committee together and work on this project. Once designed then we must apply for a grant.






The Town received a grant to study the periodic flooding of Hodges St. What are your ideas for solving the flooding problem?


Allen Price: There have been several ideas floated around and I have talked to an engineer about the flooding. We should wait for the professionals doing the study to report their findings and then discuss options.

Dianne Simmons: My idea for solving the periodic flooding on Hodges St. would be to use the grant money to consult a qualified engineer who would determine the best steps for the Town to take. The Town could then seek out the most economical path to making the suggested changes. This would include finding out what government funds or grants might be available to offset the cost. Any work done on Hodges Street should be done with the least amount of interruption to traffic and local businesses.

The major problem with the flooding for most of us is that it presents an obstacle to getting to the Bean. If large engineering projects turn out to be too costly, perhaps the Town could consider a raised walkway to enable access to Bean. One must have one’s morning coffee and conversation.

David White: Our Town Manager Diane Miller has done an outstanding job in securing a grant to study our flooding issues in and around Hodges Street. I very much support this study and look forward to the final report. It would be easy to say let’s raise Hodges Street or enlarge the Duck Pond, but that would be very premature. I have dealt with water issues on my own property in the past and one thing I have found out is water will go where it wants to and fixing one problem area may quickly cause another water issue somewhere else. Let’s see what the study recommends and then make plans based on those recommendations.

J. Martin Barrow: Obtaining the grant was the first step in addressing the flooding. The second step should be using the grant funding to hire a licensed engineering firm to study and propose viable solutions to minimize or mitigate the flooding. As a Town Commissioner, I would expect the study to identify a range of possible solutions and associated costs to consider. As with other initiatives, priorities and funding sources would directly effect execution of any recommendations.

Charlie Overcash: This question has come up at each election. At this point the suggestions made, such as raising Hodges Street at the harbor have been unattainable because the town just does not have the money to spend. Money keeps coming back up, but it is a reality that Oriental just does not have that much extra money after all the "have to have" budget items are taken care of. I look forward to the results of the grant study and sincerely hope the results include ways to pay for those results.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): Hopefully the grant will help us design a plan for the flooding.




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What life and or career experience(s) of yours could be valuable as a Town Commissioner?


J. Martin Barrow: I am an Eagle Scout, a Navy veteran, and a retired law enforcement officer and manager. My law enforcement management experience included budget, training, equipment, and the application of personnel laws. My experience as an officer, detective, and field supervisor provided me the opportunity to understand the delivery of services as it relates to public safety. This experience will be helpful in evaluating the Town’s police policies and structure as well as evaluating recommendations from the Town administrator including budget, personnel matters, public safety, and emergency preparedness issues.

Charlie Overcash: I have many reasons why my experiences can be, and are, valuable to be a town commissioner! I'll state the ones that directly come from my time in Oriental. I have been a town ambassador when the small cruise ships docked here to let passengers walk the town. I have walked with them while Grace Evans told the history of the town and let then know how special it is to be in Oriental. I have learned about town government by being on the Board of Adjustment, almost three years of being Chairman of the Planning Board, two terms on the town board during which we hired an exceptional town manager and have updated much of the town infrastructure which had been neglected for many years. My wife and I, with help from many people, brought the Chinese Parade Dragon to Oriental. This dragon has brought joy to many gatherings as it appears at parades,special events such as starting off the children's summer reading program at the library and New Years Eve. I am an active Ham Radio operator and, as such, am a member of the Amateur Radio Emergency team that practices every Wednesday night to prepare to be available during disaster events with emergency communications. I host an annual classic sports car event every August which brings many unique sports cars to town and ends up at the harbor for refreshments. As a town commissioner, I have been on the team that brought the cyclists back to Oriental. Also, I have been working with the county and town to develop a dog park that will open in early spring at the Recreation Center.

These are just a few examples of my value to the town as a town commissioner.

Allen Price: In my past job I represented our company calling on customers and dealing with various issues that occur between a supplier and its customers. It required listening, gathering and analyzing data, and working out the best solutions for all involved. My 40+ years of listening and working with customers has prepared me to listen and work with our citizens, even when we disagree. Keeping opposing groups together is needed for future success.

Dianne Simmons: I have a BA and an MA in French Literature and an EdS in Educational Leadership. I was employed by the Atlanta Public Schools for 24 years - as a teacher for 21 years and a school administrator for the last three years of my career. Being a teacher in a large urban public high school is excellent preparation for a local government position. You develop an ability to be comfortable dealing with multiple issues and personalities at the same time. You also grow a thick skin and learn to rely on a well-honed sense of humor. A successful teacher must learn quickly to focus on what is important and what deserves emphasis. Knowing how to listen and maintaining good communication with staff, parents and students is key to school management. Flexibility and open-mindedness are essential in making fair decisions.

Goal-setting - and goal attainment - is another significant part of teaching or leading a school. One has to respond, as well, to changing government regulations and the occasional lawsuit.

School administration requires a great deal of work, study and patience - good preparation for the position of Town Commissioner.

David White: Before becoming a Town Commissioner, I spent four years on the Planning Board gaining an understanding of the Town’s operations and issues. Prior to this, I was with IBM for 39 years in their Public Sector area working with State, Local and Municipal Governments worldwide. I have worked with many Government leaders on infrastructure improvements, best practices implementations and governance models. My current focus areas as a Board Member are Human Resources, Finances and representation on the Planning Board and the Harbor Water Committee. Additionally, I have served on public boards either as Board President or a working Board Member with the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Science, United Way of Florida’s Big Bend, Boy Scouts of America, United Way of America and various community outreach programs.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): I have learned a lot about the town from the last 2 years as being Mayor. I have 38 years of working at a local bank and 38 years of community service in Oriental and Pamlico County. I think it is important to remember our history of the town and to continue to grow and preserve our town.




In the past year, several Special Use Permits (SUPs) have been applied for with most having been granted. With so many of them having been granted, what is ‘special’ about the Special Use Permit? Does the process need to be refined? If so, how?


Charlie Overcash: Special Use Permits are a valuable tool to the growth of Oriental. The town's Long Range Goals direct the town to grow in a manner that is favorable to both businesses and community. The SUP process is a tool that anyone can go through to bring attention to a need. That need may or may not be a good thing for Oriental. If it would prove a danger or a provable negative impact, it would not be granted. The process is involved, as it should be, to bring all the facts out. Also, if the terms of the SUP are not followed, the SUP can be revoked. I encourage everyone to read the Long Range Goals that are on the town web site to better understand the driving factors in the growth of Oriental.

Allen Price: The SUP is controlled by state statute. Last year we were considering changing some SUP’s to Land Use Permits (LUP) and people in town were against this because a SUP gives the community an opportunity to comment, challenge and put conditions on the SUP. To have part time rental in R2 & R3 you must have a SUP. Several homes were being rented without a SUP and the town manager contacted realtors and renters to have them obtain a SUP. This is one reason for increase in SUP’s. I agree it is a burden on the neighbors and community to show proof that would reject a SUP but that is the state statue. I will listen to any ideas.

Dianne Simmons: I have spent quite a bit of time poring over the Growth Management Ordinance (GMO) and have read some articles on small town zoning issues. I have come to the conclusion that the procedures needed to keep Special Use Permits “special” can be found in our existing GMO.

A concern I had was that the burden of proof seemed to rest heavily on an opponent to the SUP, but there is a definite and well-described burden of proof on the applicant before the SUP is approved. The provisions found in the section on Permissible Uses are important. I understand that these had not been revised for quite some time, but the Town Planning Board is in the process of revising them at this time.

Another issue relevant to the procedure of granting SUP’s is timely notification to the citizens of the town. With adequate notification, citizens have the time to plan and prepare. I urge everyone to attend Town Board and Planning Board meetings. Show up and make your voice heard.

David White: Our current Special Use Permit (SUP) is a “quasi-judicial” process very much governed by State statutes. We have incorporated all the elements and points the State allows municipalities to use in determining the validity of an SUP request. These elements and points center on public safety, security and health issues, conformity to zoning regulations, adjacent property owners, residential property values and local ordinances. When we conduct an SUP hearing, all those presenting evidence are sworn in, much like a court hearing. The Board then hears the evidence and determines the outcome based upon how our SUP process is delineated in the Growth Management Ordinance (GMO) and evidence presented. If we do decide to consider changes to the SUP process in the GMO, we need to conform to State statutes and conduct an open Public Hearing.

J. Martin Barrow: The entire SUP process should be analyzed to determine if it is providing the desired results. If not, identify its shortcomings and develop a revised SUP consistent with Town goals.

One identified issue with the ‘Special Use Permit” process which has arisen in several of the SUP applications lately, is the burden of evidence sections as it relates to empirical data (often difficult to establish prior to issuance of the permit) and the burden of persuasion. I would like to see some language in the ordinance that gives the Commissioners the latitude to provide ‘weight’ to testimony provided by a citizen even though it is not backed by empirical data.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): It is important to give the public, town’s planning board, the town commissioner’s and the person applying an opportunity to prove if there is a problem or not. They do take a lot of time but we have to follow the State Statue. We must have proof of evidence if there is a problem with the SUP.

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How would you describe Oriental to someone who has never been here?


Charlie Overcash: Oriental is a charming village with very friendly people. We offer waterfront activities, boating, great restaurants, festivals of all kinds and we are friendly. Oriental is a favorite vacation destination. We are close to many unique attractions such as a fossil museum, a maritime museum, a state port, a royal governor's palace and many more. We are a hub where you can stay to enjoy our village yet have a wide variety of other interests close by. Oh yes, did I mention that we are friendly?

Allen Price: Have you ever had a dream where you lived in a small waterfront town that has no stoplights? Walk, ride a bike or golf cart to the restaurants, bank, hardware store, deli, shops, post office, grocery store, ice cream/coffee shop, art gallery, museum, churches or the water front? Fish from the town pier? Watch shrimp boats come in and unload their catch? Sail, fish, power boat, kayak, paddle board, be in a play or be in a musical group? Buy shrimp, fish, crabs, oysters and seafood from local fisherman? A town where restaurants, shops, and other businesses are locally owned where the owner is a friend and neighbor? Weekends filled with fun events? Go to the fitness center to work out or play tennis/pickle ball in the park? Take your kids to the beach or park to play? You know your neighbors and they know you. Have a problem and your neighbor will take care of it. A place where you meet a visitor every week and make a new friend. Congratulations you are in Oriental, NC.

Dianne Simmons: I usually tell my friends, relatives and anyone who asks that Oriental is a fishing/sailing village on the River Neuse. It is a center for outdoor life. It’s beautiful, calm and flat - perfect for cycling, kayaking, sailing, birding and walking. We have dramatic sunsets, lovely dawns and friendly people.

I am often asked what one does in Oriental. I have to laugh and say that sometimes it’s hard to say, but that the day goes by so quickly and evening finds me always behind in what I set out to accomplish.

There are good restaurants, (I’m sure I never fail to mention fried-chicken Thursdays at Brantley’s) a charming coffee shop on the harbor, frequent festivals and a top-notch musical society that brings wonderful musicians to town. We have a theater group, an arts council, book clubs, bicycle groups and residents who have a wealth of life and work experiences.

When my nephews were younger boys visiting Oriental from the big city, they called it paradise. I call it home.

David White: Perfect in all ways and no better place to live!!!! Come visit and you will quickly understand the beauty and appeal Oriental has to offer.


J. Martin Barrow: Oriental is a great place to live and visit. We owned a residence in Minnessott Beach since 2003 and enjoyed our time in Pamlico County. We have also enjoyed all Oriental has to offer including the shops, the old theater, waterfront, and restaurants. We always looked forward to events like Croakerfest, the Spirit of Christmas celebration, along with the other festivals and events in Oriental and attended most. When we contemplated where we wanted to spend our retirement, we decided Oriental was the place to be and never looked back. We enjoy our friendly neighbors, merchants, and reasonable governance.


Sally Belangia (Candidate for Mayor): It is the most beautiful place in the world. It is a wonderful place to live, to retire, to raise your children, and enjoy our Neuse River and surrounding creeks. We are unique because we have sailboats, commercial fishing boats, recreational boats, and small businesses along with people who have retired from all over the Country. I remember when we had 100 people and today the total is over 900. If you come to Oriental you must learn to waive and speak to everyone because we are a friendly town, after all, we are known as the "Sailing Capital of North Carolina." We all work together by supporting our local churches, community organizations, businesses, festivals, arts, music, and all other events of our community and county.


Posted Monday November 4, 2019 by Allison DeWeese


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