Candidate Questionnaire: Rena Bragg For Holly Ridge Council
1. What are your greatest strengths and skill set that will make you a good elected official?
My greatest strengths are: I am honest, fair, unbiased and a good listener. I investigate issues brought to my attention and give a timely response. If needed the question(s) will be directed to the appropriate individual to handle, if I am unable to do so.
2. Is there a particular issue that motivated you to run for office?
No particular issues, but I want to ensure that the entire town is represented in its entirety.
3. Do you currently or have you ever held an elected office before, and if so, what office?
Currently elected as a Holly Ridge Town Council Board Member. Prior offices held in Holly Ridge are: Mayor and Mayor-Pro-tem.
4. As an elected official you will have to make decisions regarding zoning. What, if any, is your experience with zoning and how will it benefit the voters if you are elected?
Zoning goes through the Zoning Department, then to the Planning Board, and presented to the Town Council for a final decision. As a Town we have worked very hard to change the perception of not being “business friendly”. Over the last four years we have been able to change that mindset. To continue that trend, we are always looking for ways to make ordinances and regulations as easy to comply with as possible. All incorporated Towns should have Zoning Regulations in place to encourage appropriate growth for the Town
5. Traffic is a major issue, especially during the tourist season. One concern is the lack of sidewalks and dedicated bike paths. Do you agree this is a concern and if so, what would you like to see changed or added regarding sidewalks and bike paths?
Multi-use paths would be a fantastic amenity to this area. These would include bike and Pedestrian areas. A huge goal of mine would be to join the multiuse paths between the residential areas, the Island area, recreation facilities and the Industrial Park to connect people with jobs. Not having sidewalks/bike paths has been a concern of mine because they should be put in place to ensure the safety of the citizens as they are traveling to and from their destinations.
6. Our area is unique in the fact that we are comprised of several small towns and two counties. Do you feel it is important to work alongside the neighboring towns/counties and are there any specific issues you want addressed or feel needs more work?
It is very important to network with neighboring towns and counties, because networking allows us to inquire of them and receive feedback to get joint projects completed correctly the first time. Time spent collaborating with them is a benefit and could be cost effective for the Town. I would like to see cross walks at High-way 17 intersection, and at the Municipal Park and other areas as needed so streets can be crossed safely.
7. Hurricanes are a way of life in coastal areas. 1) Do you feel your town is properly prepared to handle a major storm? 2) What improvements, if any, would you like to see take place, regarding communication, shelters, or staff?
Our Town continues to work on being as prepared as possible considering they are unaware of the final strength of the incoming storm until being alerted by the news or Emergency Operations Center. Our Mayor and Town Manager are in constant communications with our Local County Emergency Operations Center and State Communications Center for alerts and directions to notify our citizens, so they can plan accordingly. Our citizens are notified of shelter locations and times. Staff is readily available to assist before and following the storm. An improvement for the Town as a whole is to possibly consider building a new Municipal Complex that doubles as an Emergency Operations Center. During the development stage ensure the complex is wind rated for category 5 storms. Possibly add a Recreation Center with the same wind rating and it could double as a shelter which would be an additional benefit for the Town to support our citizens. Having a Local Emergency Operations Center will allow quicker recovery time and it may allow our citizens to leave when mandated knowing they may be able to return to their homes sooner.
8. If elected and a proposal was created regarding term limits, would you support it?
Yes, I fully support term limits if proposed. This would help ensure the Board and Town does not become stagnant.
9. As time is always precious, do you agree that as an elected official, it is your responsibility to learn about the topics to be discussed ahead of time to help expedite discussions and decisions during the meetings?
Yes, I agree. In the past it was proposed that the council hold public work sessions prior to the Regular Meeting. This seems to be common practice in other municipalities. To date, this has not been approved by our Board. Every Board member has been made aware and has the option to ask any questions prior to meeting, to assist them in being better prepared for the meetings.
10. If your community has paid parking: What issues do you have regarding the current program and would you work to change or alter the existing program in your community?
11. Tell me something about yourself that may be of interest to the community.
My dad, and I moved to Holly Ridge in 1976. We originally lived in the old barracks that were left by the military from Camp Davis. From there, we moved into the newly built Holly Plaza Apartments. After a few years I purchased my first mobile home, and we lived just outside of the city limits north of Holly Ridge. In 1984, I married Cleveland Bragg (deceased). Cedric, Cleveland Jarrod, and Jamaica are the special children in our lives. In 1993, Cleveland and I purchased a home within the city limits. Since I have been on the board, I have been blessed to achieve as well as participate in the following:
- Currently serving as a board member at Roots of Recovery
- Currently serving as a board member of Embracing Hearts
- Currently serving as a Town Council Board Member
- Member of Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church
- Past Assistant Church Announcement Secretary
- Past Stenographer for Manhollow Missionary Baptist Church Notary Public
- Previous Fire & Rescue person Assisted with concessions for local park events Worked locally, and retired from J & J Snack Foods
- Past Worthy Matron of Love & Union Chapter #551, Order of Eastern Star
- Past Mayor and Mayor Protem of the Town of Holly Ridge
- Past Board member of Onslow County United Way
- Past Board member of Onslow County Partnership for Children
- Past Vice-Chairman of Holly Ridge Housing Authority Board
- Past member Holly Ridge Planning BoardMember of P.A.R.E.N.T.S.S – Parents Active in Recreation and Enrichment Needs for Today’s Special Society