Election 2021: Mike Hoffer is candidate for Carolina Beach city council


Mike Hoffer is running for a seat on Carolina Beach City Council. (Port City Daily / Courtesy photo)

CAROLINA BEACH –– Mike Hoffer is vying for one of the vacant seats on Carolina Beach City Council.

Port City Daily sent out a questionnaire to every candidate in the municipal elections and removed their payment wall on profiles to help voters make informed decisions ahead of the 2021 election year. (However, your support for local and independent journalism is enjoyed through a monthly subscription. Also consider signing up for Port City Daily’s free newsletter, Wilmington Wire, to get the headlines delivered to your inbox each morning.)

As a reminder, the early voting period begins on October 14, with the registration deadline on October 8. Voters can participate in same-day registration throughout the two-week early voting period, which ends October 30 (check if your registration is active at your current address).

Election day is November 2.

Hoffer’s positions on local issues are discussed below. Port City Daily included all responses in their entirety and corrected only responses corrected for grammar and spelling errors.

READ MORE: Catch up on all election coverage

Mike Hoffer – Independent

  • Education: Master, public administration, UNCW; Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering
  • Profession: Mechanical Inspector, New Hanover County
  • To live: Mechanical engineering, civil engineering, non-profit management, local government, small business owner
  • Family: wife Janet; children, John (18) and Sarah (16); cats, The Dude (12) and Lamar Catson (2)

Port City Daily (PCD): What are your top three priorities, if elected?
Mike Hoffer (MH): 1. Safety and convenience for bicycles / pedestrians. It’s the canary in the coal mine for the city. If your children can safely walk to school and you can enjoy a bike ride downtown, then you live in a nice place. When you can’t do these things, you’ve lost something that you might never get back.

2. Improve our parking situation. We need to make sure our city is working for the people. You should be able to park downtown or at a beach access without too much hassle. We need more golf cart parking, bike racks and short term parking. This can be done without expensive “solutions” like parking.

3. Rainwater. The funding is in place, the solutions are obvious. We just need more monitoring, enforcement and continuous improvements.

PCD: Flooding and stormwater runoff is a continuing concern for the island. Are we doing enough to solve these problems? Why or why not?
MH: No. The most important project of all is Carolina Beach Lake and it remains unfinished. (It’s been six years now and it counts.) The money is in the budget for that, so let’s do it!

Meanwhile, Canal Drive floods every rising tide and Florida Avenue is still a mess. Aside from these big problems, we are not in a terrible state. We just need more monitoring, enforcement and continuous improvements.

PCD: How will you influence the future of land use and development in Carolina Beach? As an elected official, what would be your guiding principles when it comes to deliberating on planning and zoning decisions?
MH: My guiding principle is to ‘make it work for the locals’. The best thing City Council can do for our citizens is to negotiate more firmly on our behalf. New developments must make our lives better, not worse. Concrete example: local development. If it improves pedestrian safety along Lake Park Boulevard and Saint-Joseph Street, if it provides access to a swimming pool, if there is quality open space, if it improves infrastructure, then I can support it. If he doesn’t offer any of these things, then I would reject him.

PCD: Are there any development practices that you have recently observed on the beach that you feel should be discouraged and encouraged?
MH: My biggest frustration is when new developments cut off public access and / or don’t improve access around or through them. The developers who brought us the Publix would have upgraded the Lake Park Boulevard crossing, if only we had asked for it. They would have provided better bike / pedestrian access, if only we had asked for it. These bad practices date back to the Marriott’s arrival in town in 2003.

PCD: The Council is expected to review a new tree ordinance soon. How far should the prescription go? What specific provisions do you want to see included?
MH: I support a reasonable tree ordinance that would protect trees on large properties and commercial developments. Small lots (50 per 100) and existing properties should not be regulated. It’s just too restrictive of property rights, and in most cases people will preserve trees if possible.

Having said that, I am very much in favor of a tree planting policy on the part of the city. The best way to increase the population of trees is to start planting them! We have nonprofits ready to start planting trees today. Let’s set a goal and get started.

PCD: Are you comfortable with the city’s parking policy and configuration? What should change, if anything?
MH: First, we should provide more golf cart parking, bike racks and short-term parking, as that would benefit the locals. We recently fired the parking company. Good because not only were they harassing people, they also didn’t help us maximize our potential.

PCD: Freeman Park has been a source of legal controversy and natural erosion. Do you have a position on the future of this access point in the context of its control and maintenance by the city?
MH: I would love to see Freeman Park open to the public forever. The city should charge for whatever is needed to keep it safe, convenient, and clean. We are the stewards of this land and we must take this responsibility seriously.

PCD: Are you comfortable with the current short-term rental ordinance and want these properties to be more regulated?
MH: I believe in property rights, so I am not in favor of more regulation. We just need to enforce our nuisance laws. If people are parking everywhere, making too much noise, or causing trouble, then strictly enforce the laws. If there are no external problems, the owners should be free to pursue their interests. But room occupancy taxes must be paid!

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