Wrightsville Beach mayor addresses top concerns
Mayor David Cignotti gave an overview of Wrightsville Beach, a community with a $10 million budget. The community has about 2,600 residents, but the population swells to about 30,000 during peak tourism season. Parking fees pay for garbage pick-up on the beach. Room occupancy tax pays for 26 lifeguards who patrol the beach on busy days.
The proposed smoking ban on the beach has gone before the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen twice; however, it did not pass. Cignotti said, though, that a referendum may reach the November ballot for Wrightsville Beach residents to vote on the smoking ban.
“I personally think it would be good for Wrightsville Beach to be the first smoke-free beach in North Carolina,” he said. A ban would deter litter and second-hand smoke.
Traffic is another issue residents face. To combat this, the municipality is working to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
The WAVE Transit approached the beach towns with a proposed plan to include them in its service area. But the bus route went through UNCW and seemed designed for students to get to the beach, Cignotti said.
“In my mind, mass transportation is not just for those who don’t own a car, it’s for all of us to try to get us to not use our car and try to use mass transportation,” he said. “We hope to be consulted first.”