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Still, I’m sure you’ve seen online comments saying, “Vote ’em all out.” They’ll have some of that opportunity in November. And I think it’s good that people do have the choice. But I think the choices they’ve made in the past have been for candidates who are for nourishment. How you pay for it has always been the rub. If somebody else was paying for all of it, I don’t know if it would be an issue. What about the argument that somebody else does pay for it? I know a couple that just bought in South Nags Head based on this project. And even the town website says they’ll ask FEMA to cover sand loss in case of disaster. Don’t both examples ask the public to fund someone else’s risky behavior? To a certain extent it’s bailing some guys out. We’ve also taken legal action to have some houses removed. But South Nags Head has always been the poster child for erosion, so it’s a huge gamble if [your friends] bought based on nourishment. I wouldn’t buy anything in South Nags Head. What pushed me over the edge was seeing those houses actually in the surf and septic tanks broken up from the last storm. That’s what you had to look forward to with sandbags. And, to me, that’s not the vision we want to have. But we have those other choices. And if this doesn’t work, I’d imagine we will end up retreating. So what does Nags Head look like Protective barrier — or pipe dream? in 50 years? How much sand is left? Depends on your perspective. And how often are we replacing it? I PHOTO: L-Dub think it will be somewhere between 10 and 15 years. My board wants to start putting money away now, but I think if we wait five years we’ll have an awful lot more information based on some actual performance. But all this is such a dynamic area. We can’t move the sand as fast as the ocean can — as people like to remind me [laughs]. And I do understand that Mother Nature is still in charge. But, frankly, you have to put it out there and see how long it stays. There’s no other way to model it.

Ed note: The preceding interview was edited for space, flow and clarity; to request a full version, email

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