The Village Council appreciates the Bald Head Association (BHA) attempting to survey its members regarding the proposed sale of the Transportation system to the Bald Head Island Transportation Authority (“TA”). However, we note with serious concern several inaccuracies in the chronology which could very well result in flawed survey results. The Council wishes to support the accuracy of information and confidence in the survey results. In the absence of complete and accurate information, the survey results could be inaccurate and meaningless.
The Village Council has all along hoped the TA would work, passing a resolution in support in 2017 and working with the TA to ensure proper due diligence was followed in arriving at a sales price and financing proposal. When the sales price and bond proposal were first made public in December 2020, built upon asset appraisals that seemed unrealistic and unjustified and with a low bond rating and high interest rate, the Village Council and many residents asked questions in an attempt to understand. In February, the TA held a public meeting to allow the community to ask questions, and by the end of February it released additional information to the public without specifically answering the questions. The lack of answers and the access to information led the Council to conclude that the community was NOT being provided critical information about the proposal and thus chose to submit the Council’s intent to weigh in as another option to acquire the transportation system.
In the overall narrative, there are three issues in need of clarification:
1) The narrative questions the Village’s late opposition to the proposal, yet fails to mention the constraints of non-disclosure agreements signed by all TA board members, limiting the Council representative’s ability to share information with the remaining Council members and public. It was not until the TA’s proposal went public in early December that the rest of the Council and public had a chance to see what the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tempore knew but could not share. It soon became apparent there were many property owners who had the same concerns;
2) The chronological text leads the reader to believe that the Village Council alone is opposed to the current proposal when, in fact, there have been many emails and letters to the Local Government Commission opposing the proposal, some of which contained signatures of several hundred property owners/BHA members; and
3) It is important to acknowledge user dissatisfaction and frustration with the System’s facilities and operations. It is important to recognize that the purchase agreement is structured for the transfer of the assets and operation of the transportation system that simply maintains the status quo. The need for upgrade and redesign by the TA could only be met by additional price increases beyond the already anticipated increase in fees.
View a BHA/VBHI Chronology Comparison HERE
View a few of the latest FAQs HERE
View documents associated with the transportation system HERE