Board of Elections works to verify ballpark petition signatures

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Submitted: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 5:28pm
Updated: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 5:34pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Board of Elections is more than halfway through verifying the thousands of signatures turned in on a petition aimed at blocking taxpayer funding of a ballpark in Wilmington.

The Board of Elections says as of late this morning, it has gone through 175 of the 255 pages of signatures submitted. Of the 2,447 signatures looked at so far, 1,880 have been verified.

Organizers of the petition drive said they submitted about 4,000 signatures. They need more than 2,900 verified signatures from Wilmington residents to make their petition a citizen-submitted ordinance. If that happens, Wilmington City Council must either adopt it as an ordinance or put it up for a public vote.

Critics say the language on the petition is too vague, and puts at risk other professional sports teams that use city-owned stadiums. The organizers of the petition say that’s not true. They say they made sure it would not affect established teams.


  • Guest5050 says:

    Where was the board of elections when voter fraud was so wide spread in the 2008 elections? No one seems to care about that.

  • Vog46 says:

    Lets go back and think about this.
    The Braves want Wilmington to put out $23M for the stadium.
    They have probably surveyed this area and found out that this area is not big enough to support a AA or AAA level minor league team.

    What they did determine is that this area MIGHT be able to support A level Mil baseball but they probably have a base figure in their mind as to how much they can put out and maintain some level of profitability.
    They are, after all, a business and have a fairly good idea of what their business plan can support for a stadium mortgage.
    Their own figures indicate that after the initial blush of attendance that it will taper off over a 5 year span.
    This tells that they are looking for the city to put in the bulk of the stadium costs to allow THEM profit. This is after all Mil-A level baseball and costs have to be contained tightly if the team is to be profitable. It is NOT AA or AAA baseball where the chances of seeing a bonafide major league player are greater. It’s single A folks.
    Why not renovate Hardee field as an alternative plan?
    Why is a NEW stadium the ONLY plan?

    Best Regards

  • SurfCityTom says:

    or perhaps the Marxist is coming out in you.

    If you want to watch some good baseball, why not take in a Sharks game? A lot less expensive and just as entertaining.

    I saw some Potomac Nationals baseball on the 8th of June. It wa pretty good; they played the Salem Red Sox.

    My wallet was slimmer as I fronted 7 tickets as well as hot dogs, ice cream, and bottled water.

    And my grandchildren enjoyed it.

    At the endo of the day, they would have enjoyed the Sharks just as much.

    So what do you say Mike? If you like baseball that much, take in a Sharks game.

    Or rush out with 1981Devil & commit all of your wealth to being a prt of the private investor group.

  • Mike T says:

    I don’t pay taxes so I don’t care if the stadium is paid for with by tax money.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    I readily admit when I am incorrect. But on this item, where was I wrong?

    Was it wrong to feel citizens should have the opportunity to voice their opinion?

    Was it wrong to feel the taxpayers should have the right to express their views?

    That’s called Democracy.

    To date, neither you ro Devil have posted one intelligent statement to build support for the stadium. Your posts, in fact do just the opposite.

    You polarize the issue and give those opposed a laughing stock to point at as the very reason this issue requires further review and study.

    Keep up the good work. This ball park will never be built with posters like you doing a superior job.

    Don’t it just piss you off when your own words come back to haunt you and you have nothing intelligent to say?

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    because I think the fair way to decide this is by letting the taxpayers vote? No…. I’m very right comrade….

    Try “you’re” instead of “your” while “we’re” speaking of wrong….. **chuckle**

  • SurfCityTom says:

    it must really bug the heck out of you that none of you Marxist real estate developers can come up with a lucid response that is laden with fact and not personal attack.

    As I likely pay more city property taxes than you and your cronies, perhaps it is your group that should can it or put some chips on the table.

    Now’s the time for folks like you, Devil & mike to step in and start that private LLC to build the ball park using your wealth & assets.


  • SurfCityTom says:

    you finally admit you have no chips on the table. So why not just go to Sharks baseball?

  • MrT says:

    Don,t it just piss you off when your WRONG?
    The final results 1 in 4 invalid indicates lack of management over the process. several duplicate pages? However
    The petition will be validated soon with the allowance of additional names. It is sad that organizers didn’t take the opportunity to withdraw and then resubmit and better written document with the help of some legal advice. This is a case of feeding their over blown egos above the importance of making the document better and more in line with reality. The Star news quoted both The organizers as saying that this petition will not hurt future professional sports in Wilmington and the cities Attorney says it will. I guess an educated attorney would be wrong in this case? My guess, the city feels confident that the petition will be defeated in Nov. and you never know there could be more than one item on the ballot.

  • ma_lashley says:

    You neglected to mention that of the proposed $43 million for the peforming arts center (which is not a done deal either, if you see that they inked the deal and will break ground, cite the link) depends upon private AND public investment. When the city is building something with public investment it’s not necessarily economic development. The city of Greensboro is going to have to ask permission from residents for a bond referendum for more than half of the remaining construction costs.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Maybe Greensboro can afford to do what they are doing. Wilmington can’t. The Council is proposing raising taxes to fund the things that are absolutely necessary, how can they afford a stadium? I don’t agree with a taxpayer funded stadium being built. I think that the petition is a bad thing. I think it will ultimately hurt the cause of those who are moving forward with it. I think that people who oppose the city paying for the ballpark will vote against the referendum because of its language and that will give the Council a skewed opinion about what the voters ultimately want.

  • Mr. T says:

    My point is that should a good deal for Wilmington develop today or any time in the future, these numb skulls are trying to tie the hands of this and all future councils. You may think this wise. I think it’s irresponsible. Not very many days ago you were spouting off about the lack of development in Greensboro around their new stadium. Well for yours and others information, Greensboro announced on Tuesday, a 3,200 seat Center for performing arts on the block across the street from New Bridge Stadium. 41 million dollar investment.
    We wouldnt want any thing like that in Wilmington would we?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    A couple of points.

    The ball park has been there for years. And this is just now developing, 10 years or so after the fact.

    And, when I made my comments, I was not spouting off. I was factually noting the then current state of the area. And guess what, it’s still not the best section of town in Greensboro for early evening strolls.

    As others noted, the Performing Arts Center is not being privately funded; thus the City leaders must secure some taxpayer approval for funding.

    Greensboro is not suffering with inferior infrastructure such as roads, water and sewer which are present in Wilmington.

    So, if I understand your position, if a sufficient base of taxpayers expect the City Council to display some fiscal common sense; if they expect the City Council to spend no more than it takes in, you consider them irresponsible.

    Quite the contrary. They’re showing fiscal maturity.

    But, you continue to avoid the one challenge which, if you would take it on, might turn the tide. Take the proposed agreement; crunch th numbers; and show all of us, without using pie in the sky numbers, where this cornucopia of wealth will come from and how it will flow to the city. And then, lead the rush of private investors to sign up as Members of the LLC which should be created to fund construction and own the ball park.

  • Mike T says:

    it makes me sad to see what a meanie you are. i just wanna watch some good baseball. I could take tickets because I can almost count up to green.

  • Guest1111111111 says:

    For crying out loud. Can it already “surfcity” Tom. Stay in your county and stop pestering us.

  • 1981duke says:

    How about a 14 short?

  • SurfCityTom says:

    would have remained silent. I guess that explains your post which clearly is an attempt to rub noses in the dirt.

    Note, none of the ones in support of the petition have whined or cried about the process. That’s called maturity.

    Of course, if I read correctly, it’s not over as the City will allow another round of petitions.

    Perhaps your post will be the stimulator for an overwhelming turn out.

    Good Job. Every time you or Mike T, ir whatever his identity of the day is, post you further hamper the efforts of those who support the ball park.

  • Mr. Mike T says:

    Early indications show one in four to five signatures to be invalid.
    Just shows how irresponsible this process has occurred. The pedestal these boys are putting themselves on wont last, however the harm they are creating might effect Wilmington,s potential for some time.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    how do you come up with that? What’s next, will you invoke the memory of Landslide Lyndon Johnson to overturn the wishes of a sufficient number of citizens? Will you propose disenfranchisement of women voters? Maybe limit voting tights to property owners with a minimum net worth?

    What happened to let this play out and see where it lands?

    You just keep stirring the pot. And in doing so, you further weaken the position of the proponents.

    Are you certain you’re not really opposed to public funding of the ball park?

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    have I seen anyone more afraid of letting the people speak. Let the taxpayers have a say comrade Mike.. for crying out loud!

    Where are you deriving your “early indications” info?

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    The fact that a quarter of the signatures haven’t been verified does NOT equate to them being invalid. They simply need further investigation to determine their validity.

  • Guest11111111111111111 says:


  • Ben McCoy says:

    @Mike T – your lies have grown very weary on me. Your dramatic whining about your precious stadium that you think you are so entitled to courtesy of all of your neighbors is pathetic. I can assure you that all of your comments about hurting development and tying future council’s hands are false, and I would gladly challenge you to a public debate on the issue. Or is your thing to just make these outrageous accusations anonymously behind a keyboard?

    I don’t know why you think that lying about myself and Josh and others is tantamount to drawing public support for a tax-funded stadium. It doesn’t work that way. Are you so out of rational arguments, that you are left with nothing but anonymous lies and insults from safely behind your keyboard? That’s a sad state of existence dude.

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