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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After reviewing all 3,903 signatures on a petition trying to stop tax payer money going toward a new ballpark in town, The New Hanover County Board of Elections says the group came up short… 14 signatures short, to be exact.

2,828 signatures were verified by the Board of Elections, just missing the mark at 2,842 needed to move the ordinance forward. New Hanover County Board of Elections Director Marvin McFadyen says the next move is up to the city.

City Attorney Bill Wolak says Wilmington will allow additional petitions to be entered for consideration. Wolak says there is no time limit for the petitions and once they are returned to the city clerk, the signatures will be turned into the Board of Elections for further analysis.

Ben McCoy and Josh Fulton, two men involved with circulating the petition, say as of Friday at 4 p.m., 73 additional signatures were turned into the city clerk. They were told the additions should be in the possession of the Board of Elections by Monday.

Comment on this Story

  • Vog46

    Actually, it’s kinda funny reading the comments here.
    It’s VERY obvious that baseball is a popular sport. It’s good clean fun to play and family entertainment for those who want to watch.
    But it’s also equally obvious that this particular proposal is making people think twice about the proposed cost. The fact that Fulton/McCoy got the signatures so quickly indicates that the COST may trump the DESIRE to have a Mil-A team here.
    By the way – they did get an ADDITIONAL 70+ votes within a day of finding out the Board of Elections said they were 4 short. Again, this shows the vehemence the voters have against using tax dollars for this.
    I was at a church gathering yesterday and the adults were talking about a variety of subjects when this ball park proposal came up. Interesting that NONE of adults at this gathering had even heard of the petition but that many of them had a desire to sign the petition. This was an estimated 20 out of 25 people – all registered Wilmington voters. Myself, my wife and 2 adult kids (all registered voters) would have signed it as well.
    Yet, we attend our grand kids little league games and find baseball entertaining. They play heir games at city funded parks and church built facilities.
    But the conundrum is that this is little league. “Non-profit” fun. At fields that are part of much bigger “parks” offering other things for all city residents to enjoy.
    This proposal is geared towards a specific entity (the Atlanta Braves) that runs a for profit business. Property tax break? I’ve got no problem with an incentive like that. But I do have a problem with $24M in incentives for 70 days of home games with limited attendance that will dwindle over time.
    This is like window shopping. We all say that would be REAL NICE TO HAVE but after we look at the price tag we say OH BUT I’LL PASS ON THIS………

    Best Regards
    Vog

  • ChefnSurf

    I really can’t imagine why anyone at this point would be against putting this issue on the ballot and ending the debate.

    Both sides feel they have the majority opinion. Both sides would have to agree that a referendum is the only fair way for all of the citizens to have a democratic input into the process.

    The only reason I can think of for anyone not wanting to put the issue to a vote is if someone actually doesn’t believe they have a majority opinion but want their opion to prevail regardless.

    I’ve never been a big fan of the “Damn the democracy, full speed ahead” approach to government. Hopefully, others feel likewise.

  • Guest6969696969
  • ben and josh have my blessings seems they have more sense than most of the people posting on here ! the petition is just to get it on the ballot and believe me you money wasters will lose that one !!!! we have plenty of baseball in wilmington just not enough fans to justify more . all we will do is put more money in the pockets of the fat cats . my family doesn`t go out in public much because of all the rude people in wilmington and the high cost of entertainment that is ALWAYS overpriced ! people are hurting in wilmington do we really need to pay for a ball park ? i don`t think so!

  • memaw88

    Well the next time there is an election, the canidates that lose need to ask for more time to get more voters so they can win. Only fair. We need something to for people to come see, and bring MONEY into the city and county and businesses

  • Guest1313

    Ok, they start with 4,000 signatures and over 1,100 of them don’t count because they either don’t live in Wilmington or they’re not registered voters. Now they mysteriously come up with 73 more signatures in a day. First off, if you had all of these signatures why not submit ALL of the signatures? Secondly, if so many people (as they claim) don’t want this stadium and team then they shouldn’t have had a problem collecting signatures. Political FAILURES

  • OhTheThingsIKnow

    This ridiculously irresponsible stadium nonsense once and for all. The city is already struggling to meet it’s financial obligations, the notion of this stadium was ludicrous. It’s the equivalent of an individual who’s struggling to come up with his mortgage payment out shopping for a new yacht.

  • Office Fan

    Ben and Josh had stated, I believe it was reported elsewhere, that these signatures turned in once they found out the petition came up short were collected since the petition was submitted for validation. They didn’t “mysteriously” come up with them out of thin air as you assumed, the signature collection continued after the validation process began for this very reason.

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