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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Four years ago Kevin O’Grady ran for City Council promising to clean up the downtown Wilmington’s nightlife. He says after helping do that, he’s refocused his attention on downtown.

“One of the things I’d like to achieve is a substantial green space on the river; one that we can really use not only for a public space on the river, but also to use for events,” O’Grady said. “I think we saw it last year with the azalea festival when it brought 15,000 in over two nights, and they had to stand in a parking lot.”

O’Grady and his fellow council members tried to deliver a multi-use facility to Wilmington in the form of a baseball stadium, but after 70 percent of voters shot down the proposal last fall, it was back to the drawing board.

“That was an opportunity that came to us, and when an opportunity comes, that’s when you have to strike. There may be better times for it in the future,” O’Grady said.

With the future in mind O’Grady says he sees opportunity all around Wilmington, but only if there is a philosophical shift.

“We’re going to have to go up, and we’re poised for it,” he said. “I would love to see some high-rise buildings come downtown, because it produces an enormous amount of tax for a small amount of property, and that helps keep the rates on all of our single-family homes lower.”

O’Grady says ideas like this are what he is passionate about and the reason he is asking for your vote.

“I think I have a lot still to offer the city,” O’Grady said. “I believe you don’t hide your talents, and I’ve got a lot of talent. I’m ready to use that talent, and I’m proud and I’m really honored that people let me do it for the last four years, and I’d be very honored if I could do it for another four.”

Early voting is underway and runs through Saturday. Election Day is Nov. 5.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest Reply Redux

    (The Voting Lords did saith, as they stood on the banks of the River by the Cape of Fear in November…on a predicted 65 degree day with a 30% chance of rain. Actually…it turned out to be 55 degrees and rained anyway)

    As it was written…so shallith it be doneith:

    “Thouist who shall Voteth in these Representatives of Thousist citizens shall and *Will* accept (and respect) the outcome of theirist votes as final and ending results…regardless of a low historical voter turnoutith…as per History Has It.
    Thouist that oppose the outcome will most likely Blast the winners of thou Election…and most likely hope another Ballpark issue isn’t brought to thou citizens once again…..
    …by the same Council Members!”
    Bow wow wow wow wow!

  • driver

    His ad says he has fixed roads and I wonder which ones he has fixed. Shipyard is in terrible shape as are many other roads. Maybe he fixed the ones in his neighborhood???

  • clarifier

    Shipyard Blvd may be like many roads within the city limits and is not a city-owned road. If it is state-owned then the city may not be involved with funding repair work. Perhaps you are correct about the location of some road work. I believe the street on which Councilman O’Grady and State Representative Hamilton reside was resurfaced shortly after his election…

  • Erlkoenig

    Wilmingtonians, do you really think Comrade O’Greedy will keep your single dwelling home tax low because high rises are built downtown?

  • Guest2020

    I didn’t realize that downtown nightlife has been cleaned up. And now that he has cleaned up the downtown, he is going to focus on downtown.

  • Rick Wilson

    I hope the voters remember how he has cleaned up the “night life”. What has changed? Does anyone feel safer in Wilmington now than they did 4 years ago? Is his new plan to issue all visitors to the Port City bullet proof vests? How about armored vehicles to replace taxi cabs?

    He tried to shove the baseball stadium down the voters throats with deception and misstating the facts. His opportunity knocking description of the stadium would have left the taxpayers with another failure on the waterfront. Is the Convention Center lonely as he continues to push for projects to prop up this colossal failure because he fails to accept reality? All studies showed the Convention Center would fail before it was built……..and it has. The room tax money propping up this albatross would be better spent maintaining the beaches; they actually do draw tourists to the area.

    Let’s also not forget the parking deck that gets sold and bought back at a loss. What is the current status of this brilliant investment, and how much more will it cost the taxpayers?

    Wilmington is about much more than downtown. It is time to elect council members that will represent all of Wilmington and not just downtown. All of the folks that were forcefully annexed before that process was stopped by the legislature deserve representation also.
    Kevin O’Grady’s cry for more tax revenue would not be so hypocritical if he would not waste so much money on things as ridiculous as studies for a taxpayer funded baseball stadium. Let the billionaire beggars pay for their own stadiums. One of the things the proponents claimed during their quest was if Wilmington does not grab this opportunity…..someone else will. They claimed there were others just waiting for the opportunity……please ask Councilman O’Grady to tell us where this stadium was built after the taxpayers turned it down.

    They could also eliminate all the tax payer funded field trips for elected officials. With the technology available today, these trips are nothing more than mini vacations disguised as information gathering trips. The only information gathered is how much waste the taxpayers will put up with because of these unnecessary trips.

    Kevin O’Grady does not represent the people, he is a starry eyed politician that is easily seduced by corporations seeking taxpayer funding for their projects……..the failed taxpayer funded stadium proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. A proposed luxury box for himself and fellow council members was all it took………..what does he have planned in the future to replace this “missed opportunity” and how much will that cost the taxpayers?

  • ChefnSurf

    I couldn’t have said it better myself! (So I didn’t)

    O’Grady’s an arrogant little politician with a propensity towards hyperbole, spending other peoples money and perhaps a Napoleon complex. A man who respects no one but himself. A man who thinks that voters are essentially suckers begging to be manipulated.

    After he “cleaned up” the nightlife …… What an arrogant little liar!

  • taxpayer

    remember that O’Grady stood arm-in-arm with Mayor Saffo in support of would have been a taxpayer-sucking baseball stadium.

    Re-elect him? I hope not.

  • guesty

    This putz has never met a tax increase he couldn’t support. Got to have more money to waste.

  • nomorecrime

    Do not let signs of support mislead. He let us down and must go. For years, he arrogantly ignored or derided progress other southern historic districts made against crime and homelessness. The problems are severe, and he just wants to spend, spend while ignoring societal and moral and family failings at base. He doesn’t get this town. He is condescending, too.

    He is the FACE of failed baseball. He is the FACE of failed annexation. Both were foolish pursuits. Meanwhile, “safe” parts of downtown are terrorized.

    Then, cherry on top, he and mayor talk parks as they pave over rare green space and cheerlead shortsighted shifts to industrial zoning near historic district.

    VOTE NO, please. We deserve better, kinder, wiser leadership.

  • local taxpayer

    Remember when you vote, that this goofball along with Saffo were
    trying to pull a fast one on the residents of Wilmington with the
    unwanted baseball stadium. These two told one untruth after another.
    Anything these guys say, let it go in one ear and out the other.


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