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commission300.jpg Submitted by Nadine Maeser on Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:20pm.

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It was a packed house at Monday's New Hanover County Commission meeting as commissioners discussed some hot topics. From election mix-ups to preserving Airlie Gardens, county commissioners talked about ways to make New Hanover County a better place. One of the first things on the agenda was Election Day 2010. "I just don't see how people were pulling the wrong ballot off the shelf and sending it to the wrong precinct," said District 16 Rep. Carolyn Justice. "As a business woman myself, it seems like a simple warehouse procedure and maybe mechanisms were not in place to control that. Those kind of errors should not happen when it comes to election day and the sanctity of the vote." Justice was one candidate affected by mistakes made by the New Hanover County Board of Elections. The board admitted Monday it sent the wrong ballots to two precincts and not enough ballots to a third. Even though the board answers to the state county commissioners requested it make a presentation to help explain what happened. "It's been said that some people feel we don't take things seriously," said New Hanover County Board of Elections Director Bonnie Williams. "You lose sleep over it, you stop eating over it and you take it pretty seriously." The board plans to implement a more in-depth checklist among other things to prevent similar mistakes from happening again. Another hot button topic on the agenda was preserving Airlie Gardens. "With the May 4th passing of the sale tax I think the public was very clear that they are concerned about the quality of life initiatives here in New Hanover County and they want to preserve those things and I'm in favor of that as well," said New Hanover County Commissioner Jonathan Barfield. County commissioners voted in favor of a preservation easement at Airlie. The easement doesn't put restrictions on the sale of the garden. It simply means Airlie will remain open to the public, regardless of who own's it, forever. "It's very big," said Jim McDaniel, who is the Director of Parks, Gardens and Senior Resources in New Hanover County. "During the economic downturn budgets became very tight and there was some discussion briefly that Airlie and some other activities would possibly be not funded."

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