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Thompson talks about idea of selling Airlie

READ MORE: Thompson talks about idea of selling Airlie

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Is the sale of Airlie Gardens really a possibility? The New Hanover County Commission Chair says in his book it is.

We sat down with Jason Thompson after we found some of his e-mails in which he supported the sale of the gardens. Thompson says he knows he's not part of the majority on this issue. Commissioners Jonathan Barfield, Bill Caster and Ted Davis confirmed with us they do not support selling Airlie.

Thompson says the fact is that someone has to pay for places like Airlie Gardens.

"For me it's a possibility, but I'm just one vote," Thompson said. "I'm not going to tell the citizens of this community, 'Yes I'm going to promise you everything, but I'm not going to pay for it.' That's not reality."

Coming up at six we'll have more on our sit-down with Thompson, and see how he feels about the e-mails he's received from citizens and the Airlie Foundation.

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Sell it. I have lived here over 20 years and have been to Arlie two times.. It's time to sell it !!!!

Enough with higher taxes.. We are getting pushed out of the county. Wilmington was a great place to retire to but with taxes going up Brunswick is looking better and better. Maybe even Pender.

Sell it

We have to stop spending what we don't have. If this is one way to make up the short-fall, sell and let a private company run it and profit from it if they can. It will still be available to the citizens of the area and as a tourist draw but the county will not have the expense of maintaining it.


I've resigned myself to voting for the sales tax increase. I have commented on other stories about how opposed I am to the city raising our property taxes but at least with the county raising sales taxes,we do have some control over how much tax we pay.

The more you spend, the more taxes you pay. The less you spend, the less you pay.

Additionally, the tourist that come to the area will help pay for many of the service we have to provide because of their presence.

I am a very conservative business man and very much pro development but I am against selling.Our community has very little true industry and if something like Airlie keeps the tourist happy (and spending), then I say we need it.

Our elected officials do need to re-examine our expenses but mostly I would caution Mr. Thompson to choose his words, and attitude, a little more carefully if he has any further political aspirations in the community.

Re: I agree

I too hate additional taxation. However, I am really opposed to the property owners having to shoulder the burden alone. At least with this type of tax increase the burden would be spread over the population as a whole.

Mr. Thompson fails to realize he is a "public servant". Maybe since he really does not seem to like people maybe he should look for a career change, maybe waste management. After all he is good at spreading the crap!

Airlie's Real Value

Once again, shortsighted local politicians exhibit their ignorance of the big issues concerning vital green spaces to our community.

Gaining effective political support for parks at a local level is more than just a trivial issue about access to leisure facilities - it's a matter of environmental justice. There is increasing evidence of the links between people's mental and physical health and the quality of the environment in which they live. A stroll around a park can measurably reduce stress levels. And if we are serious about reducing childhood obesity, then we need to provide kids with attractive places to play, near where they live.


In many cities, the parks department is so far down the pecking order - usually lumped in with leisure services, or street cleaning and environment - that its budget is an easy target to raid because there's no one knowledgeable to defend it. Year-on-year budget cuts remain the norm in too many places. And people who work in parks departments remain hugely undervalued, their role often assumed to be little more than grass cutting and litter picking, rather than providing a much-valued service to the community, managing huge areas of our most historic urban landscapes, and making a large contribution to environmental priorities, such as urban drainage and biodiversity.


Local parks aren’t just pretty places to walk the dog but are a major economic engine for the city. From the thousands of tourists who attend festivals in our parks to the businesses who locate to Wilmington because of quality of life measures like green space, our parks are big business.  Parks do much to promote quality of life in our cities and towns. Parks also provide environmental benefits such as contributing to clean air and water, and the preservation of natural areas.


Parks are vital contributors to the achievement of wider urban policy objectives, including job opportunities, youth development, public health, and community building—all of which help strengthen the neighborhoods in which parks are located.  For years, researchers, park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates have acknowledged the integral role that public parks, open space and gardens can play in advancing a town’s economic vitality. Parks have not only contributed to economic development and revitalization, regional tourism and landscape aesthetic, they have also helped to define the unique characteristics and sense of the city’s most celebrated spaces.  Certainly Airlie Gardens' true value as part of not only Wilmington's history and culture, but of its charm and quality of live are indispensable.  To sell this wonderful entity or open it to development is criminal as it robs all citizens now and in the future.

Stress level?

My stress level would go down if I knew no more of my tax dollars went to support this "thing". Sell it... or bottom plow it and plant tomatoes since there seems to be a shortage of them.... It sure isn't doing anything productive for the taxpayers as is!

Environmental justice? LMMFAO!!!

Where do you come up with these terms?

What in the world is "environmental justice?" Stop inventing terms that mean nothing.

Sell Airlie Gardens. It's a luxury we should never have purchased and can no longer afford.

EPA definition

Here you go:

From the EPA:

The United States Environmental Protection Agency Office of Environmental Justice defines EJ as follows:

"Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this Nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work."


What does that have to do with selling Airlie Gardens?

are you kidding me? i didn't

are you kidding me? i didn't even bother to read your post, way too long , i became sleepy just thinking about reading it. do you really care that much? i have been to airlie gardens twice in 41 years. sell it.


I tell you one thing, you let Jason Thompson talk to me like that. He talkes to all the citizens like CRAP via e-mail or in person. I've lived here all my life, Jason is not even from here. I hope and pray he's not re-elected.


Sell it to a private company/buyer, they can keep it maintained and open. I'm tired of the county taking more money and furlough days from my check to make the budget. I'm a county employee, and we are the first ones that have to take the "heat" for the budget.

get rid of thompson

Okay so we have a debt to pay....well since everyone that sits on the board has jobs or a business how about not taking a salary even though you may say it is a small one. I agree with taxpayer....we have to count our pennies so Mr. Thompson should count his!!! I am tired of the rich always telling us to tighten our belts while they go out and have a great time and get richer.....answer is to VOTE THEM OUT!!! LET US CLEAN HOUSE AT NEXT ELECTION!

inevitable tax increase

It looks like we will have no choice but to accept this sales tax increase. I do not want to pay more taxes, and I think our leaders should not have obligated us to pay so much more than we have. However, most people do not want to see Airlie sold at all, much less sold during a down real estate market at far less than it would bring in a stable market.

One thing I could do without is the posturing and the drama. Do we really need to have Airlie used as a bargaining chip to get out the vote? I think people will end up voting in favor of this tax, but I hope the citizens of Wilmington will remember the way this issue was handled by our elected leaders.

Airlie Gardens needs to stay!

I guess you just have to be a person that really enjoy's now, and has for 30 years, the true beauty of Airlie Gardens. It has the most beautiful landscape of all of Wilmington and should remain just that way! So, building multi-million dollar homes that most people could care less about is worth destroying such a pristine place where a lot of people would like to see memories and traditions carry on? It is totally ridiculous for anyone to think selling Airlie Gardens is a good idea for Wilmington! It does not suprise me though, being that we have politically empowered people in this community that continue to be in favor of such crazy ideas. KEEP AIRLIE GARDENS!

This what we in the business

This what we in the business world call an "empty promise"

Our "quality of life" is threatened...

by the sitting County Commissioners who have spent us, like Congress, into a hole so deep we no longer can see over the top.

Yes, the voters of New Hanover County approved bond issues, which is debt that must be repaid. However, it's time to pay the piper, and there's no money to pay the tab.

You and I have tightened our belts. It's time to hold our elected officials' feet to the fire.

Jason Thompson has said he'll vote in favor of selling Airlie Gardens if the sales tax increase fails on election day. Sell it who Jason?

Check your facts "taxpayer"

If YOU check your facts , you'll see that that New Hanover County cut its budget by $20+ million last fiscal year.
This was accomplished by offering early retirement, lay offs, and 2 weeks unpaid furloughs for all county employees. Employees will be furloughed this year as well. The NHC employees are the ones who have taken the brunt of these hard economic times.
A large part of the reason the county is in financial staights is because sales tax revenues are down. EVERYONE has been affected by the recession and are vacationing and spending less...
People just love to blame the government for doing nothing and spending everything...
With out the NHC government you wouldn't have necessities like emergency services, building inspection, food safety, mosquito control, etc.
You might not appreciate those services now. You will if you have a medical emergency, flooding or food poisoning...

I have checked...

and unfortunately, you and your fellow "troops in the trenches" are the first to bear the financial brunt of the ineptness of those at the top. Ever wonder why Generals don't spend much time on the front line?...far too dangerous.

Where the County Commissioners made a huge mistake was not catching the 10 million dollar "error" made a couple of years ago with respect to property shown as being subject to taxation when it wasn't. That helped start financial ball rolling downhill.

i bet it was the CAM

I distinctly remember in their budget that they werent paying too much in property taxes... hmmmm

Sell it to a developer so

Sell it to a developer so they can tear it all down and build another Landfall. What a terrible idea.

they can't sell

they can't sell airlie...check the papers.

I believe you may be

I believe you may be referring to the conservation easement. This easement is only tied to a portion of the property; not the entire property. The majority of Airlie Gardens is not under this easement and can be sold. We need to save Airlie. Out with Thompson.

What paper?

What "paper" are you referring to?