The Town of Oak Island has had its fair share of problems recently. The police department is under investigation for sexual harassment. A member of the town planning board just got ousted from his job. The town is being sued for not releasing public records to a developer, and the town council is actively trying to annex two areas off the island, which is not going over very well. Many local residents have plenty of questions, but no luck getting answers. William Parrish lives in Brunswick County, just over the bridge from Oak Island. The town council is trying to annex the business he manages, as well as his residential property. If the annexation goes through, it is going to raise Mr. Parrish's tax bill considerably. That is why he wanted to pay for a commercial on Oak Island TV, to tell the public why this annexation is a bad idea. "They can't manage what they've got over there, much less what they're trying to annex over here, they have no clue," said Parrish. Even though Oak Island TV has run paid commercials for local businesses in the past, Parrish said the town had no interest in running his commercial. "I was willing to pay for that commercial. My money is just as good as anybody over there on Oak Island. The gentleman asked me 'well, is your business located on oak island?' and I said, well not yet, and that's what I'm trying to stop," said Parrish. Residents tell us town council is basically dismissing the concerns of those opposed to annexation, and public forums where they have been allowed to ask questions have been less than helpful. We are not surprised that residents are frustrated. The town manager flat out refused to meet with WWAY. We also called every single member of the Oak Island town council. We could hardly get anyone to answer our calls, much less agree to an interview. Finally, a week after our trip to Oak Island Town Hall, we got a call from town attorney Brian Edes. As far as the town dismissing Mr. Parrish's request to run a commercial, Edes says Oak Island has been in the process of changing its commercial policy for months. There was some concern that allowing paid commercials on the government channel was a violation of FCC laws, and that is what prompted the rule change, not the idea of having to run a controversial commercial. While we appreciate the call from town attorney Brian Edes, we would still love to hear from the elected officials in Oak Island. Since they ran for public office, it is implied that they will be accessible to the public, including news media. In fact, it is considered a responsibility. So, we will make the request again to the members of the oak island town council. Please take this as a standing invitation for an interview about what is going on in Oak Island.
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