As Surf City residents gear up for the upcoming Town Council elections, it’s crucial to get to know the candidates who aim to shape the future of our community. Here, we bring you an exclusive interview with Heather Allen, a dedicated community member and a strong contender for a seat on the Town Council for the Town of Surf City.
In our candid conversation, Heather shares her motivations, priorities, and vision for Surf City.
Meet Heather Allen: A Brief Introduction
We asked Heather to introduce herself to give Surf City residents a glimpse into who she is both personally and professionally.
Heather Allen: Hello Surf City! My name is Heather Allen, and I am running for Town Council. My husband, Tyler, and I have been married for almost sixteen years and have a beautiful 14-year-old daughter, Kaila, who attends Topsail High School (Go Pirates!). We attend the Gathering Church on the island. I have a Criminal Justice degree and worked as a Victim’s Advocate for the District Attorney’s Office. I currently teach Concealed Carry classes and host a Ladies’ Pistol Night once a month. I love surfing and riding my horse, Peso.
The Call to Action: Why Run for Town Council?
We delved into Heather’s motivations to help Surf City residents understand what drives her commitment to community welfare.
Heather Allen: My family and I absolutely love Surf City. It is clean, safe, a wonderful place to raise a family, and has some of the best schools in the state. A huge motivating factor for me to run for Council is that I grew up in a small beach town that used to look a lot like Surf City. I know firsthand what types of failed policies can cause a beautiful city to quickly deteriorate.
Community Involvement: More Than Just a Candidate
We inquired about Heather’s community involvement as it’s often a strong indicator of a candidate’s dedication to public service.
Heather Allen: I attend and speak up at most town hall meetings. I volunteer at The Gathering Church in their nursery and with special events. You can find me cleaning the beach with both Topsail Island Longboard Association and Coastal Cleanup of Topsail.
Pressing Issues: What Surf City Needs to Address
We asked Heather about the most pressing issues in Surf City to gauge how well she aligns with community needs.
Heather Allen: The building, and proposed building, of new large home developments and apartment complexes without proper infrastructure like schools and roads worries me. I also think there is a need for more youth programs in Surf City.
Engaging with the Community: A Two-Way Street
We wanted to know how Heather plans to engage with the community, as effective communication is crucial for a well-functioning town.
Heather Allen: I have the time and the energy to speak with any resident who has concerns in our town. I’d be happy to communicate face to face, by phone, email, or social media. Surf City residents know that I am extremely approachable and will be persistent in helping them find solutions.
Top Priorities: The Roadmap for Surf City
We asked about Heather’s priorities to help Surf City’s voters get a better idea of what’s top of mind heading into the election.
- Slow down the large home and apartment developments until our schools and roads catch up.
- Bring revenue-generating programs like a Jr. Lifeguard/Ocean Rescue program, and a much-needed Driver’s Education class to Surf City through our Parks and Rec Dept.
- Move the Town Hall meetings from 4:30 to 5:30 so more residents can be involved with what is happening in our community.
Addressing Development and Infrastructure
We questioned Heather on development and infrastructure, as rapid growth without adequate planning can lead to various community challenges.
Heather Allen: From what I have researched, the Council is able to take into account what the School Board (a sub-committee) recommends when it comes to new development. If the School Board is saying that our class sizes are overcrowded and cannot handle the influx of people, we should definitely take that information into account.
Environmental Sustainability: Preserving Surf City’s Beauty
We asked Heather about her stance on environmental sustainability, a topic that resonates deeply with Surf City residents.
Heather Allen: I am all for beach renourishment, however, I have made it abundantly clear that I am no fan of paid beach parking. My goal would be to find a solution that does not cost $50,000,000, which is the current proposed cost to renourish Surf City’s beach.
Supporting Local Businesses: A Thriving Community
We inquired about Heather’s plans for supporting local businesses, as they are the backbone of our community.
Heather Allen: I have been very transparent with my campaign funds; in that I have put every cent back into the community by utilizing our amazing small businesses.
Economic Development: A Balanced Approach
We asked Heather about her vision for economic development to understand how she plans to balance growth and community well-being.
Heather Allen: I absolutely love how many thriving businesses we have here. I do imagine and hope to see more growth, however, I also do not want to see every single tree cut down or every square inch of our small beach town paved with concrete to accommodate this.
Transparency and Accountability: A Commitment to the Community
We wanted to know how Heather plans to maintain transparency and accountability, key factors in building trust with the community.
Heather Allen: I really like Wilmington’s City Councilman Luke Waddell’s approach. Every single month he sends out an email detailing what is happening in his city. If residents would like, I would be happy to do the same.
Role Models: Guiding Principles
We asked Heather about her role models to gain insights into her values and potential leadership style.
Heather Allen: Governor Kristi Noem was the only governor out of all 50 states who never imposed any mandates on South Dakota’s citizens. Coming from a state where paddle boarders were jailed for paddling alone in the Pacific Ocean definitely opened my eyes to the importance of less government intervention.
Handling Stress: A Balanced Perspective
We inquired about Heather’s approach to handling stress, as the ability to make balanced decisions is crucial for any leader.
Heather Allen: I believe the best way to handle pressure is to be prepared. Everyone who knows me says that I am very “laidback”. This is true. I get this from my surfer dad who never stressed about anything in his 81 years.
Final Thoughts: A Message to Undecided Voters
We gave Heather the floor to address undecided voters, who can greatly influence the outcome of an election.
Heather Allen: I want people to know that I will work for YOU. Specific issues I have platformed in my campaign like free beach parking, a Jr. Lifeguard program, or moving the Town Hall meeting times do not affect me in any way. It is literally all to better our community.
Get Involved & Meet the Candidate
To learn more about Heather Allen’s campaign and how you can get involved, follow her on Instagram and Facebook. You can meet Heather and discuss your concerns on the first Thursday night of the month at 5 p.m. at the VFW Holly Ridge.