11/3/21: OH, WELL.

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As most of you undoubtedly know by now, I did not “make the cut” yesterday on Election Day. Paula Sherlock won the Town Council seat for which I was running.

Oh, well.

I became a candidate for Town Council in order to give the voters of Southern Shores a choice. They made it, and I accept it.

As I did before Election Day, I would like to thank all of my supporters and my campaign team for believing in me and my vision of Southern Shores. Nothing has changed overnight about my commitment to protecting the town and the interests of resident and nonresident property owners.

I am looking forward to a break from the action and some R&R. I’ll see everyone in the ‘hood.

My heartfelt thanks and warm wishes, Ann

11/2/21: IT’S ELECTION DAY. HERE WE GO!

The Southern Shores polling place is the gymnasium of the Kitty Hawk Elementary School on South Dogwood Trail–not the Kern Pitts Center behind Town Hall, as is usually the case. The polls are open today from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The election results should be in soon after the polls close.

Please GOTV, Get Out the Vote. The voting during the early “one-stop” voting period was very light. We need a big turnout of Sjoerdsma supporters to carry the tide to victory.

I will be at the KHES all day greeting voters. Please send your friends and neighbors my way. I am happy to talk with everyone about my plans for preserving the beauty, character, and quality of life in Southern Shores and protecting all of your interests, financial and otherwise, as a resident.

I thank everyone who has supported my campaign and voted for me. I promise you will always be able to reach me, and I will always be a voice for you.

I would be honored to represent you on the Southern Shores Town Council.

Warm wishes to all, Ann

10/31/21: MY DOOR-TO-DOOR EXPERIENCE BEFORE HALLOWEEN; TWO DAYS TO GO!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Having spent most of the past two to three weeks going door-to-door in Southern Shores, I know where I would trick-or-treat if I were a child.

There are some side streets in town that are so decked out in fun Halloween spookery that they would be irresistible to me.

My favorite Halloween experiences while I was campaigning occurred on Goose Feather Lane in Chicahauk and Beech Tree Trail in the Southern Shores woods.

The doorbell at the Goose Feather house groaned like the doorbell at the Addams family’s residence—not surprising, considering all of the skeletons and graves in the front yard—and a lifelike taller-than-I-am Wolfman stood menacingly at the threshold of the Beech Tree home. From a distance, it looked human!

Sadly, no human answered the door there. I would have liked to have complimented the homeowners on their imaginative and scary artistry.

I also love the Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton on the east side of South Dogwood Trail near Ginguite. Giant-sized skeletons and their body parts are definitely in vogue this year.

Smaller skeletons hang from trees, cling to window ledges, or simply hang out, like the two pirates and their pets on East Dogwood Trail, above.

Folks are definitely working their fingers to the bone this Halloween. Their yard displays are outrageous pieces of theater. Bravo!

I would like to thank everyone who spoke with me when I knocked unexpectedly on their door and introduced myself. Most everyone was friendly and gracious. Many were eager to talk and share their opinions—which was a joy for me. Communication is in my “skill set.” I also picked up a few ideas that I’d like to try.

Most everyone in town has a dog. The doorbell seemed to elicit a Pavlovian reaction of barking at nearly every house I stopped by. I got so I enjoyed seeing what type of dog would emerge. We have quite an assortment in town.

There’s a little white fluff of a dog named Atticus Rex living on Wax Myrtle Trail. His name alone had me smiling. Being a former college English major and a produced playwright, I couldn’t resist this little guy’s moniker.

I also love the older dogs who, even though they’re moving slowly, still unfailingly advance toward a stranger with their tails wagging.

I probably don’t need to tell you that Tuesday, Nov. 2, is Election Day.

Please stop by the polling place and say hello, even if you have already voted. I expect to be outside the Kitty Hawk Elementary School gym all day, greeting voters and handing out my campaign cards. I’ll also be game for talking about the issues. The polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Win or lose, I will be celebrating Election Night—truly—although, I admit, I would rather win than lose.

Campaigning can be grueling, but it’s also a lot of fun, and it’s very enriching. I find the challenge of campaigning, like all challenges, immensely satisfying. Challenge makes a person dig down deep inside, I think, and break free of comfortable boundaries. It may cause anxiety, but it also fosters personal growth.

Thank you to all of my supporters and to all voters in town, regardless of whom they choose. I would be honored to represent all Southern Shores residents in the Town Council. I promise I’ll always listen and be a voice for you.

My team and I will be picking up yard signs on Wednesday. Thank you to all who displayed one.

Have fun and be safe tonight.

Warm wishes, Ann

10/24/21: THE “VOTE 4 ANN” SUV HAS HIT THE ROAD. WELCOME, NEWCOMERS!

The “Vote 4 Ann” SUV pictured above debuted on Southern Shores roads yesterday and will be circulating during the final 9-day stretch of the race until Election Day, Nov. 2.

You also may see the “Vote 4 Ann” construction van traveling about in our town.

Both mobile banners were the brainchild of my creative friend and supporter Lilias Morrison, whom I heartily thank. I absolutely love the beach-scene background of the banners; they evoke the welcoming beauty and calm of the Southern Shores oceanfront. Fabulous.

Lilias and I rigged up the bungee cords on the SUV, which, you may notice, came from a dealer in Sarasota, Fla., where my younger sister lives. I bought the Tucson from her.

An advertising banner is also running on The Outer Banks Voice now—hence, my concern that when newcomers arrive on my campaign website, they readily can read about my platform on the homepage blog. I, therefore, list again some of my goals and objectives as a Town Council member:

  • To update the Town’s 13-year-old Land Use Plan, which provides a vision statement for the Town’s identity, development, and future growth; clearly defines the Town’s goals and objectives; and serves as a vital planning and policymaking blueprint for the Town Planning Board and Town Council.
  • To prevent cut-through traffic, as well as improve the traffic flow on N.C. 12 and lobby for the Mid-Currituck Bridge.
  • To establish a Town Code enforcement system that is not “complaint-drive,” like the current one is. No one should have to “inform” on a neighbor.
  • To avoid increases in property taxes and strive to lower them, by identifying alternative funding, such as federal and state grants, for beach nourishment and other Town projects, and by tightening the Town’s budget.
  • To maintain roads and infrastructure in a fiscally responsible way that is supported by property owners. The public should be consulted about widening roads and adding walkways.
  • To promote open government through more public dialogue—especially when high-dollar projects are being considered—and more transparency.
  • To protect the environment, in particular, by improving stormwater management, inhibiting clear-cutting of all trees on a building lot, and profiling the beaches every summer for erosion.
  • TO LISTEN TO ANY RESIDENT AND/OR PROPERTY OWNER WHO HAS A PROBLEM AND TO TAKE ACTION TO RESOLVE IT. You can call me directly!

I have a number of ideas for increasing public involvement in Town government, including holding a Town Hall “State of Southern Shores” meeting every January, and designating citizen committees on public safety, zoning/development, and the environment.

You also deserve a response and more than 3 minutes when you speak to the Town Council during the public-comment periods of Council meetings. 

For more about my background and my platform, please click on the links above. I would be honored to serve as your Town Council representative.

Best wishes, Ann 

10/21/21: VIDEO OF SOUTHERN SHORES CANDIDATE FORUM IS NOW ONLINE.

The video of the Oct. 13 Southern Shores Town Council Candidate Forum, hosted by the League of Women Voters of Dare County, is now online at https://lwvdarenc.org/videos/.

I believe the forum, which features audience questions posed by a moderator, fairly portrays the candidates, their positions, their knowledge of Southern Shores, and their understanding of residents’ and property owners’ concerns.

If you are arriving on this website via The Outer Banks Voice, please see my blog post of 10/19/21 for an overview of my platform and click on the “Ann’s Story” and “Our Town” links above to learn more about me and my candidacy.

Please feel free to email me at vote4annsj@gmail.com or to call me at (252) 261-0269, if you have any questions. I would love to hear from you.

Best wishes, Ann

10/19/21: NEWCOMERS: WELCOME TO ANN’S CAMPAIGN WEBSITE! (And for those who have been here before, this blog post is an update.)

Augie and I take a break from campaigning.

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For the benefit of people who are just arriving on Vote4ann.com–and as an update for those who have been here before–I would like to list some of my goals and objectives as a Town Council member:

  • TO UPDATE the Town’s 13-year-old Land Use Plan, which provides a vision statement for the Town’s identity, development, and future growth; clearly defines the Town’s goals and objectives; and serves as a vital planning and policymaking blueprint for the Town Planning Board and Town Council.
  • TO PREVENT cut-through traffic, as well as improve the traffic flow on N.C. 12 and lobby for the Mid-Currituck Bridge.
  • TO ESTABLISH a Town Code enforcement system that is not “complaint-drive,” like the current one is. No one should have to “inform” on a neighbor.
  • TO AVOID increases in property taxes and strive to lower them, by identifying alternative funding, such as federal and state grants, for beach nourishment and other Town projects, and by tightening the Town’s budget.
  • TO MAINTAIN roads and infrastructure in a fiscally responsible way that is supported by property owners. The public should be consulted about widening roads and adding walkways.
  • TO PROMOTE open government through more public dialogue—especially when high-dollar projects are being considered—and more transparency.
  • TO PROTECT the environment, in particular, by improving stormwater management, inhibiting clear-cutting of all trees on a building lot, and profiling the beaches every summer for erosion.
  • TO LISTEN TO ANY RESIDENT AND/OR PROPERTY OWNER WHO HAS A PROBLEM AND TO TAKE ACTION TO RESOLVE IT. You can call me directly!

I have a number of ideas for increasing public involvement in Town government, including holding a Town Hall “State of Southern Shores” meeting every January, and designating citizen committees on public safety, zoning/development, and the environment.

You also deserve a response and more than 3 minutes when you speak to the Town Council during the public-comment periods of Council meetings. The exchange that occurs between Town Council members and the public at open meetings is vitally important.

For more about my background and my platform, please click on the “Ann’s Story” and “Our Town” links above. I would be honored to serve as your Town Council representative.

Best wishes, Ann 

10/14/21: CAMPAIGN UPDATE: REMEMBER, MEET AND GREET IS SATURDAY, FROM 4-6; LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS’ VIRTUAL CANDIDATES’ FORUM WAS LAST NIGHT, VIDEO TO COME.

The venue for Saturday’s meet-and-greet is across the street from the ocean, on Ocean Boulevard near Periwinkle Place.

Hi, all:

I hope a number of you had the chance to Zoom into the Southern Shores Town Council candidates’ forum hosted last night by the League of Women Voters of Dare County. If not, the League will soon post a video online that you can watch. I’ll give you the URL for the video as soon as it is available.

The candidates gave opening and closing statements and answered about 10 questions. I believe I came across fairly well, but it is your impressions that count. I certainly had an opportunity to apply my knowledge of recent Southern Shores Town Council history, the Town Code of Ordinances, and relevant North Carolina law.

My dog Augie may have made the biggest splash last night. After patiently waiting for me to finish up my forum business—I sat in front of my laptop for 2 ½ hours—Augie couldn’t stand any more neglect and started jumping up on my chair. I finally just picked him up and held him, while I was still visible via Zoom. I can’t tell you how many text messages and emails I received afterward about Augie’s appearance! He was a hit.

In other matters, I signed off today on the final proof of my campaign mailer, which should go out to all Southern Shores residents tomorrow and hit your mailboxes starting Saturday. Yay! Please feel free to contact me about its content or about any other campaign-related business at vote4annsj@gmail.com or at 261-0269.

Please let me know, too, if you do not receive a mailer by next Wednesday. I have extras and can send you one. There were a few issues with the mailing list, and I am concerned that people may be overlooked.

My campaign team and I are now gearing up for the meet-and-greet Saturday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at my rental cottage at 231 Ocean Blvd. in Southern Shores. It will be a covid-conscious happy-hour gathering with neighbors, a time to relax, mingle, and talk about the town. I look forward to seeing you there!

Warm wishes, Ann

10/9/21: MARK YOUR CALENDARS! MEET-AND-GREET WILL BE HELD NEXT SATURDAY, 4-6 p.m., ON THE OCEANSIDE.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

My rescheduled meet-and-greet will be held next Saturday, Oct. 16, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., at 231 Ocean Blvd., in Southern Shores. Please mark your calendars and spread the word.

The venue is a beach-box cottage that I have owned for 30 years. It has long been described as “oceanside,” because it is across from the oceanfront. It is now in municipal service district 2. 🙂

We will be COVID-19-conscious and gather primarily on the decks out front. There also is a screen porch that we can use. The house will be open, in order for people to serve themselves refreshments and use the facilities. We ask that you wear a face mask when you are inside. (Outside, please wear a mask if you are not vaccinated.)

There should be ample parking along the roadside on Ocean Boulevard and nearby Periwinkle Place. We will be in touch with the Southern Shores Police Dept. in advance to advise officers of the event.

This will be a weekend happy hour gathering, so we anticipate serving wine and beer, along with soft drinks and bottled water. The food menu is still in the works, but it will consist of easy-to-pick-up snacks.

So far, the weather forecast for Saturday looks grand, with high temps in the mid-80s and lows in the mid-60s.

Please join me for a pleasant and relaxing time on the “oceanside.” We can work some politics into the mix, too.

Best wishes, Ann

10/5/21: A CAMPAIGN UPDATE: MY VOTER’S GUIDE RESPONSES BECOME BULLET POINTS, AFTER REALITY CHECK WITH WORD LENGTH. YOU MAY READ THEM AT WWW.VOTE411.ORG.

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

As I said I would in my last campaign update, I posted my responses online last Saturday to the League of Women Voters of Dare County’s excellent issues questionnaire.

Alas, I also discovered upon doing so that the 750- to 1,000-word limit one of the League volunteers told me I would have per question was actually a 1,000-character limit—and that included spaces! (I was in writer’s heaven with 1,000 words. I should’ve known!)

So, I whittled down my thoughtful “in-depth” responses to bullet points and fired away.

I may publish my actual responses to some of the questions on this blog, so you can see the true depth of my thinking. I spent a lot of time crafting a response to a question about how I would involve the public in the Town’s decision-making, which is a principal objective of mine. I have many ideas.

I believe the involvement of residents and property owners in decisions affecting the Town’s growth and development, environmental preservation, capital improvements, and any big-ticket projects is critical to ensuring a bright future for Southern Shores.

First on my list of “to-dos” is updating the Town’s Land Use Plan, which dates to 2008. The Land Use Plan is an important policymaking and planning blueprint for the Town Council, and, as key stakeholders, the public is integrally involved in its update. We need to get together again and talk about our town’s identity, character, ambiance, and quality of life, and how to preserve its many assets

You may access the League’s voter’s guide at www.vote411.org.

Don’t forget to register for the League’s Southern Shores candidates forum, which will be held virtually via Zoom on Wed., Oct. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

You may register for the forum, and also submit a question to ask the candidates, at Webinar Registration – Zoom.

You also may submit a question for candidates by email to DareLWV@gmail.com. The League asks that you include your name and town of residence with your email.

According to the LWV, each of the five candidates will be given two minutes for an opening statement, after which a question-and-answer period will occur. The questions will come from the audience and may be directed to as many candidates as the questioner requests. Candidates will have two minutes in which to respond to each question. At the conclusion of the Q&A, candidates will have two minutes for a closing statement. 

The forum videotape will be available for viewing on You Tube after Oct. 13.

I am working on a campaign mailer that will be arriving in your mailboxes soon. Please let me know if you need a campaign yard sign. (Email vote4annsjoe@ gmail.com.) Someone from my team will run one out to you.

My rescheduled Sept. 19 meet-and-greet is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 16. Please pencil in the event on your calendar. I will provide more details next week.

One more thing . . . A good friend of mine recently described me as fierce in a Facebook tag. I certainly value her friendship and her support–she has been wonderful in helping me with my campaign–but I think a better word would be passionate. Fierce makes me seem a little scary, which I definitely am not.

I am passionate in my advocacy to protect Southern Shores and to resolve problems residents may have–and strong, as my friend said–but I usually wear my heart on my sleeve. I fight hard for what I believe is fair and just, but there’s nothing scary about me. I am very approachable and empathetic.

It’s another glorious October day. Enjoy! And thanks for checking in on my campaign.

(P.S., I keep trying to take a good picture with Augie. The one above is my latest attempt.)

Warm wishes, Ann

10/1/21: A CAMPAIGN UPDATE: ABOUT YARD SIGNS, CAMPAIGN FLYERS IN THE MAIL, AND MY IN-DEPTH ANSWERS FOR THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS’ ONLINE VOTER’S GUIDE.

Good morning, folks!

Another gorgeous day . . . What a delight to be enjoying this beautiful weather in late September and early October rather than tracking the course of a hurricane headed to the East Coast from the Caribbean.

I would like to remind everyone who is displaying one of my campaign yard signs that the sign must be on your private property, clear of the public right-of-way. The Town is actively enforcing a Town Code ordinance that prohibits signs from being in the right-of-ways by confiscating any signs that are placed there. If you discover that yours has been removed, please contact me and my campaign team at annsjoe@gmail.com, and we will replace the sign for you.

This week I have been mailing out campaign flyers to as many people as I can across town. I’ve sent out about 500 mailings to a cross-section of voters.

This week’s mailing is intended to substitute for door-to-door campaigning. I am uncomfortable with going door-to-door because I am in daily contact with my 97-year-old mother, and I do not wish to risk being infected by COVID-19—however small the risk may be—even though I am vaccinated, as is my mother. I also am wary of contracting any other viruses.  

I will be sending out a campaign mailer in about two weeks to everyone in town.

I also have been busy this week writing in-depth answers to the League of Women Voters of Dare County’s very thoughtful, probing, and comprehensive questions for Southern Shores Town Council candidates for its Vote411 online voter’s guide. I expect to post my responses to the League’s issues-oriented questions over the weekend and will give you a heads-up when I do.

The questions delve into the Southern Shores economy and environment and ask candidates to explain why they would be the “right person” for the Town Council job, what issues they would like to address, and how they would involve the public more in Town decision-making. I think they’re excellent questions, and I have a lot to say.

The voter’s guide is a fabulous way for you to get to know the candidates, what they stand for, how they think, and how they express themselves in writing. It’s also a fabulous way for candidates like myself to reach out to voters. As both a voter and a candidate, I feel indebted to the League for its voter’s guide and its candidates’ forum.

As you probably know, the League was founded shortly after the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution finally gave women the right to vote. Now 101 years old, the League is a non-profit, non-partisan political organization whose primary purpose is to encourage citizens to register to vote and then exercise their right to do so.

The Dare County chapter does a superb job of informing people about candidates, the voting process, and the workings of government. I encourage you to check out its website: Home – League of Women Voters of Dare County (lwvdarenc.org). In bold capital letters at the top of the website homepage are two powerful phrases: EMPOWERING VOTERS. DEFENDING DEMOCRACY. I wholeheartedly agree.

Have a great October weekend, everyone. Thanks for your support!

Warm wishes, Ann