Jim Buice column: Little mermaid has a ball at the beach

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 21, 2018

Give Lewisville’s founding fathers credit for taking a stand when it comes to an issue near and dear to their hearts — keeping term limits.

You know, if it ain’t broke…

Limiting those who occupy the positions of mayor and council to no more than eight consecutive years in office — four two-year terms — has been in play since the town became incorporated in 1991.

The discussion of term limits came during a public hearing during last Thursday night’s meeting that was called after the issue came up in a planning meeting with council earlier this year about a specific N.C. court ruling years ago.

With few exceptions, establishing term limits for all governing bodies just makes good sense.

The council will decide whether to stay the course or amend the charter in its August meeting, but the former mayors and council members were adamant about maintaining the status quo and the traditions of the town.

Another is having prayer prior to the start of each meeting. In a country that seems to be continually moving away from God, the council has no intention of changing its stance. Again, good for them.

Tom Lawson, a former mayor and councilman, said:  “There have been many court cases that have found that prayer before a meeting is not allowed. This came up early on in my term sitting on that side of the dais. Our decision at that time was we were not going to change the traditions and how we handled it.

“Certainly, if somebody wanted to come forward and challenge that, then at that point we would address it in a fashion that would be legal and legitimate. But for the time being, we determined we would stick with the traditions of the town and continue with prayer before the meeting as we always had.”

• • • • •

Speaking of Lewisville, Corp. P.J. Springer was introduced as an incoming member of the town’s community policing section in last Thursday night’s Lewisville Town Council meeting.

He comes over from Clemmons where he served in a similar position before transferring and was wished a farewell three nights earlier in the Clemmons Village Council where they poked a little fun at him.

“I’m not sure going to Lewisville is a promotion,” Village Manager Scott Buffkin said with a chuckle.

Chief Deputy Brad Stanley, who headed up a large Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department contingent, had this to say at the Lewisville meeting: “He (P.J.) was telling me coming here that they announced to the Clemmons Council the other night that he would be leaving. He did tell me y’all had snacks out here.”

I’m sorry to report — at least for me — there were none.

• • • • •

It’s hard to beat a week at the beach, but for our little great niece, it was truly a time she will never forget.

First, there was getting a mermaid outfit that she had targeted before the trip to the Crystal Coast. She enjoyed showing off her colorful costume doing flips in the pool, and next was a boogie board to ride the waves in the ocean.

Of course, there were the go-kart rides, ice cream, putt-putt and learning experiences at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knolls Shores, where they had a special dinosaur exhibit (she has always been particularly fascinated with the large creatures), and a visit to Fort Macon State Park.

But nothing could top going to a baseball game in Morehead City where she was selected to go out on the field for the first pitch.

We were in line to purchase tickets for the Coastal Plain League game between the home-standing Marlins and Wilson Tobs when one of the staff members approached us and asked if she’d like to throw out the first pitch.

This league is for aspiring professional players and included some from local universities, including Wake Forest shortstop Patrick Frick.

They whisked her away for her moment in the spotlight. She was thrilled. By the time we made it to the stands, she was running off the field, ball in hand. Now she wanted all the players to sign it.

After a couple of innings, some of the Morehead City Marlins players came through the quaint park to greet fans for quick photos, autographs and thank everyone for coming to the game. Can you imagine anything like that at a Major League game?

Well, as fate would have it, our great niece and her dad had gone to get a snack and missed the entourage. However, she had given the ball to my wife for safe-keeping, and I asked one of the players if he could get as many signatures as possible for the little girl who was out there for the first pitch.

A couple of innings later, he brought the ball back filled with autographs and posed for a picture with her. She said that getting the ball was better than the mermaid outfit or boogie board and was the highlight of her trip.